Archive for Tromaville

Revisited: The Toxic Avenger

Posted in Movie Reviews, Revisited with tags , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Melvin Ferd III, a stereotypical 98-pound weakling, works as a janitor at the Tromaville Health Club in the fictional Tromaville, New Jersey. There, he is tormented by his customers Bozo, Slug, Wanda and Julie. The Mayor of Tromaville is Peter Belgoody, who, unknown to the citizens of the town, is also the leader of a massive Tromaville crime ring, but hides this fact by promoting good will and proposed justice to the town as a cover-up. As days go by, Melvin’s tormentors grow more and more violent, even killing a young boy on a bike in a hit and run and taking photos of the carnage afterwards. Finally one day, they trick Melvin into wearing a pink tutu and kissing a sheep. He is chased around the health club by other customers and jumps out of a second story window. He lands in a drum of toxic waste which immediately causes severe burns and disfigurement. Despite the burning chemicals even causing him to burst into flames, Melvin survives and stumbles home. Drawing a bath to try and scrub some of the chemical residue from his horribly scarred flesh, Melvin begins his transformation into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength.

Elsewhere, a group of drug dealers led by the criminal Cigar Face are harassing a police officer by the name of O’Clancy, trying to buy him off. When he refuses to accept the money, Cigar Face and his gang attack and brutalize him. Then, just as Cigar Face prepares to castrate Officer O’Clancy with his gun, a large creature comes out of nowhere and violently kills Cigar Face’s goons Knuckles and Nipples, and leaves a mop on their faces as a call sign. Cigar Face survives, but has had his testicles smashed by the creature before escaping. O’Clancy is initially terrified of the creature but soon learns he was only trying to help him as the creature approaches him and politely apologizes for his behavior as he has “never done this sort of thing before”. The officer’s rescuer, dubbed the “Monster Hero”, is the now-profoundly mutated Melvin. He tries to return home, but his mother ends up fainting upon the sight of him. Wracked with sorrow, the Monster Hero builds a makeshift home in the junkyard. Mayor Belgoody is shocked at the deaths of some of his goons, but is still confident that the Monster will not come looking for him, hoping that one of his goons will kill him eventually.

Elsewhere in Tromaville, three men named Leroy, Frank and Rico hold up a Mexican fast food restaurant. Leroy kills one of the patrons and Frank attacks a blind woman named Sara after Leroy kills her guide dog. Frank attempts to rape her, but is attacked by the Monster Hero, who ends up ripping off Frank’s right arm. He wreaks bloody vengeance on the three men: Leroy is first covered in whipped cream (and a cherry) before having a milkshake stirrer rammed into his throat, Rico has his hands and wrists plunged into a deep-fryer and Frank is stuffed in an oven. The Monster Hero takes Sara back to her home, where they begin to get to know one another and progressively fall in love. The Monster Hero returns to the Health Club, killing a drug dealer by crushing his face with a weight-lifting machine. There, he attacks popular girl Wanda. Afterwards, the Monster 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. He fights them all off and saves the girl. The Monster Hero soon starts building up a friendly reputation in Tromaville by doing all sorts of “superhero” work from saving two younger boys from being run over by Bozo’s car to even helping the elderly to cross the street.

Meanwhile, Mayor Belgoody is becoming more and more aware about what is happening to his goons as not only are they being killed one by one by the Monster Hero, but some of them are also turning themselves over to the police for their own safety. He is now worried that their deaths will lead up to him sooner than he expects and wants the Monster Hero to be taken care of. One night, Cigar Face returns (covered in bandages and casts) and brings along a new group of Belgoody’s goons to surround the Monster with guns. Before they fire on him, he jumps up to a fire escape and they end up shooting and killing each other with Cigar Face getting away. The Monster Hero returns to the health club again and attacks Julie. Soon afterwards, he confronts the last of his tormentors, Bozo and Slug, who have attacked an old woman and stolen her car when Julie doesn’t show up. Bozo and Slug try to run him over, but the Monster jumps on top of the car and grabs Slug crushing his neck and throwing him out of the moving car. The Monster Hero then confronts Bozo by grabbing him by the face and terrifies him by revealing himself as Melvin from the accident to a horrified Bozo. After several accidents that occur because of Bozo’s driving, the Monster tears off the wheel to the car causing Bozo to drive off the side of a cliff. The car crashes and bursts into flames burning Bozo alive, but unaffecting the monster. One day, when the Monster Hero kills a seemingly innocent old midget woman in a dry cleaning store (it is later revealed that she is in fact a leader of an underground white slave trade) by throwing her into the store’s washing machine, the Monster Hero wanders back to his junkyard home revealing his true identity to Sara and feeling terrified and guilty for what he has become. Sara however tells Melvin that she still loves him no matter what he looks like and the two decide to move away from the city and take a tent into nearby woods.

