The Toxic Avenger III (1989) Blu-Ray Review

toxieIIIcoverThe Toxic Avenger III (1989) Blu-ray review

Directors – Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz

Starring – Ron Fazio, Phoebe Legere, Rick Collins

Run Time – 102 minutes

Label – 88 Films


Times are hard for Toxie. What is a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength to do after he’s eliminated crime from his hometown? Desperate to raise money for the experimental surgery that could restore his blind fiancés eyesight, Toxie accepts a lucrative job with the evil multinational conglomerate Apocalypse Inc. Now, Toxies transforming into an even more monstrous creature: a yuppie. And all of Tromaville is paying the price of Toxies Faustian bargain. The Toxic Avenger must defeat his own inner demons before taking on the Devil himself in a battle royale, while the fate of Tromaville hangs in the balance. – 88 Films

Starting with a wonderfully daft and self knowing fight scene in a VHS rental store (that seems to rent only Troma films, how uncanny) that lasts ten minutes and is loaded with Troma trademarks, the movie carries on in a frivolous fashion for the rest of it’s run time. As usual with the studio, its a case of organised chaos.

This time the unlikely plot is ‘our hero’ trying to go about a normal life in which he is seen as a salesman, trying to help his bimbo fiancée regain her sight and making kids eat their greens. However he is unhappy and, in a parallel with some religious drivel he overheard attending gospel singing at a local church, he is a changed mutant.

toxieIII1As a result he eventually turns evil, falling foul of the manipulative mega power corporation Apocalypse capitalists. This is not a new theme in a Troma feature, yet in an attempt to put a twist on it Toxie III aka The Last Temptation of Toxie sees the ‘everyman’ (believe it or not Toxie himself) being seduced by the businessmen and if he can break free of their way of thinking.

Not much action happens during the spell of the feature when the monster hero becomes the monster sellout. The daft fight scenes and frivolous ‘special’ effects are kept to a minimum until the chairman (played with glee by Rick Collins) reveals himself to be the devil. The costume worn for this is quite impressive by Troma standards.

Despite this movie featuring the return of Melvin, the weakling janitor that would become the Avenger, the original actor Mark Torgl does not play this role. Instead Michael Kaplan is the put upon dweeb. Kaufman has revealed since this was because Torgl asked for more money, which the director wishes he had agreed to.

Special features.

Where in the World is Toxie? (42 mins) – A documentary that follows Lloyd Kaufman as he attends various film festivals around the world. Although this is the Toxic Avenger III blu-ray, this extra is mainly promoting part IV: Citizen Toxie. Troma movies have a lot of fans in numerous countries, showing the draw of Kaufman’s studio. Other cult directors Brian Yuzna and Dario Argento make appearances.

toxieIII2Ron Fazio interview (8 mins) – The actor that played Toxie in parts II & III, Fazio talks about how he became the monster hero (“I’m not that good an actor.”). He reveals he didn’t like co-star Phoebe Legere, nor her boyfriend.

Rick Collins interview (5 mins) – Chairman/The Devil in part III, Collins reminisces about all the Troma movies he appeared in (seven in total).

Joe Fleishaker interview (3 mins) – The large actor who has appeared in several Troma films is interviewed.

There are also several other extras, ranging from trailers, stills galleries and other short video’s of Troma goodness. Two commentaries are included, one by Kaufman and one by Fleishaker.

Calum ‘Doctor’ Waddell does the honours in the booklet, as always this is an enjoyable read.

Daft, distasteful, poorly acted yet with heart Toxic Avenger III is a Troma film with a message.

5 out of 10.

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James Simpson

About James Simpson

A freelance writer and lover of movies, James is a long term contributor to UK Horror Scene. He has a regular feature on UKHS, World of Horror, as well as reviewing and interviewing when he can. He also writes for Gore Splattered Corner and Space Monsters Magazine. He has previously written for Scream Magazine and Zombie Hamster. Twitter: @JSimpsonWriter