So I was kind of bored today, and I thought, "Hey, why not watch the seminal classic The Toxic Avenger for the first time ever?" And then I checked and saw that it was on Netflix, which is all a movie really has to do for me to watch it.
So there's this horribly awkward nerd Melvyn working as a janitor at a fitness center in "the toxic waste dumping capital of the world",
This is why I stick to places where the likelihood of me randomly happening upon radioactive material is relatively slim.
Instead of immediately burning his flesh off and killing him within minutes, the toxic waste takes a more unconventional approach. Of course, Melvyn is hideously deformed, there's no way around that. But he sprouts up probably a foot, gains about 100 pounds of muscle, and his voice drops an octave. It's almost like he's being played by a completely different actor.
Oh, and he's also developed an uncontrollable urge to punish all the asshole pricks in his town. Of which there seem to be a disproportionate amount. Must be the toxic waste. I mean, it's one thing for meatheads to be dillholes at the gym, it's quite another for them to have a game that involves hit and runs on a point scale. I wonder if these guys (had they lived until the 90s) would have seen Grand Theft Auto and shaken their heads at how lazy the youth of America had gotten. "When I was your age, we used to actually run people down with cars. Real people. Human interaction, that's what's missing these days." No? Just a thought.
- "I hate that mop boy!" Oh my god Bozo you are just so camp.
- I have to hand it to the movie -- when they run over the little boy's head, that's actually a pretty good special effect. Screw CGI, I want more bewigged melon smashing.
- Watching the extras in this movie is easily just as entertaining as the actual plot. Also, I think I just saw Marisa Tomei.
- My personal favorite is when he rips the would-be rapist's arm off and beats him with it.
- Why in the hell does the random fast food robber have nunchucks???
- I love how severely deformed superheros always end up with blind chicks. Didn't that happen with the Thing in the Fantastic 4 too?
- I've never seen a drug dealer who supplied buyers with heroin already in a syringe. Then again, my knowledge of the drug trade consists almost entirely of what I'v seen on Breaking Bad and various after school specials, so what the hell do I know? Still, I suspect the filmmakers were just worried that no one would the guy at the gym was dealing heroin if they didn't actually show a syringe.
- "And you can tell all your scum friends that things are gonna change in this town. I'm not just another pretty face!" OMG I love it.
- Toxic Avenger helping old ladies cross the street and housewives open tight jars? I approve.
- Am I a terrible person if I tell you that I laughed when Slug and Bozo started beating up that old lady with her own cane? It's not funny, but...well it's just so ridiculous that I guess it is.
I'm going to draw a line in the sand and say that I like the special effects in this movie. They're a little on the cheesy side, but they totally match the general tone of the film. It never claims to take itself seriously, and it never expects me to. That's why this and the other Troma films are awesome and lovable, and other movies of a similar production value are relegated to Mystery Science Theater.
Let's have no illusions about it: this is not a good movie. It is, however, a fantastic movie. That's a subtle but significant distinction to make, and sometimes I would rather watch a movie that's silly and enjoyable than one that is technically good. Like, if I had to watch Return of the Living Dead III or Citizen Kane right now, I would probably go with Return of the Living Dead III, not going to lie. The Toxic Avenger may not be winning Oscars anytime soon, but it's a hell of a lot of fun. I also appreciate the dark, almost sadistic sense of humor that runs throughout the entire film. Definitely worth watching.
Thanks for reading, and come back next time!