However, Belgoody finds out about the Monster Hero’s “mishap” and uses this opportunity to call in the National Guard in hopes of finally killing him. Soon Sara and the Monster are discovered in the woods and now surrounded by both the National Guard and the townspeople. Mayor Belgoody comes intent on killing him (whereas the National Guard’s request was originally for capture). But thanks to the Monster’s kind duties to the town, the people of Tromaville including the Monster Hero’s mother will have none of it. Mayor Belgoody’s evil ways are exposed after he threatens to kill O’Clancy for trying to take his gun away from him. The Monster Hero then kills Mayor Belgoody by ripping out his organs to see if he has “any guts”. The film ends with the townspeople’s celebration at the Monster’s acceptance and a reassuring epilogue that wherever evil brews in Tromaville, Melvin the Monster Hero, now dubbed the “Toxic Avenger”, will be there to protect the town

REVIEW:

Man, you could away with just about anything in the 80s and call it a film, couldn’t you? In what other point in time could you have a mutated freak, who is a 7 foot tall killer, basically become a superhero? Only in the 80s, my friends, for today, this would be some 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 repeat!

What is this about?

In this satirical spoof, the meatheads at a local health club push around the geeky janitor who works there. One day, however, the bullies push too far, and the janitor falls out a window and into a dump truck filled with toxic sludge. The toxic dip transforms the janitor into a hulking superhero — the Toxic Avenger — who fights for justice at all costs and is plenty popular with the ladies too!

What did I like?

Defend the little people. After he turns into the Toxic Avenger, Melvin is compelled to defend the citizens of Tromaville. In some random scene, which was obviously placed there to explain to the audience why he was killing people, it said that the toxic waste, along with the way he was turned subconsciously made him want to obliterate evil. No problem with that from me. I actually liked that the little guy who gets constantly picked on turns into a big guy and can return the favor!

Gratuitous 80s. If you’ve ever seen a movie from the 80s, then you know that back then they didn’t hesitate to show as much skin and violence as they possible could whenever it was possible. Why else would there be girls in bikinis in the gym, or return trips to the steam room, or the crushing of a kid’s head, etc. In today’s cinema, these things don’t happen without someone getting all up in arms and offended, but back then no one even batted an eyelash. Sure, the picture could have done without some of this stuff, but what fun would it be?

Monster no more. After his change, the director made a brilliant move with Melvin. For about 30 minutes or so of his killing spree and daily life, we don’t see his face. All we do is hear him growling, crushing skulls and whatnot. Then, as he is about to exact revenge on a girl in the steam room, he dons a cloak a la The Elephant Man, and sneaks up on her (something her boyfriend had done earlier in the film). She thinks it is her beloved betrothed, rips it off and we see the face of the “monster”. Genius way of introducing us to the hideous face, as well as developing the mystery notion of is he friend or foe up to that point.

What didn’t I like?

Muscles? Isn’t it amazing the varying effects toxic waste can have? Apparently, it can turn you into a homicidal maniac clown that terrorized Gotham City and Batman, it can totally kill you (hence the word toxic), or it can change you from a 90 lb weakling nerd to a 7 ft muscle-bound mutant with God-like strength. I don’t question the mutation, especially given the cheap look of this film, but I do wonder what it is about toxic waste that made Melvin grow a couple of feet and add on muscles, not to mention totally change his voice. I guess it is the same thing that was in those old milk commercials from the early 90s. Kudos if you remember those!

