I am a Troma virgin! There, I said it and I feel better for doing so. Some of you reading this may be thinking ‘good god man, you haven’t lived!’ Of course I’ve heard of Troma and Lloyd Kaufman but the movies always seemed a little bit too crazy for me. Don’t get me wrong, I like crazy stuff but there’s crazy and there’s KER-AZY! (sic)
Toxic Avenger 2 opens with a great song explaining the origins of The Toxic Avenger plus there are plenty of flashbacks so you don’t necessarily need to have seen the first movie to know what’s going on. Toxie (as he is known to his friends) is in retirement having eradicated crime from Tromaville, but trouble is brewing forcing Toxie back into action.
Based on how violent the movies are it’s hard to believe that The Toxic Avenger was a household name which spawned a children’s cartoon called Toxic Crusaders. There were also video games and toys based on The Toxic Avenger. In some ways though this is a real life cartoon. People get their heads punched in, heads get knocked together and explode, headless bodies dance and body pop, a bodybuilding dwarf gets crushed into a basketball and slam dunked, and heads get punched and spin around. If this sounds like your cup of tea then you’ll love Toxic Avenger 2.
I haven’t even mentioned Toxies blind girlfriend whose wardrobe consists of hot pants, stockings and suspenders and various other skimpy outfits. In fact there’s plenty of comedy in Toxic Avenger 2 such as his trip to Tokyo. The sight of bemused Japanese people staring at Toxie as he walks around in public is a sight to behold.
Toxic Avenger 2 reminds me of one of my all-time favourite movies, Bad Taste from Peter Jackson. From what I understand the original Toxic Avenger was a big influence on him making that movie. Imagine if Toxic Avenger didn’t exist and what a different world we would live in. No Lord of the Rings movies, no Braindead, no The Frighteners. Ok, maybe I’m being a little melodramatic but you get my point.
The fact that such a low budget movie can influence people has to be commended and there is plenty of fun to be had with Toxic Avenger 2. If you’re looking for high art, you wouldn’t be watching a Troma movie or a movie called Toxic Avenger 2. However, the movie has its heart in the right place and I had a good time with it. Keep any eye open for a young Michael Jai White making his movie debut.
Now, time to check out more Troma movies because something tells me they are right up my alley.
The bonus features on the Blu-ray are decent if a little underwhelming. They seem to be taken directly from a previous DVD release, so if you already own Toxic Avenger 2 on DVD, you probably won’t see anything new here.
Bonus Features include:
- Oozing introduction by Lloyd Kaufman
- Tromariffic audio commentary by Lloyd Kaufman
- Behind the scenes footage from Japan
- Toxic thoughts by Fangoria Managing Editor Michael Gingold
- Tromatic comments by Videohound author Mike Mayo
- Thoughts from the arch villainess Lisa Gaye
- Scenes from the Tromaville Café
- Toxic trailer reel
There is also an 88 Films trailer reel which includes trailers of:
- Puppet Master
- The Pit and the Pendulum
- Demonic Toys
- Bloody Birthday
- Two Moon Junction
- Blood Sucking Freaks
- Puppet Master 2
- Puppet Master 3
- Tourist Trap
- Castle Freak
Review by Chris from a disc kindly supplied by 88 Films.