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directed by Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman (as Samuel Weil)
USA 1984

 

Tromaville janitor Melvin Junko (Mark Torgl) is the whipping boy of meatheads Bozo (Gary Schneider, CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH) and Slug (Robert Prichard, ALIEN SPACE AVENGER) and their bimbettes Julie (Cindy Manion, PREPPIES) and Wanda (Jennifer Babtist, HEAD GAMES) when the quartet isn't perpetuating a series of hit-and-run slayings for kicks. When a cruel prank results in Melvin's plunge into a barrel of toxic waste (Tromaville is the number one toxic dumping ground of the country, after all), he undergoes a mutation into a seven-foot muscle-bound monster (Mitch Cohen, CLERKS). Not only does he seek revenge on his tormentors, he also starts cleaning up the city of drug dealers to street thugs, tearing them limb-from-limb or literally pounding them into mulch and leaving behind a mop as his calling card). Toxie's rampage turns him into a media hero, and the town's corrupt leaders - including corpulent mayor Belgoody (Pat Ryan, STREET TRASH) - are soon mounting a smear campaign against him (bolstered by Toxie's dispatch of a criminal dwarf disguised as an old lady) leading to a standoff between the locals and the military with Toxie and his blind love interest Sara (Andree Maranda) caught in between.

The flagship release of Troma Films - directed by its co-founders Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman - THE TOXIC AVENGER represents the best and worst of East Coast independent filmmaking and distribution in the eighties before studios took over the theater chains. Never taking itself seriously from the start, it panders thoroughly to the 42nd street audience (in an interview, Kaufman has said Troma films are designed for a communal audience) with tits (in and out of eye-straining eighties spandex), gore, slapstick, and bad taste all around. Some of the violence - especially against children and the elderly - might be upsetting if you could even remotely take the film seriously, but the filmmakers quickly move on from squashed heads and burned skin to car chases or jiggling flesh (not all of it alluring). It's not a good film at all, but it doesn't have to be good to be entertaining and bad film enthusiasts must see it at least once (which is more than can be said for some of the sequels and spinoffs).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 11 April 1986 (USA)

Reviews                                                            More Reviews                                                        DVD Reviews

 

DVD Comparison:

Troma (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Troma (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Troma

Region 0 - NTSC

88 Films
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:22:03 1:22:06
Video

1.33:1 Open Matte format
Average Bitrate: 5.2 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Troma (Director's Cut)

 

Bitrate:

 

88 Films

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Troma

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with director Lloyd Kaufman
• 7 Deleted Scenes
• 'The Radiation March' clip from the cartoon spin-off
• 'Toxie 15 Years Later' mockumentary
• 'The Death of Toxie' Tromaville Café TV sketch
• Troma Intelligence Test (with reward and punishment clips)
• Troma Studio Building Tour
• 'Mopboy Secrets selected scenes commentary by Mark Torgl
• Advertisement for the Troma website
• 'Aroma Du Troma' clip montage
• Toxic Slide Show (42 stills)
• Theatrical Trailer
• Trailers for 'Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.', 'Class of Nuke ‘Em High', 'Tromeo & Juliet', 'The Toxic
• Avenger Part II', 'Def by Temptation', 'Surf Nazis Must Die', and 'Bloodsucking Freaks'

DVD Release Date: 25 March 1998
Amaray

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio: 88 Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
•  Audio Commentary by co-director Lloyd Kaufman
• 15th and 30th Anniversary Introductions (2:21 + 4:42)
• 'The Radiation March' (0:55)
• Intro from the 'Toxic Crusaders' cartoon (1:02)
• 'Toxie - 15 Years Later' (3:53)
• 'Tromaville Cafe: The Death of Toxie' (4:54)
• Troma Studio Building Tour (8:59)
• 'Mopboy Secrets' with actor Mark Torgl (5:03)
• 'Why is Lloyd Kaufman Living in a Refrigerator Box' (2:24)
• Public Service Announcement (3:38)
• 'Aroma Du Troma' (2:02) and Toxic Slide Show (1:35)
• Theatrical Trailer (3:12) and Toxic Trailer Reel (8:50)
• Trailers for 'Puppet Master', 'The Pit and the Pendulum', 'Demonic Toys', 'Bloody Birthday', 'Two
• Moon Junction', 'Dollman', 'Bloodsucking Freaks', 'Puppet Master II', 'Puppet Master III', 'Tourist
• Trap', and 'Castle Freak'

 

DVD Release Date: 18 August 2014
Amaray

Chapters 10

 

Comments

The flagship title of Troma, THE TOXIC AVENGER has had a long and convoluted home video history with R- and unrated tape and laserdisc releases from Vestron in the eighties, a later Troma/Image matted laserdisc whose master made its way onto at least one of Troma's editions. An extended edition appeared in Europe (the deleted scenes of which have been available in every Troma edition of director's cut), and that version then appeared in Japan with an additional opening segment (in English with Japanese subtitles whose translation was subsequently re-subtitled for Troma's DVD edition labeled "The Japanese Cut" which until now has been the only 16:9 edition [albeit upscaled from the tape master]), but the most commonly available edition featured the unmatted eighties tape master compared here.

88 Film's progressive, dual-layer NTSC DVD features a brand new HD-mastered widescreen transfer in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The new transfer lacks the yellowish tinge of the older transfer, as such the still low-budget image does not look as sickly as it did before. The widescreen image loses a bit of info on top and bottom but occasionally reveals a bit more on the right and a sliver more on the left. The film is also available on Blu-ray in standard and in limited steelbook and slipcover editions from Zaavi and HMV respectively. I doubt it could look better - outside of the superior resolution and likely compression of the same master on the Blu-ray editions (and certainly nowhere near as good as STREET TRASH, another eighties-era New York indie about grotesquely colorful mutations).

 

Director Lloyd Kaufman - who went to school with Oliver Stone and collaborated with him on the early flicks THE BATTLE OF LOVE'S RETURN and SUGAR COOKIES - appears in an audio commentary in which he reveals that the origins of the film was part of the studio's decision to move onto horror from sex comedies like THE FIRST TURN-ON and SQUEEZE PLAY as more of the studios began to embrace that genre. He enthusiastically discusses all aspects of the film, including the inspirations for its many disparate elements - the toxic waste angle, the hit-and-run story, and his debt to Preston Sturges in the film's satirical approach - the workings of the special effects and stuntwork, run-ins with the MPAA, the series' theatrical play worldwide (they were quite popular in Japan where they were released by Shochiku-Fuji), as well as the claim that Maria Tomei is among the extras. Mark Torgl, who plays the pre-Toxie version of Melvin, offers some comic commentary (including having to kiss a flea-infested sheep) over five selected scenes labeled as "Mopboy's Secrets", and a selection of short deleted scenes are largely disposable apart from one that reveals the fate of two major characters. The rest of the extras include are more related to Troma itself than the film, as Troma was one of the first studios to fully embrace (however clunky) the interactive possibilities of the DVD format.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(
Troma (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Troma (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Troma (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Troma (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Troma (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Troma (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Troma (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Troma (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

88 Films

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Draw
Menu: 88 Films

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Troma

Region 0 - NTSC

88 Films
Region 0 - NTSC

 




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