Thing, is that you? As I’ve been typing this post, a thought came to mind. There are similarities between the Toxic Avenger and Thing from the Fantastic Four. For instance, they both are hideously, seemingly irreversibly disfigured/changed. Also, they have blind (and hot) girlfriends. Now, isn’t that one of the weirdest coincidences? What are the chances? I don’t mind that Melvin has a blind girl for a girlfriend, I just question why she had to be blind to fall in love with a hideously disfigured superhero when usually all it takes is for them to save their life a time or two *COUGH* Lois Lane *COUGH*

Out of place. Earlier today, I was reading an article about how a fat woman wore a 2 piece bikini to the beach. She has been getting mostly praise and accolade for taking that step as a positive image for women’s body images. Truthfully, I don’t think she looked that fat from the picture they showed, but that’s neither here nor there. In the gym scenes, though, we have all these fit, attractive, scantily clad girls running around, and then there is this one chick in sweats, looking miserable, and I think at one time she was eating a donut. Yes, there is a random fat girl in these scenes. I don’t mind that she’s there, but did they need to make her stick out so? Especially since she’s not really a character in the film! I don’t recall her having any lines or being addressed in any way. This just seemed to be a mean-spirited joke by the filmmakers that didn’t go over very well with me, that’s for sure.

All in all, The Toxic Avenger, for all its B-Movie level acting, special effects, and dialogue is a fun time. Believe it or not, there are a couple of plots in here. One involving the corrupt mayor and the other with the bullies that are responsible for Melvin’s transformation, inadvertently. Neither is really that important, though, as the big story is the life and time of our hero, which is who and why you are watching this film anyway. Do I recommend this? Yes, very much so, but I warn you about the sequels (and apparently a musical?). It is all downhill from here, so enjoy it while you can, or check out the cheesy cartoon that is fun, too…in that early 90s kind of way.

4 out of 5 stars

Advertisements

Toxic Crusaders: The Movie

Posted in Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In the latest installment of the adventures of America’s most improbable superhero, The Toxic Avenger battles the evildoers who threaten his home-sweet-hometown of Tromaville — especially Dr. Killemoff (Michael J. Pollard), who attempts to destroy Toxie as he travels from the planet Smogula. The dastardly doctor’s plans for Tromaville must be stopped at all costs. Thank heavens America’s favorite mutant mop-wielder is around to save the day!

REVIEW:

I remember the series that this movie spawned when I was younger and loved it. This film brought back memories of how much I loved the cartoon.

The animation is vintage 80s. The dialogue is witty. The characters, however, area bit rushed into development, but then again, this was meant as an introduction to the series, so that’s excusable.

The 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 difference. I don’t understand why, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. So, if you’re looking for a good cartoon movie that brings back memories of the good old Saturday morning cartoons from the 80s (when they were actually hand drawn), then you should check this out.

4 out of 5 stars

Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV

Posted in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Horror, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

After the events of the Toxic Avenger III, when the notorious Diaper Mafia take hostage the Tromaville School for the Very Special, only the Toxic Avenger and his morbidly obese sidekick Lardass can save Tromaville. However, an explosion results in some unforeseeable consequences, creating a dimensional tear between Tromaville and its dimensional mirror image, Amortville. While the Toxic Avenger (Toxie) is trapped in Amortville, Tromaville comes under the control of the superhuman powered hero’s evil doppelgänger, the Noxious Offender (Noxie).

REVIEW:

Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten to know the Toxic Avenger and must say that this film is closer to the original than the previous two sequels in term of tone.

There were surprisingly quite a few relatively big names associated with this  film, such as Stan Lee narrating, Ron Jeremy and Cory Feldman is minor roles, and, though his scene was cut, Hugh Hefner. Say what you will, but those are big names compared to everyone else that has acted in the franchise.

I didn’t really care for the new voice of Toxie.  I may just be so used to hearing the previous actor, but for some reason, it just didn’t sound right.

