action, comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

February 24th, 2019 Movie – Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV

the toxic avenger 4

Now that we have the bad sequels out of the way, let’s move on to the official sequel. Don’t believe me, just ask Stan Lee (R.I.P.). As a matter of fact, he says it himself that the first two sequels were shitty (I don’t know if he was apologizing for the sequels or saying the word “shitty”) and that this was the real sequel. Anyways, I first saw this movie a couple of years ago on Hulu when it was available to stream on there. Needless to say, I loved it much better than the other two sequels, so let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV.

The plot: 15 years after Melvin fell into a vat and became The Toxic Avenger, a criminal group called “The Diaper Mafia” enter Tromaville’s School for the Very Special and hold the students and their teacher, Mrs. Weiner, hostage. After killing two of the students, and threatening to kill more unless their demands are met, The Diaper Mafia ask that Bikini Anchor Samantha Chambers be allowed to interview them and when she and her cameraman arrive, their leader, Tex Diaper, begins explaining their reasons for their attack. When Tex goes to attack the pregnant Mrs. Weiner, Samantha Chambers reveals that she is actually Toxie in disguise, while the camerman is Toxie’s sidekick Lardass. As Toxie and Lardass begin fighting with the Diaper Mafia, Tex reveals that his father, Tromaville Police Sgt. Kazinski, had helped supply them with the weapons for their assault, including a bomb. When Toxie kills Tex, the bomb is armed but before he can try to defuse it, Toxie’s alarm goes off and he rushes back to his home to impregnate his wife Sarah. After they have sex, Sarah argues with Toxie about his wanting to rush back to the school instead of staying with her. When Toxie returns to the school, the bomb is about to explode and Lardass attempts to eat it while Toxie tries to save some of the students but the bomb explodes, with Toxie only able to rescue two students, Tito and Sweetie Honey. As Toxie mourns the death of Lardass, the police begin shooting at him and he is forced to run from them. When a car pulls up, Toxie is surprised to see Sgt. Kabukiman driving the car, and Kabukiman keeps calling him Noxie. Back at the school, another Toxic Avenger appears and as the crowd cheers his survival, he rips the arms off of Chief Newman and begins attacking the crowd. As Toxie and Noxie both try to figure out what is going on, a scientist explains that Tromaville has an alternate dimensional duplicate called Amortville, and the explosion somehow caused Toxie (along with Sweetie Honey and Tito) and Noxie to end up in the other dimension. Back in Tromaville, Noxie encounters Sgt. Kazinski, who is happy about “Toxie’s” sudden change of heart and wants to help him, while the mayor assembles a team of super heroes, led by Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. to capture Noxie. Back in Amortville, Toxie rescues Sweetie Honey and Tito from some drug dealers, then takes them back to his home only to discover his shack is not at the junkyard. Toxie tries to find a way back to their home and tells them to stay there, but Tito, who is a self proclaimed rebel, leaves and reluctantly lets Sweetie Honey come with him when she complains about being left alone. After saving the head of a man who had been dragged behind a truck, Toxie encounters Lardass’ doppelganger, a disgraced scientist named Chester. When Chester tells Toxie about how Noxie stole his daughter Claire, causing him to give up his work on interdimensional travel, and shows Toxie a picture of her, Toxie remarks that Claire looks like Sarah and goes to rescue her. Arriving at Noxie’s sex dungeon, Toxie finds Claire and is surprised to see that she can see, but is deaf. After convincing Claire that he is not there to harm her, Toxie tries to take her out of the dungeon but is stopped by Evil Kabukiman. Toxie tells Claire to run while he fights with Evil Kabukiman, with their fight carrying them to the hot dog factory, where Evil Mad Cowboy joins in. As Toxie fights with the two villians, he sees that Tito, Sweetie Honey, and Pompey (the head) have been captured and he works to help them escape after killing Evil Mad Cowboy. Back in Tromaville, Noxie finds Toxie’s shack and ends up sleeping with Sarah when Kazinski shows up and tells him what is going on. Noxie then kills the mayor and takes over Tomaville, killing all of the superheroes that were assigned to deal with him. Kabukiman managed to escape the slaughter and in a drunken stumble, ends up at Toxie’s home and passes out on the tied up Sarah. Later, Sarah learns that she is pregnant with twins but they are from two different fathers and she is told that she should get an abortion or else the two warring fetuses will cause her to explode. Claire heads to a family planning center but the nature of Toxie and Noxie’s sperm causes her pregnancy to accelerate and she ends up going into labor and is rushed to the hospital. Back in Amortville, Chester and Claire find Toxie, Sweetie Honey, Tito, and Pompey at the dump and Chester tells Toxie he will help him get back to his own dimension. After going through his colleague’s notes, he hands Toxie a pair of ruby slippers and Toxie grabs Sweetie Honey but Tito refuses to leave, deciding to stay in Amortville and help the citizens against Evil Kabukiman, with Pompey acting as his sidekick. After traveling into a 70’s porno film and Heaven, Toxie and Sweetie Honey finally make it back to Tromaville, where Kabukiman tells them about what has happened. Toxie heads to the hospital and begins fighting with Kazinski’s police force, confronting and killing Kazinski in the process. Toxie eventually finds Sarah’s room and sees Noxie standing over her and the two men start fighting, with their respective babies fighting inside Sarah’s womb. Toxie manages to defeat Noxie, tearing him apart to revel the Melvin within him but when the evil Melvin attacks him, Toxie throws Melvin out the window, where he lands in a vat of toxic waste and as he becomes engulfed in flames, Melvin runs off and swears he will return. Back in the hospital room, Sarah is handed her newborn baby as Mrs. Weiner and Sweetie Honey show up to hand Toxie some awards. Kabukiman shows up just as a doctor shows up with Sarah’s second baby and Sarah thinks it is the evil baby but when the doctor moves the blanket, it is revealed to look like Kabukiman. An angry Toxie turns to face Kabukiman, who tries to explain he was drunk when it happened before running off while everyone else laughs.

