The Toxic Avenger (1984)

Produced & Directed by: Michael Herz & Lloyd Kaufman

Written by: Joe Ritter

Story by: Lloyd Kaufman


.... Sara
.... The Toxic Avenger
Jennifer Babtist .... Wanda
Cindy Manion .... Julie
Robert Prichard .... Slug
.... Bozo
.... Mayor Peter Belgoody
.... Melvin Junko
.... Officer O'Clancy

Release Dates: Limited Theatrical: May, 1984 (New York City, New York); Quick Theatrical: May 29, 1985 (France); Quick Theatrical: April 11, 1986 (USA); Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival: October, 1986; Fantasporto Film Festival: February, 1990; Mar del Plata Film Festival: November 21, 1999; Iik!! Horror Film Festival: November 3, 2002; Iceland International Film Festival: April 8, 2005; Amsterdam Tromathon: March 20, 2010; Night Visions Film Festival: April 12, 2014



A nerdy wimp named Melvin Junko (Mark Torgl) works as a janitor at a fitness centre where he is tormed by a group of regular evil punks lead by the nasty Bozo (Gary Schneider) as one day they decide to do a nasty prank on him so he will be humiliated by others only to have him accidently fall into a barrel of toxic waste and then growing into a mutant Toxic Avenger (Mitch Cohen) as he is more powerful as he helps others whom are in trouble in the town of Tromaville as well as killing the people who tormented him.


Interesting beginning with a narration and a look around New York City as well as discussing the town of Tromaville along with showing barrels of slimy and bubbly looking toxic waste as well which is a nice start off to the story as well as what will be well remembered for Troma Team's slapstick horror and sci-fi flicks.
Also we've got some goofy moments on people working out at a fitness centre with close up shots on all of this along with over the top moments on the nerd Melvin doing janitorial work there as well as him being tormented by some vicious unks there along with their beautiful girlfriends. This doesn't look at all disturbing on a put upon kid like you see in other films since things were way too corny and campy while watching all of this. I don't think this was the intention since it's a Troma flick after all.
We spot a lame moment with a fitness instructor and get thrown off by having a snake down her back and throwing herself around and the people trying to get in shape doing the same thing as this was far from funny as it was supposed to have been.
Perfect crazy moments with the punks running over a kid with a bicycle and good graphic shots on the results as this for sure looked convincingly brutal. This for sure isn't a pleasant one to watch for others who fear for their childrens safety and perfect shots on the car speeding towards this boy which looked intense to watch.
Then there's trashy discussions with the snobby blonde Wanda making out that she wants to lust for Melvin as none of this looked naturally done and too zany as well as having him being set up with the gang of punks in which there's great shots on him being thrown out the window and into a can of toxic waste in which this looked well focused. This scene was well done and memorable to the fans who saw this scene.
Nice special effects with Melvin in a bathtub and his skin starting to grow as well as decent special effects on him turning into the Toxic Avenger but yet the scene is spoiled when his Mom is knocking on the door to hear what's going on and hearing low roaring sounds and saying he must've reached puberty which is another lame comedic one liner.
Good shots on Toxie in a distance near a field running with the sun setting which looked good to watch for a creature feature.
Neat cheesy moments with a street gang and one of them is dressed in drag ready to beat up on a police officer with good shots on Toxie saving the day along with slapstick moments on him doing a Popeye type of punch to one of them and throwing the other one. Yet we can tell there's an overdub when he talks to the officer on helping him out which doesn't blend onto the screen too well.
Many good close up shots on slapstick moments with employees at a fast food taco joint putting together food as well as a bunch of thieves coming in to hold up the place and one of them getting in people's faces and doing nasty stuff which looked zany and intense. Plus we have a moment with one of them doing something to Sara's dog cause she's blind as this is pretty to watch especially for dog lovers in which I advise to fast forward this scene. Things are too hokey with what goes on later on but yet one of them is about to rape her doggy style which makes you cringe and a good powerful moment with Toxie coming in to save the day and showing some gruesome moments as to what he does with one of them as well as good fast action moments too. Plus one of the killing moments looked corny and campy when Toxie himself puts whipping cream and a cherry on someone before drilling a hole in him with a milkshake maker. This scene wasn't too badly done for a comedy-horror killing.
We spot afterwards with Sara somewhat inviting Toxie to her home and showing a spoof of a suggested romantic moment between the two of them as well as using her blind cane accidently a few times hitting him in the family jewels which offers a couple chuckles while watching all of this.
Many good takes on Toxie helping others out as this all looked nicely put into the story.
We spot a moment when Toxie is stalking near a swimming pool area with a good dark setting while one of the nasty teens Julie is getting aroused seeing something dirty in a sauna as well as this monster coming in and about to do something painfully deadly with her near where the hot rocks in the sauna is as this makes you cringe while watching.
A nice moment with Toxie coming into a fitness world as we see a shaky camera shot chargning near people running away and screaming as well as one of them on a bench press circuit. Plus a good cmaera shot looking up on an objects and Toxie putting the person's head there as well as this objects slamming down on him with good gruesome results. Plus some good shots on Wanda running away and screaming in the boiler room of the place as it looked nice and dark with Toxie himself coming in for the kill.
Perfect moments with Mayor Peter Belgoody having a discussion with his friends about what to do about Toxie as it looked like a good mobster type of scene by what we see on what goes on here.
We spot a lame discussion between Toxie and Sara when he discusses his monstrous killing and gets into a lustful situation as this is hokey and looking stupid by how it was all done. Not convincing at all and too whacky to be taken seriously as a romantic couple.
We have a situation that looked perfectly intense between Slug and Bozo when they decide to steal a car as we find them making out they're helping out an elderly lady only to beat her up as this looked quite brutal and disturbing and not for some people to watch easily by these situations. Also perfect moments on them burning rubber as well as later on Toxie coming in to seek revenge as things looked good and intense with car crashing or exploding and stuff like that which was well shot.
Then near the end there's some nice shots on people as well as an army tank surrounding a tent that has Sara and Toxie in it but what happens here with the discussions were once again trashy showing the good people preventing the greedy one's to kill Toxie and stuff like that which wasn't convincing at all.
Bottom line is that this was noted to be Troma Teams most famous film of all time as it is equally a comedy/action/horror/sci-fi all into one. Had some nice special effects otherwise the rest of it was plain crap in my books but it reigned in as a cult classic. However for me everything was just too much for my liking. Kind of has a horror superhero type of feeling with the zany tongue in cheek comedy. There's nothing serious on this film at all but it is a horror as well for what this monster does as things are graphic and the violence is horrifying as well we have a mutant killer so it works in. Think of Frankenstein's creation but adding the slapstick into it all.

