/slash 2014 – Day 3: The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic AvengerThe Toxic Avenger
USA 1984
Written by Lloyd Kaufman & Joe Ritter
Directed by Michael Herz & Lloyd Kaufman

The screening of “The Toxic Avenger” at this years /slash Filmfestival actually was the first Troma classic that I’ve see, and considering what it is and what it wants to be – a trashy, gory, weird revenge-flick – I mostly enjoyed it. I especially liked the very gory kills, the nice contrast between Toxies towering, disfigured appearance and his sweet, gentle voice, and the environmental message (even though it was as subtle as a sledgehammer). Also, Toxie definitely is a weird and original enough hero to leave an impression. By far my favorite part of the movie, however, was the old nazi/chief of police. All of his scenes were just hilarious. On the downside: The characters are all very clichéd and over the top, especially pre-toxic-avengerification-Melvin and the bad teenagers, who aren’t simply dicks, but actually enjoy running people over with their car (extra points for children!). That was a little bit too much for me (even though one could argue that “too much” isn’t a valid criticism for this kind of movie).

Also, the editing was weird sometimes, especially when it comes to the montages. I don’t get why they were there at all – except maybe to stretch the runtime. The first one was very strange, intercutting the love scene between Toxie and his girlfriend with his previous – brutal – adventures, all accompanied by a song; and then, when the song’s over, the montage goes on, and the song simply sets in again. That was just… weird. And the second montage, before the showdown, seemed to show the same scene (of people and tanks leaving the compound) over and over and over again. If they would have done just one of these, ok. But the way they did it, I didn’t get the point of them at all. They seemed to be even more pointless than the montages at the Academy Awards – and that’s saying something! Anyway, overall, I enjoyed it for what it is, and I’m glad that I’ve finally seen it now, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it “good” in the traditional sense of the word.


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