Superhero Films – The Toxic Avenger (1984)
Skinny, dorky Melvin lives in Tromaville, New Jersey – the toxic chemical capital of the world. He’s got a pretty happening job as the mop boy in the towns health club. Unfortunately, in between cleaning toilets he gets picked on by a group of sinister gym rats. One day a prank goes too far and Melvin falls into a barrel of toxic waste. He survives, but turns into a hulking deformed monster with super human strength.
Melvin is ostracized by his mother and heads to the outskirts of town. However, he does come back to visit to exact revenge on his tormentors and begins dispatching lethal justice to the criminal who are plaguing the citizens of Tromaville. During one of these encounters he meets Sara a hot looking blind blonde who is not bothered by his appearance (obviously) and begins to fall in love with Melvin.
Unfortunately the corrupt mayor has had enough of these hero antics and vows to eliminate this ‘monster hero’ once and for all so he can get back to his crooked way of life. Can this end possibly end peacefully for Tromaville’s most popular resident?
Troma Entertainment is an independent New York-based film company founded by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz. Since its birth in the mid-70s Troma specialized in making low-budget, raunchy sex comedies. Then in 1984 the face of Troma would change forever when Kaufman and Herz scored an unexpected hit with a with an outrageously violent, silly comedic move called The Toxic Avenger.
The film would become Troma’s biggest hit, spawn three sequels, a Saturday morning cartoon series, plus a musical! Not to mention a possible big-budget Hollywood remake that is supposedly in the works, with rumors of John Travolta and/or Arnold Schwarzenegger to be involved with the retelling of New Jersey’s first superhero. Maybe they should consider trying to get Marisa Tomei involved too. (Once you watch the review that idea will make more sense to you).
With a list of countless B-movies and exploitation films in their catalog, The Toxic Avenger has become Troma’s signature film, along with having the character being the mascot of the company. I take a look at the film that started it all, see what was so special about it and try to figure out how did they ever make a cartoon based off this movie!