The acting is way too over the top and unbelieveable but they showed timing by doing a goofy comedy as none of their performances were serious nor horrifying. (Sara) didn't seem convincing by playing someone whom was blind with her eye movements but at times can seem okay with her blocking by doing so. Shows off an interesting inoocent personality but in a goofy way of course. Was a bit over the top with her scared or emotional attitude but yet makes you want to help her when she's pitted against danger. She's cheesy with her romantic personality and too silly to be taken seriously even if she is supposed to be the level headed one in a horror film but yet I never knew a character who was totally level headed in a Troma Team flick.
(The Toxic Avenger) presented himself well looking powerful and monstrous and seemed to offer good slapstick blocking with his punching and other brutal strengths too and offering nice energy with his running around as well. His speaking was overdubbed with another actor so it was difficult to tell his acting skills but his presence worked well in his favor.
Jennifer Babtist (Wanda) had the cute lustful girl looks as one of the popular troublemaking teenagers as she shows off her stuff doing this but yet her characteristics were very off when she tries to lead someone on into liking them in which was too over the top. What was worst was her fearful screaming and running around as she was terribly amateuristic it wasn't even funny. She strained greatly with her screaming sounding like she had a hoarse voice. Her looks did more of the talking than her acting as she was a Playboy model as I figured since most of them can't do a good job and are picked just for their looks.
Robert Prichard (Slug) showed it off better than most of the cast members as a level headed bully and not going too crazy but yet showing off a nasty sarcastic attitude as he does well by getting in your face and being nasty. Plus he had the right tough guy looks which works in well for his role. He wasn't the greatest actor but not way too over the top like most of them here.
(Bozo) played the lead bully as he was way too much with his freaked out behavior but it worked for the film so I will give him credit for that as he shows some hyped adrenaline with his wieghtlifiting or getting out of control with his driving someone over just getting into this powerfully too. However when he picks on someone he isn't intimidating as he's too goofy by doing it all. Yet he shows some great wide eyed expressions as well as having the right looks for this.
(Mayor Peter Belgoody) was the best out of the cast as I must admit he was pretty good in his role here playing the head of the city as well as showing a scummy attitude and comes across nicely as a dimwitted mobster type of personality. He offers some spunk into what he did here and was good with his speaking as well as his reactions on stuff. He was a natural ham too.
(Melvin Junko) played the key supporting role in this film as he had the perfect skinny and nerdy looks as a dweeby janitor that everyone picked on but his acting is terrible with his hyper energy and fearsome attitude. He just doesn't cut it portraying a character but does show energy with his blocking as well he comes off well onto the camera so there's the odd qualities there as well as being remembered by Troma fans.
(Officer O'Clancy) seemed to pull his role off well too as a pussy lawman in NY as he does well with his cowardly behavior when pitted against onscreen punks making him act hopeless. Plus does well with his energy in other scene's when trying to stress a situation offering nice characteristics. Had a nice middle aged looks for the role he was portraying and can be remembered as the main policeman in the film.