The plot was a little convoluted and slightly confusing, but given the fact that it deal with two dimensions, it was supposed to be. I kinda wished they would have given more of a flashback on Lardass, rather than just a slight summary of where he came from in order to explain who this new guy was.

I’m sure the special needs community was a little outraged by the portrayal of those with disabilities in this film. I know I found it hard at times, but you have to remember this is just a film, and not very rooted in reality.

This was meant to reboot the Toxic Avenger franchise, but didn’t really accomplish that goal. That’s too bad really. As I said before, this is the best in the franchise, second only to the original. Take the time and give it a shot. It’s not the best film in the world, but you will enjoy it.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Toxic Avenger part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie

Posted in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Horror, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

After 10 years of getting Apocalypse Inc. out of town, the Toxic Avenger has nothing to do. He tries to get a job but fails, as a normal job is no place for a creature of superhuman size and strength. Until one day Toxie is told that his blind girlfriend, Claire, has a chance to see again, but it will cost a great deal of money. When the famous superhero gets the opportunity to work as a spokesman for Apocalypse Inc, he agrees so he can get money for Claire. As he was unaware of the evil nature of his employers, Apocalypse Inc .took over Tromaville and enslaved the populace. After Claire’s surgery, she opens up Toxie’s eyes and it is revealed that The Devil himself is the chairman of Apocalypse Inc. Things begin to make a change for the worse as the Toxic Avenger will be transformed back to his original form, the dorky Melvin Junko, and must face a showdown with the Devil.

REVIEW:

The more I watch these Toxic Avenger films, the more I wish they were more popular. I get these feeling that they could be cult favorites, if they’re not already. Granted, parts 2 and 3 don’t have the same feel as the original as they trade in some of the satirical violent acts for slapstick comedy, that doesn’t make them any less entertaining.

In this film, Toxie sqaures off agianst the devil. I must say, in all incantations of the devil that I’ve seen, this is the first where he isn’t a big red monster, but rather some sort of green, lizard-like creature. I’m not going to say I didn’t like it, but it was different. The transformation sequence went on a bit longer than it should have, though.

Speaking of transformation, if they were going to bring little Melvin back, then I believe they should have tracked down the original. I don’t know what the reason for him not reprising his role, though, so I can’t hold them fully responsible, but put that down as a preference.

I really enjoyed that Claire had a larger part in this one, rather than just running around like a ditsy blonde. Nothing wrong with being a ditsy blonde, but if she’s going to be a major character, then she needs to actually be involved in the film in some way other than just eye candy for Toxie to come home to, in my opinion.

All in all, this isn’t the strongest of the series, but I have seen worse. It is enjoyable, but geared toward a specific audience. If you’re not in that audience, then you may not enjoy this as much as you could/should. Still, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t at least give it a chance.

3 out of 5 stars

The Toxic Avenger, Part 2

Posted in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Horror, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , on February 11, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

5 years after the events of the original film, The Toxic Avenger is lured to Tokyo, Japan by the evil corporation Apocalypse Inc. So while the Toxic Avenger is fighting crime in Tokyo, Apocalypse Inc. spread evil in Tromaville and it is up to the famous hideously deformed superhero of superhuman size and strength to stop the abominable Apocalypse from attacking both Tokyo and Tromaville.

REVIEW:

More often than not, sequels don’t live up to the standard of the original. This happens to be the case with The Toxic Avenger, Part II.

There are a few moments here and there that are worth watching, but for the most part, this is a sub par film. I belive a good portion of the blame has to go with the fact that there was 5 year hiatus between films. That lengthy amount of time may have seemed to the writers, producers, and director like they were making a better film, but it appears as if they made a very bad B-movie.

The satirical spoof elemets are the highlight of the film, but the story just doesn’t seem to gel. For me, it seems as if they just came up with a plot device that they pulled out of a hat or something just to make this film different from the first. In my opinion, if you can’t come up with a better plot, then the film should not have been made. Still, there are some redeeming elements that keep this film from being a total bomb, but don’t expect much from this film.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Toxic Avenger

Posted in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Horror, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , on January 26, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

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.

REVIEW:

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