Saturday, February 13, 2016

Phil Gets Tromatized: THE TOXIC AVENGER (1984) from Troma Entertainment-Feb. 8, 2016

Starring: Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Mark Torgl, Jennifer Babtist, Cindy Manion, Robert Prichard, Gary Schneider, Pat Ryan
Written by Joe Ritter, Gay Partington Terry & Lloyd Kaufman
Cinematography by Lloyd Kaufman & James A. Leobovitz (James London)
Edited by Richard W. Haines
Produced by Lloyd Kaufman & Michael Herz
Directed by Michael Herz & Lloyd Kaufman (Samuel Weil)
Distributed by Troma Entertainment

Hello everybody and welcome to a brand new segment entitled Phil Gets Tromatized. Here, I'll be reviewing the many, many films that Troma has released over the past 42 years. Now some movies are classics, some alright and there are those that suck horribably. However, for my inaugural entry, I'll be talking about the most famous hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength and the first superhero from New Jersey: THE TOXIC AVENGER.

The film's official synopsis: Meet little Melvin. He's a 98lbs loser who works at the Tromaville Health Club where he gets picked on a lot. But when a practical joke goes awry, Melvin falls into a vat of chemical waste, thus transforming him into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength. Melvin becomes The Toxic Avenger, the first superhuman from New Jersey! Soon Toxie is fighting crime and cleaning up Tromaville, much to the chagrin of its fat corrupt Mayor Peter Belgoody (Pat Ryan). But can Toxie and his blind and beautiful girlfriend Sara (Andree Maranda) survive the wrath of the mayor's revenge?

Original Teaser Poster (1984)
Every time I watch this movie, I feel like I'm eighteen years-old again. Being a movie lover, I had never seen anything like this. It was absolutely amazing to watch. Kaufman and Herz also added social commentary to the film, touching on issues like chemical waste, the environment, the underdog becoming the hero and more. There's always something interesting to look for in a Troma movie.

This is the film that put Troma on the map. Originally, nobody wanted to see the film. But when it was booked at the midnight screenings at the Bleeker Street Cinema, the word of mouth spread. Soon there were lines around the block. With its gratuitous nudity, gore, the infamous head crushing scene, toilet humor, and not so special effects, the film went on to win the hearts of fans and became an instant cult classic! The film has spawned three sequels to date (with a fourth one in the works), a children's cartoon show, merchandise, action figures, books, games, etc. Troma had created their own mascot and the world hasn't been the same since. The little New York independent film studio had just became part of pop culture and film history.

To this day, I still get excited whenever I watch the THE TOXIC AVENGER. And finally, after years of seeing the movie on edited VHS copies, Troma released a director's cut of the film back in the mid 90's. Now in the 21st century, it has been transferred on to Blu-Ray and it looks phenomenal. As a result, a whole new generation of fans can now discover this cult classic in hi-definition and get the same kind of excitement as I have been experiencing for the past 22 years. 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

THE TOXIC AVENGER is now available on both standard DVD and as a Blu-Ray/DVD combo. To purchase a copy for yourself, visit your local retailer or visit the Troma website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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