The Toxic Avenger


Melvin Ferd (Mark Torgl) is a stereotypical 98-pound weakling. He works as a janitor at a health club in the town of Tromaville, where the customers–particularly Bozo (Gary Schneider), Slug (Robert Pritchard), Wanda (Jennifer Babtist) and Julie (Cindy Manion)–harass him constantly. His tormentors get more and more violent until he is tricked into wearing a pink tutu and kissing a sheep. He is then chased around the health club by witnesses of the event where he eventually jumps out of a second story window. He lands in a drum of toxic waste and is irradiated and deformed by the accident. He suddenly lights on fire and runs down the street in a ball of flames. Melvin quickly takes a bath and mysteriously transforms into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength.

Later, a group of drug dealers, led by the criminal Cigar Face (Dan Snow), are harassing a police officer by the name of O’Clancy (Dick Martinsen), trying to buy him off. When he refuses to accept the money, Cigar Face and his gang prepare to kill Officer O’Clancy. Out of nowhere, a large creature comes and saves the day, showing in a brutally violent way that he does not like evil in any form. When he is done taking care of them he puts a mop on all their faces, which becomes his call sign. Officer O’Clancy is initially terrified of the creature but soon learns he was only trying to help and will not hurt him.

The officer’s rescuer was the Toxic Avenger (Toxie), who is Melvin having been transformed by the incident. He then tries to return home but his mother is terrified of him and will not even let him in the house. The Toxic Avenger then goes to the junkyard and builds himself a makeshift home.

Elsewhere in Tromaville, a gang of three men are holding up a Mexican food restaurant. The men kill one of the patrons, and then attack a blind woman named Sarah (Andree Maranda). They kill her guide dog and are about to rape her when The Toxic Avenger arrives. Toxie then has another bloody brawl with crime, taking care of the gang with unforgiving zeal. The Toxic Avenger sees that Sarah is beside herself by the loss of her dog and the traumatic experience. He takes her back to her home, where they begin to get to know one another and subsequently become involved.

When the Toxic Avenger goes back to his crime fighting ways, he makes way for the health club. There, he takes care of the popular girl Wanda who was involved in the plot that turned him into the creature he is now. Afterward, Toxie is relieving himself in a back alley when a limo pulls up and a pimp tries to push a 12-year-old girl onto him. When he starts to fight back to save the girl, a group of men come out of the limo, in which he fights them all off and saves the girl. The Toxic Avenger returns to the health club and attacks the other tormentors who were responsible for what happened to him. He then confronts his archenemies Bozo and Slug, ending in Slug getting thrown out of a moving car and Bozo driving off the side of a cliff.

The leader of the crime ring in Tromaville, who turns out to be Mayor Belgoody (Pat Ryan Jr.), is horrified of what is happening to his goons. He is worried that it will lead back to him and wants Toxieto be taken care of. A group of men, lead by none other than Cigar Face, surround Toxie all pointing guns at him. Right before they fire he jumps up to a fire escape and they end up shooting each other. When the Toxic Avenger kills a seemingly innocent old woman in a dry cleaning store (she is in fact a leader of an underground white slave trade), Belgoody looks at this as his opportunity and calls in the National Guard.

Back in his junkyard home, the Toxic Avenger is terrified of what he has become. He and Sarah decide to move away from the city and take a tent into nearby woods. They are not there long before they are discovered. The Mayor and the National Guard come to kill him but the people of Tromaville will have none of it. The Toxic Avenger saved them on numerous occasions and they are now his friends. The Mayor’s evil ways are revealed, and the Toxic Avenger proceeds to rip out Belgoody’sorgans to see if he has "any guts". The movie ends with a reassurance that wherever evil brews in Tromaville, you will find the Toxic Avenger.


As far as movies go, this isn’t that great, but at the same time the cheesy factor has made it an entertaining cult classic.

The story is pretty much you typical nerd gets pushed around too far, something happens to him, and then he gets a hot girl and revenge. Granted, the hot girl is blind, but you get the picture.

I’m not really surprised that no one in this film has had a career other than this film, as I said it’s not that great of a movie, even by early 80s standards. The special effects and make up seem more like those you would expect to see in a film student’s assignment. However, I can look past all that and really enjoy everything about this picture.

Obviously, the filmmakers set out to make a movie that would entertain rather than win awards, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I actually applaud them for that. Too bad, filmmakers today have forgotten that people go to the movies to be entertained. This isn’t a must see picture by any stretch of the imagination, but it is worth a viewing, especially if you just want to be entertained or are into satire.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

7 Responses to “The Toxic Avenger”

  1. […] story picks is a watered down, SAturday morning version of the Toxic Avenger.  I have no problem with that, but I’m sure there are those that think there should be a […]

  2. […] film is along the line of the Toxic Avenger series, a horrific spoof that never takes itself too seriously and makes no apologies for its […]

  3. […] mixture of horror, camp, and comedy is what makes this film work. In a manner similar to The Toxic Avenger and that entire franchise (not counting the cartoon version, of course), this film seemed to have […]

  4. […] With that in mind, one can sort of go into this film with expectation of gross, violent humor, yet there really isn’t as much as in something like, say, The Toxic Avenger. […]

  5. […] mixture of horror, camp, and comedy is what makes this film work. In a manner similar to The Toxic Avenger and that entire franchise (not counting the cartoon version, of course), this film seemed to have […]

  6. […] Make-up. Whatever can be said about this film, one thing is for sure. The make-up effects, provided by genius monster maker Rick Baker (you may have seen his work in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video, among many other places), are ahead of their time. Hell, they’re even far ahead of today’s skills. Of course, nowadays, someone just punches a few keys on a computer and does it, but it just isn’t the same. The effect of the melting face can be seen in films such as Robocop and I believe, but don’t quote me, The Toxic Avenger. […]

  7. […] hardcore horror picture complete with deep, and unnecessary, character development. Thanks goodness The Toxic Avenger just kills a couple of people, then moves on to the next scenes, rise and […]

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