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This is the story of Melvin, the Tromaville Health Club mop boy, who inadvertently and naively trusts the hedonistic, contemptuous and vain health club members, to the point of accidentally ending up in a vat of toxic waste. The devastating results then have a transmogrification effect, his alter ego is released, and the Toxic Avenger is born, to deadly and comical results. The local mop boy is now the local Superhero, the saviour of corruption, thuggish bullies and indifference. Troma classic with good make-up effects and stunts, a pleasant surprise indeed. Written by
As a child I loved to stay up late and watch "USA Up All Night" (with Gilbert Gottfried or Rhonda Shear, I wasn't picky). This allowed me to sample pretty much every major Troma movie, and I discovered the meaning of the phrase "guilty pleasure". As I got older I stayed away from Troma, as their movies radiated the kind of feeling you get from wearing a shoddy Halloween mask too long and getting nauseous inhaling the cheap rubber fumes. But after sampling the delightful "Tromeo & Juliet" I decided to return to my roots and check out the directors edition of the classic "Toxic Avenger".
While I was right in remembering the films as the guiltiest of pleasure, the cheap charm of the film was undeniable, and there was a ton of gore in the movie that I never saw on T.V. Arms are severed, guts are ripped out, seeing-eye dogs are shot, and children's heads are crushed- and it all looks pretty good! Some of the acting will make you wince, some of the jokes are atrocious (there are mother-in-law jokes), and some scenes go on too long (the idiotic out-of-control-car sequence) or too short (Toxie taking his revenge on his tormenters is strangely gore-free, which is explained in the director's commentary), but I can't bad-mouth a movie that has it's hero stuff a little old lady in a washing machine. If you're a gore fan with a high thresh hold for bad taste, then give the Toxic Avenger another shot- I did, and I'm a better person for it. I think.
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