This is about as gross and raunchy of a B-movie that you could hope to find and while I will admit that there are some scenes that can be a bit much, this is a fun movie to watch. The acting was pretty good, with David Mattey doing a good job playing both Toxie and Noxie, while Clyde Lewis did a great job voicing the differing versions. I also liked Paul Kyrmse (Kabukiman) and Joe Fleishaker (Lardass/Chester) but was kind of indifferent to Heidi Sjursen’s portrayal of Sarah/Claire, but I will admit that some of that might be due to the limited time she was on screen. The story was pretty good, especially how they acknowledged the previous sequels but chose not to use anything from them. Well, I say that but there was one little bit of inconsistency that did annoy me. In the opening narration, Stan Lee says that Melvin’s last name is Ferd, from the original movie, but when they are in the hospital, the name on Sarah’s room says Sarah Junko, which was the last name from the previous sequels. I did like the alternate dimension aspect and how they had Noxie have a little tuft of hair on his head. I guess they decided to use that instead of a moustache to indicate he was an evil doppelganger. The special effects did look on the cheap side at times, and I will say that there was a lot more toilet humor than was really necessary, but overall, they had a nice blend of cheesy goodness that you would expect from this sort of movie. A nice, disgusting end to the series and a fun movie to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Standard
action, comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

February 17th, 2019 Movie – The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation Of Toxie

the toxic avenger 3

So here is a question I must ask myself. Since I am basically free to pick whatever movie I want to watch for this blog now, why am I still choosing to do today’s movie. I mean, I hated the first sequel in the series so why would I go ahead and watch the next movie, when it is nothing more than the second half of the sequel. Unfortunately, I am somewhat of a completionist and tend to go through with such endeavors to the end. So let’s go ahead and get today’s movie over with as I watch The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation Of Toxie.

