The Toxic Avenger (1984)

(On VCD, April 2006) Troma films have acquired a very special reputation in the low-budget movie industry, and this is the prototypical Troma film: A mixture of horror and comedy on a shoestring budget, with plenty of gore effects and a sense of humour that’s best described as wide-ranging. Most straight-to-video films have more maturity than this film, but the unabashed looniness of Troma film is part of their charm. In fact, one could say that Troma has managed the singular feat of turning every single potential problem into an advantage. Nonsensical plot; lousy production values; exploitative nudity; interminable fight sequences: who cares? Even more than twenty years later, you can still watch the film with some interest, which is more than one can say about some of 1984’s Oscar-nominated films. It goes without saying, though, that you have to be able to tolerate a considerable amount of silliness to make it to the end of this film. This version of The Toxic Avenger is the (legal) “Gametek cinema digital movies” one that was converted to Quicktime format and sold in computer stores in the mid-nineties. Audiovisual quality: atrocious, but at least you can make up most of the film.

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