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The Toxic Avenger (1985)



I happened to watch this Troma release under exactly the conditions required for maximum enjoyment. I was hopped up on caffeine and video games, unwilling to think too hard, and it was 2AM, a time when even politics make sense to a sleep-deprived brain.

Melvin, a mopboy at Tromaville's local health club, was "98 lbs. of pure nerd" until a cruel prank sent him crashing out of a window and into a vat of toxic waste. Now he's the Toxic Avenger, a hulking 7-ft. tall mutant who becomes violently enraged when evil is near, even if he doesn't know why a person is evil. When not fighting crime by tearing off a robber's arm or busting a corrupt crimelord's gut, the Avenger finds time to spend with his blind girlfriend and help little old ladies across the street.

Obviously, Troma's first law of their unique brand of cinema is "insert tongue into cheek. Hold for remainder of movie." Not a single film cel is meant to be taken seriously in the least. Certainly, The Toxic Avenger pushes the boundaries of taste. If you're not offended by something in this flick, I have some bad news for you -- you're dead.

So far, there have been 3 sequels to this movie, in addition to a bevy of similarly Tromatic films like The Class of Nuke 'Em High and Sgt. Kubukiman, NYPD. If any of them are as gross, tasteless, and thoroughly enjoyable as The Toxic Avenger, expect to see a ton of Troma reviews to be coming down the pike.