The plot: In Tromaville, NJ, a group of thugs working for Apocalypse Inc. enter the local video store and proceed to take the people inside hostage. Saying that there is too much variety in the store, the goons proceed to tell the hostages that they will only be allowed to watch the “Top 20” videos, including Apocalypse Inc’s self help videos, and proceed to destroy the other videos, including the Troma movies, and kill one of the hostages. While the goons are trashing the place, the Toxic Avenger arrives at the store and proceeds to kill the goons and as the hostages thank Toxie, he tells them he is back. A few months earlier, Toxie was feeling depressed as he had cleaned up all of the crime in Tromaville but was unable to do anything else. As he returns to his home with his fiance Claire, he receives a flyer for a surgery that could restore Claire’s eyesight but it cost $347,000. Toxie decides to get a job so he Claire can have the surgery but all of his attempts failed, causing him to become even more depressed and insecure. Meanwhile, the Chairman of Apocalypse Inc is still upset that Toxie managed to force them out of Tromaville but comes up with a new way to gain control of Tromaville, then take over the world. He sends a letter to Toxie, offering him a job with enough money to afford Claire’s surgery and Toxie accepts the job, with his blood mixing into his signature on the contract. Toxie happily shows his mom that he has a job and pays for Claire’s surgery. Meanwhile, Apocalypse Inc proceeds to take over Tromaville and after the Chairman speaks to the crowd, Toxie talks to the crowd to try and convince the townsfolk that this was for the best, but notes that the crowd, including his mother, don’t seem happy with what he is doing. Meanwhile, Claire’s surgery is a success and when she finally sees Toxie, she says he is beautiful and falls even more in love with him. However, Claire’s newfound sight allows her to see what has become of Tromaville and how Toxie has become “yuppified”. Claire tries to talk to Toxie and tell him that what he is doing is wrong and he argues that he signed the contract for her and leaves. After seeing some kids tearing down a poster of him and calling him a traitor, Toxie goes to his favorite place to think and realizes that he has been duped by the Chairman. Toxie returns to his trailer and apologizes to Claire, telling her that he will make things right. Back in the present, Toxie works on regaining the people’s trust again and taking the fight to the Chairman. Toxie heads to the church, which the Chairman has converted into his new headquarters, and confronts the Chairman but the Chairman suddenly changes into a green skinned demon and reveals that he is really The Devil. The Devil then challenges Toxie to his favorite game, The 5 Levels of Doom, in order to save Tromaville. The first level, Earth, causes Melvin to sink down into the ground and as hemanages to push his head back above the surface, Malfaire pays a man to run over Toxie with a lawn mower but Toxie catches the blade in his mouth and spits it back at an Apocalypse Inc. goon. The second level, Fire, has The Devil engulfed in flames and he proceeds to set Toxie on fire as well. The citizens of Tromaville help extinguish Toxie but with The Devil still on fire, and no water available, Toxie is forced to urinate on him to put him out. For the third level, Wind, The Devil has a bus full of children drive towards a cliff and perch on the edge. He then summons winds to blow the bus off the cliff but Toxie is able to get the kids out of the back of the bus before it falls, where it lands on Malfaire and kills her. The Devil repairs the bus and for the next level, Water, he drives off, with Toxie clinging to the hood, and crashes into a massive puddle of water in order to drown Toxie but Toxie uses a sumo trick he learned in Japan to save himself. For the final level, The Devil changes Toxie back into Melvin Junko and the Apocalypse Inc employees proceed to bully him. Claire attempts to help Melvin but The Devil causes her to become blind again and everyone takes cover as she begins blindly shooting around. As The Devil proceeds to taunt Melvin some more, Claire makes her way back to the trailer and finds the contract Melvin had signed and proceeds to find an escape clause in it, saying that the contract would be rendered null and void by an Act of God. As The Devil mocks that God isn’t there, a messenger named Angel arrives with a message for Melvin. As Melvin receives the letter, it suddenly starts raining and he is turned back into the Toxic Avenger. Toxie then proceeds to rip The Devil’s skin off, revealing a mass of rats and bugs covering his body. Toxie then decapitates The Devil and tosses the head into the air, where it ends up landing in Japan. In Tokyo, the TV announcer that kept running into Toxie is doing a broadcast about a hair growth product when The Devil’s head lands on his test subject, and the announcer excitedly keeps spraying the man. Back in Tromaville, Toxie and Claire celebrate his victory by getting married.

Yeh, this is just as bad as Part II, which makes perfect sense considering the circumstances regarding the movie. The acting was as bad as the first one, with Phoebe Legere almost seeming worst than she was in Part II, while the narration continued to be absolutely annoying. The story honestly didn’t feel all that original, and that is not just because of their playing up a Biblical aspect in the plot. I meant the whole aspect of the hero selling out to the bad guys for what he feels is a good cause just seemed completely played out so the whole movie just felt boring. The special effects regarding some of the blood and gore did seem a little better in this movie than the previous one, but was still not as good as the original movie. So it is a lot of the same with nothing new added to it, which does not make for a very good movie.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

Standard
action, comedy, horror, sci-fi

February 10th, 2019 Movie – The Toxic Avenger Part II

the toxic avenger 2

Back in the day, I could always count on Troma for my dose of B-movie goodness. That being said, as much as I like B-movies I can admit that there are times where the movies are not as good. That is the case with today’s movie. See, I have always enjoyed The Toxic Avenger but when I first watched the sequel, I honestly thought it was cheaper than the original. Granted, that has been several years since I watched it so it is possible that my opinion will have changed. Only way to find out is to go ahead and watch today’s movie, The Toxic Avenger Part II and find out.

The plot: Having killed the corrupt mayor and other criminals in Tromaville, Melvin, The Toxic Avenger, has made the city safe for the citizens. However, with no more evil to destroy, Melvin is at a loss for what to do so he takes a job at a Home for the Blind so he can spend more time with his girlfriend Claire (Sara in The Toxic Avenger), but he still finds himself depressed. One day, the Chairman of Apocalypse Inc. arrives in his limo and sends one of his underlings to deliver a bomb to Melvin while he is inside the Home. When the house explodes, some of the Chairman’s underlings begin putting a property development sign on the lot but Melvin emerges from the rubble and kills them. The Chairman sends out some more thugs to kill Melvin but Melvin easily kills them all, except for one that leaves to go to his piano lessons, and the Chairman drives away in disgust. At Apocalypse Incs corporate headquarters, the Chairman berates his underlings for losing Tromaville and failing to kill the Toxic Avenger, as it disrupts his plans for the company. The Chairman’s assistant Malfaire says that she has come up with a plan to remove Melvin from the equation. Malfaire tells the assembly that the Tromatons created when Melvin fell into the barrel of toxic waste are what causes him to seek out and destroy evil but their scientists in Japan have created an anti-Tromaton formula which will remove his strength. However, since they are unable to transport the formula to them, they will use Melvin’s psychiatrist, who is employed by Apocalypse Inc., to send Melvin to Japan instead. Melvin’s psychiatrist tells him that his problems are due to his father abandoning him and that he should go to Japan, where she says his father now lives, and confront him. Melvin is hesitant to leave Claire and his mother but Claire tells him that he should go so he hops onto a windboard and sails off to Japan, entering the country “Godzilla-style”. Unable to speak Japanese, Melvin had one of the workers at a Japanese restaurant from home write out his father’s name on a napkin so he can show it to people but doesn’t have any luck. One day, his Tromatons act up when a woman named Masami is attacked by a gang and he pursues and kills her attackers. Masami thanks Melvin for saving her and helps him to try and locate his dad but they have no luck. Meanwhile, Apocalypse Inc. has taken advantage of Melvin’s absence by taking over Tromaville and every aspect of the city, even changing the name of the town to Apocalypseville. The citizens tried to fight back against Apocalypse Inc. but they were powerless against the Chairman’s goons. Back in Japan, Melvin and Masami finally locate Melvin’s father, Big Mac Junko, at a fish market but Melvin is shocked to learn that his father is a drug smuggler and white slave trader. Big Mac shows Melvin that he has a bottle of Anti-Tromatons and dares him to come after him, allowing his men to attack Melvin and Masami. Melvin is able to defeat Big Mac’s men and the ends up fighting Big MAc, who dons a sumo outfit to battle his son. When Big Mac pulls out the bottle of anti-Tromatons, Melvin kicks it out of his hands, then throws Big Mac onto a chopping block, where a distracted worker chops him into pieces, but the bottle falls to the ground and breaks open, exposing Melvin to the anti-Tromatons. Masami takes Melvin to a sumo dojo, where Melvin is restored to health and after thanking Masami, he heads back home to Tromaville. When he arrives back in Tromaville, Melvin is shocked to see what has become of Tromaville and quickly races home, where he rescues Claire from being attacked by Malfaire and her “Bad Girls”. Melvin then begins cleaning up the city and removing Apocalypse Inc’s influence so the Chairman decides to simply destroy the city. Carrying 300 lbs of nitroglycerin, the Black Rider rides into town with the intention of crashing into city hall so Melvin gets into a cab and chases after him. Melvin is able to stop the Black Rider’s plan, making him crash into a house and explode. Later, as the people celebrate Melvin saving the city, Big Mac Junko appears and greets his son and wife. When Melvin asks who the guy was in Japan, his father explains that that was Big Mac Bunko, and that he had been mistaken for him for years. With his father back in his life and the city safe, Melvin is able to feel good about himself, while the Chairman and Malfaire are seen trying to hitch a ride away from the city.

The Toxic Avenger Part II was absolutely panned by the critics, holding a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics felt that the movie lacked the energy of the original but did admit that the cheese factor would appeal to fans of that type of movie. The original edit of the movie was over 4 hours long so Troma decided to cut the film into two separate movies. John Altamura, who was hired to play The Toxic Avenger, was fired during production and Rick Fazio, who was asked to serve as a distant shot double, ended up taking over the role. Since John Altamura’s footage was used in the movie, as well as Part III, both men’s names are listed in the credits as paying The Toxic Avenger. The movie was a box office dud, earning $792,966 off of a $2.3 million budget.

Nope, I am going to stand by my original opinion. This movie is definitely a step down from the original movie. The acting was so over the top bad at times that it honestly made the movie less enjoyable for me. Having the voice over of Melvin serving as the narrator didn’t help matters, as it honestly just started irritating the hell out of me. The story honestly felt a little weak, which I admit might be due to the fact that the movie was basically cut in half due to it’s length. One thing that did annoy me was the name changes that occurred between the first movie and the second one. I can kind of understand the reason for changing Melvin’s last name from Ferd to Junko, as it made it easier to utilize the mistaken identity of his father for Big Mac Bunko in Japan. However, I don’t understand why they changed Melvin’s girlfriend’s name from Sara to Claire. I mean, how hard is it to look up what the character’s name was in the first movie and simply continue using it. The special effects were ok but I felt like they did a lot more in the first movie with a lot less money. All told, this is a let down of a sequel and not really worth watching unless you want to watch all of The Toxic Avenger movies.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

Standard
action, comedy, horror, movie, movie review

February 3rd, 2019 Movie -The Toxic Avenger

the toxic avenger

A few weeks ago, I started watching this series of movies again and decided, what the heck, why not review them as well. So let’s get right to it as I rewatch my first introduction to the Troma Universe. I remember seeing the video case for this movie at video stores all the time but was never able to convince my parents to rent it for me. When we got cable TV, I remember catching this one night during some late night TV binge watching and thoroughly enjoying it. So lets have a bot of fun with today’s movie, The Toxic Avenger.

