Toxic Avenger, The (1985) Reviewed
THE TOXIC AVENGER (1985)
Troma movies are a decidedly acquired taste — but even if you get the joke it doesn’t necessarily follow that you’ll think it’s funny. (With the exception of Tromeo & Juliet which actually almost works.) The Toxic Avenger is probably the flagship of atrocities endlessly crapped out by Lloyd Kaufman. It’s a popular cult hit based on a simple premise: Dorky janitor, Melvin, becomes the titular star after being bullied right into a vat of toxic waste. Now he’s “New Jersey’s first superhero” — a lumpy load of latex in a pink tutu with super strength and a mop as his signature weapon — on a crusade to stop corrupt city politicians and the violent bullies responsible for his new look. Like everything else in the Troma catalog, TA is over-the-top, lousy with sick broad jokes (a biking youth is run over for yuks) and thick with unconvincing gore. The Gill Man enjoyed TA’s deep-fryer assault and a few brief flashes of gratuitous nudity, but ultimately it’s just another intentionally offensive “cult” movie from a production company that consistently tries too hard. Followed by the equally useless Toxic Avenger, Part II, Toxic Avenger III: The Last Temptation of Toxie and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV.