Friday, December 16, 2011

Superhero Flicks, Part 12.7: All The Rest (Part 1.7, Toxie)

So, from childhood with Transformers, adolescence with Robocop, now, the one that got me into full-fledged cult cinema...

The Toxic Avenger.

Ahh, Troma, I bring them up a fuckin' lot, so, for the uninitiated, lemme walk you through.

Imagine...if Ed Wood had lived, cracked wise to that he was making crap, and started doing it on purpose, with a sense of humor about himself, acquired a penchant for gore, and became a whole studio.

Kinda like that.
When I compare things to Troma, that's what I'm going for.
Cheap, goofy, messy, doesn't give a damn what you think.
For better, or worse.

And the mascot character, and banner title, for this little-studio-that-could....Toxie, The Toxic Avenger.

The Toxic Avenger

The film-

This blew my mind when I first saw it...and it's still pretty fuckin' good.

Have you ever sat around with your geek friends, after some regular superhero movie, or show, and commented on how..if a guy really got exposed to heavy amounts of radiation, he'd be all scarred, and deformed, and cancerous, and how..if a guy really had super strength enough to knock down a brick wall, or rip the door off a safe...if he hit a regular guy, it'd squash him like a frog?

Well, here, you get both of those realities super-imposed.

As the result of a prank gone too far, Melvin Furd (in the sequels, Junko) a dorky janitor at a gym/spa falls into a barrel of toxic waste, and hideously transforms into The Toxic Avenger.

The mutation endows him with super strength, and an enhanced instinct to detect, and the compulsion to brutally destroy, evil.

The kills are pretty grody, not for a weak stomach.
Although, it's often so over-the-top, it's cartoonish, much like Evil Dead 2.

Oh, also, there's boobies.

Bring a sick sense of humor, and you'll find this to be a hoot and a half.

This is the best of the batch...although 4 is a damned good contender....

The history-

Steve (he of many an anecdote) turned me onto this, and indeed, Troma itself.
I probably would've clumsily stumbled onto it on my own eventually, but he gets the credit.

Damn, but these were hard to buy on VHS out in the sticks back in the day....

There were a whole bunch of cuts of this. That I know of, there was an unrated cut, then an R rated cut, that I had the misfortune of running afoul of, and then a TV cut I saw on USA Network, that cut every little speck of blood, but inserted scenes I'd never seen before, that changed the whole movie all around, a good way, some bits had more backstory, and made more sense...although..some bits were awkward, the Mayor getting a massage from a ditzy foreign chick who doesn't speaky-English springs to mind.

But, I'm pretty sure the ultimate director's cut DVD has all the gore of the unrated cut, and the lost scenes from the TV cut all blended together.

Um..what else?
Oh, yeah, linked the opening theme in SOWTHIFL (song of whenever the hell I feel like).

The Toxic Avenger Part II

The film-

Filmed back to back with Part 3, and as a joint production with some Japanese firm, this one is unabashedly goofy.
WAY sillier, and cartoonish than part 1.
Almost a bloody Roadrunner cartoon.
No...there's no "almost", about it...

And, a totally new cast, including a new Toxie, and a different Toxie makeup.
But, one can use the excuse comic geeks used for the different Hulks by different artists, he mutated.

If you compare it to the first one, you'll just hurt yourself; just accept this as a weird screwball alterni-verse that eschews subtlety like a lion turns away from veggies.

Get in the spirit, and have fun.

One thing...mild spoiler, nothing plot specific, but get ready to suffer a looping instrumental version of "it don't mean a thing (if it ain't got that swing)", for the dragged out hovercraft chase finale.
...that..that's a bit into "help me Smee!", territory.
Other than that...

Also, I think the DVD has a bloodier cut of this....

The history-

Watched this one with Steve.
He'd already seen it.
Ah, well...

The Toxic Avenger Part III: 
The Last Temptation Of Toxie

The film-

The same Toxie and pals as Part 2, cuz, as mentioned, 2 and 3 were made back-to-back all at once.
They're really one big movie.

But, this one goes back to the full tilt gore of the first one.

The first 5 minutes or so in, Toxie jump-ropes with a guy's intestines, and lets you know what you're in for.

And, as the poster, and title indicate, Toxie fights Satan.
Not metaphorically, they get right fuckin' down to it.
Well, after much silliness...

The history-

Watched it, loved it, no one else did.
Went through another ordeal buying the thing on VHS.

Showed 2 and 3 to Hyla and Spencer, they hobbled away from the experience like I'd just tortured them with jumper cables.


Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV

The film-

A long time coming.

Yet another...everybody, so, another alterni-verse.
Hey, if you can handle multiple James Bonds, people... do I describe.....
Everything happens.

"Everything? Like what are we talking...".

Every type of death, every sex act, everything.

"Surely not..".

Everything happens.

"Everything? What about..".

Everything. Blasphemy, racism, everything.

Blood, guts, puke, piss, shit, cum, everything.

Everything happens.
No limits this time, everything happens.

"What's the plot?".

Fuck plot, everything happens.

I mean, you're talking an age that had Goatse, and Tubgirl, and 2 Girls One Cup.
Toxie/Troma had to up the ante.
They deliver.
Whoa, they deliver.
*Opera clapping*

If this ends up being the last Toxie, they went out with a bang.
If you hated 2 and 3, you'll like this one.
It goes back to the roots of 1.
You can even ignore 'em if you want, this one does.
It's pretty self contained.
Okay, some Toxie 3 posters show up, but that's pretty meta.

The history-

Eh, nothing fancy, except to lament I haven't bought this yet....

Toxic Crusaders

The film-

Yeah, that's right, you thought it was fucked up there was a Robocop cartoon, how about this shit?

Stuff like this happened in that painful drought between 3 and 4.'s a weird fucking cartoon...if you never knew the Toxie movies existed, and just saw this, you'd be pretty damned bamboozled and befuddled.

I thought it was better than the Turtles cartoon by leaps, especially those later years, I wish Toxie had busted through, and taken the lead in that race.
Ah, but such is rarely ever to be.

Well, I can retroactively spread Toxie awareness through this new internet gizmo toy thingy.

Well...I don't want it to sound like this was a GOOD cartoon, look at at the stuff I'm relating it to on the scale of things...
Just...just saying...

The history-

I was guiltily watching shit like this through high school.
I'm not right...

Toxic Crusaders (NES)

The game-

Piece of unplayable glitchy shit.

The history-

This came out in the waning days of the NES where they were unashamedly milking it with hundreds of terrible Mario 3 clones to squeeze out every last dime before the SNES rolled out.

Dark days....

Fitting that a Troma game would be shit though....

The Toxic Avenger (comic, Marvel)

The comic-

Fucking great.
Aside from that they gave Toxie his color scheme from Toxic Crusaders, this really did a damned good job of capturing the spirit of the movies.
It was actually pretty fucking funny.
I miss it.

Marvel was always great for nailing this stuff.
Nothing tripped them up, they could do any property.
They had a good run with the Beavis & Butt-Head comic too.

The history-

Lloyd Kaufman, and Stan Lee are actually friends in real life.
Lloyd goofing on the Marvel comics at a dinner party was actually the genesis of the Toxie idea in the first place.

Stan even lends his distinctive voice to the narration at the end of Toxie 4.
Yeah, that one!
Wild, huh?

So, yeah, the Toxie book was actually an easy deal to ink for them.
The audience was a tiny niche though..of like..ME.
Amazingly, it made it 13 issues though.
Not too shabby, considering how some other books I've loved limped along at like...6 or so, or fizzled at the premier issue.

The Complete Toxic Avenger

The DVDs-

This one, get this one.

Not "The Tox Box", this one.

This, you get all 4 movies, and all the episodes of Toxic Crusaders.
Bonuses out the ass, and Lloyd Kaufman commentary on...everything.

And the definitive cuts of 2 and 3.

Tox Box, you only get the first 3.

Oh, and the link...

The Complete Toxic Avenger (Amazon)

There, that's the whole deal.
I pass all that joy onto you now, children.

Up next....hmm...been putting it off...gotta get it in there somewhere...Ghostbusters.

(BTW, this goes between this, and this)

(Double BTW, 60th review!!)


hyla2 said...

Oh, geez. I remember the first time I saw 'Toxic Avenger'. I was over at the house of these friends of the family we had in the grade school days who had GOOD cable (HBO, Cinemax) and *gasp* a VCR!

I think it was a rental, because this was full gore TA, not some trimmed down Commander USA's Groovy Movies version.

I don't think anyone introduced me to it. Just saw it at Nicely's and became . . . intrigued. I remember actually being angry and offended by the evilness of the evil killer teens when they ran over the kid on the bike, and actually nauseated by the gooshed brains when they ran over his head. Moreso because they looked like orange oatmeal, not real brains.

Too far, I think I felt. TOO FAR!

(kids are so cute . . . and stupid)

Diacanu said...

They do something like that, and take it a couple steps further in 4.

Yeah, the kid death, and the stack of weights on the dude's head got to me the worst the first time around.

And...I knew evil kids like that.
Not murder-y, but personality wise...

Fuck, who am I kidding, besides you guys, and a few other exceptions, that's ALL I've known is stupid assholes... definitely at all my jobs...Jayzus...

Diacanu said...

Thread killer!

I always get too real and bleak.
That moment always comes.
Kept me out of the nicer parties.

hyla2 said...

Aaaah, they didn't deserve ya!


. . .


I meant that in a positive way.

Diacanu said...

I'll take your word for it.

Diacanu said...

D'oh, forgot my favorite Toxie 2 quote.

Chairman- Neither a borrower or a lender be...Shakespeare.

Bag lady- Fuck you! ...David Mamet.

Blog Archive