A teenage girl takes off her top while about to fornicate with someone else in a change room breasts fully revealed.
Another one takes off her top to pull a prank on Melvin before he gets humiliated.
Also in a sauna someone pulls down her bikini while getting excited at looking at some x-rated pics.

Person's skin is scarred and bubbly in toxic waste
Boy on a bike has his head crushed while being run over by a vehicle
Guys nose is punched in
Two people's heads are bloodily bashed revealing their torn flesh
Dog is shot showing the remains
Theifs arm is ripped off
Another thief's hands are scarred from a frier
Persons faces is drilled by a milkshake maker
Head is smashed in from a weight
Someone's body is fried after a car explosion
Fat mayor's guts are torn out

At times we do have some high decent chilling synthesizer music which sounds catchy to the suspenseful moments but then we do have some off sounds with it with the action sequences or people going in for the kill as it sounds almost like a ripoff footage to what we see in certain John Carpenter flicks like Christine or Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Plus we have off drum rolls and other beats for the moments when the Toxic Avenager is surrounded by an army of people as this was cheesily done. Sometimes we do hear some okay guitar riffs in the adventureous spots giving the movie a real low budget feel during it's time.

We do have some interesting songtracks as it has an 80's cheesy pop type tunes like a ballad titled "Nothing at All" by Mark Hoffman and Race as the volcalising sounded fairly decent as well as some good synthesizer music which worked in nicely for the cornballish romantic moments between Sara and the Toxic Avenager. It almost sounds similar to what we hear in other films during it's time. Also do the same for the closing credits titled "It's This Love" which works in nicely too as these were the right choices for a grindhouse film like this one.

[Melvin catches Slug and Wanda having sex in the locker room]
Slug: Get out of here you pervert.
[Wanda pulls out a switchblade]
Wanda: Or I'll kill you.

Cigar Face: Honest cops are all alike. A bunch of fucking faggots.

[Julie and Wanda are looking at pictures of a dead kid]
Julie: That new camera really captures the moments.
Wanda: I know. The reds are so red. It really gets me hot.

Leroy: All right everybody, drop your tacos or I'll blow your brains out.

Frank: Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, we are the entertainment for this afternoon. Now on the shotgun we've got my man Leroy. And on the cash register, we've got that magic fingers Rico.
Rico: That's me.
Frank: And last but not least, yours truely, Frank, on the stick.

Leroy: Hey look Frank. Teeny-boppers. You like video games teeny-boppers? Your mommy give you quarters for video games? Well cough 'em up.

Leroy: Look what we've got here. A little mother and a littler baby. You like Mexican food little baby?
[Leroy points his gun at the baby]
Leroy: Well how would you like to have this hot tamale shoved down your throat?

The Toxic Avenger: No ticky, no washy.

Sara: Why Melvin you're beautiful. You're a beautiful person. You're so muscular. It's been two years since I've touched a man.

The Toxic Avenger: You fat slob. Let's see if you've got any guts.
[Toxie then punches the mayor in the stomach and rips out his guts]
The Toxic Avenger: Officer O'Clancy, take care of this toxic waste.