The plot: In the small New Jersey town of Tromaville, the toxic waste capital of the world, a young nerd named Melvin Ferd works at the local health club but is mocked by everyone there, especially Bozo, Slug, Wanda, and Julie. One day, the 4 bullies pull a prank on Melvin, with Julie seducing him into wearing a pink tutu and having him meet her in the pool area, where Melvin is tricked into kissing a sheep. As the bullies, as well as the other health club patrons, laugh and taunt him, Melvin runs from them and ends up jumping out a window, landing in a barrel of toxic waste that was in a truck parked outside. A crowd forms as Melvin reacts in pain from the toxic waste and as two police officers try to disperse the crowd, one of them touches Melvin and his hands catch on fire, while Melvin, now on fire himself, runs down the road and out of sight. Melvin makes it home and douses the flames in his bath tub but the toxic waste has caused his body to start mutating into a “hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength.” That night, a drug dealer named Cigar Face and his 2 flunkies attempt to bribe Officer O’Clancy but O’Clancy, one of the few honest cops in the town, refuses. The drug dealers then attack him and prepare to shoot him when Melvin appears and attacks them. Melvin kills Cigar Face’s two flunkies, shoving mops in their faces when he is done, and chases Cigar Face away, then helps O’Clancy to his feet, apologizing for his actions as he does. Later, O’Clancy tells reporters what happened, dubbing the monster a hero, but as the mayor hears of the incident, he is upset as Cigar Face works for him. Melvin attempts to go home but when his mom sees his appearance, she screams and slams the door in his face so Melvin begins making a home for himself in the local junkyard. The next day, three men (Frank, Leroy, and Rico) rob a Mexican restaurant; killing one of the patrons when he tries to stand up to them. Seeing a blind girl named Sara sitting there, Frank has Leroy kill her guide dog, then attempts to rape her when Melvin shows up to stop them. Melvin kills the three robbers then goes to check on Sara, who asks him to help her home, where Sara invites him inside and offers him a sandwich. During a press briefing, a scientist theorizes that the monster is somehow drawn to criminals due to some need to destroy evil. Melvin heads back to the Health Club and kills a drug dealer that works for the mayor, then later attacks Wanda in the sauna, burning her butt on the hot rocks. As Melvin continues to help people and stop criminals, he begins to become beloved by the citizens but the mayor, afraid Melvin will eventually attack him, decides to try and have him killed but his men fail. Meanwhile, Melvin also continues his relationship with Sara, with the two becoming more romantically involved and Sara moving into his home. Melvin returns to the Health Club to get revenge on Julie, chasing her down into the basement and cutting all of her hair off. The next day, Bozo and Slug steal a car so they can go on a hit & run spree but Melvin shows up and attacks them, throwing Slug from the car as it is moving and causes Bozo to drive off a cliff. Some time later, Melvin kills a little old woman and, feeling guilty over the incident, decides to head out to his private spot with Sara so he can avoid killing anyone else. In town, the mayor is happy to hear about the incident, as he feels he can use the attack to ensure Melvin is killed but when the chief of police tells him that the woman was the head of a white trafficking, the mayor covers up the story to ensure the people don’t learn the truth. The chief of police conducts a search for the monster and when his men spot Melvin and Sara in a field, the report back to the mayor, and the mayor calls the governor for assistance, who sends out the National Guard. As the National Guard surround the camp site, several of the citizens, including Melvin’s mom, and people that Melvin saved stand in front of Melvin, begging with the mayor to spare him. The mayor tells the National Guard and police to get the children out of there and fire but the refuse to do so. The Mayor attempts to kill Melvin but when he fails, he begs for his life and offers to cut Melvin in on his criminal business but Melvin kills him. Melvin then rejoins Sara and as the crowd cheer them, they head back to their home in the junkyard, with Melvin continuing to protect the citizens of Tromaville as the Toxic Avenger.

The Toxic Avenger met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A silly and ribald superhero spoof,¬†Toxic Avenger¬†uninhibited humor hits more than it misses.” The monster Melvin turns into was never actually referred to as the Toxic Avenger by any actor in the film besides the narrator. They did not have a name for the character as the film was being made. This is proved further by the kids in the film wearing t-shirts that say “I love the monster hero”. The movie was minimally successful in theaters, earning $800,000 off of a $500,000 budget, but it would gain cult classic status due to late night showings and home video rentals, resulting in 3 sequels and a short lived cartoon series.

This movie is still as ridiculously 80’s as I remember it, and just as fun to watch. The acting was pretty decent, with Mitch Coheen doing a good job as the Toxic Avenger, with Andree Maranda and Pat Ryan doing equally good as Sara and the mayor respectively. The story was pretty much a spoof of some of the more popular comic book super heroes, where someone is accidentally exposed to radiation, in this case toxic waste, and mutates into a super strong being as a result. While making him a crime fighter was obviously the logical process, adding the part about his being drawn to and seeking out evil was a nice twist, almost making him like Ghost Rider in a sense. The special effects were pretty graphic at times, such as the kid’s head being squashed by Bozo when he runs him over, and at other times they are so totally cheesy that they make you laugh, but that blended together for a nice but of fun. An absolute staple of 80’s B-movie goodness that everyone should watch at least once.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Standard