The Toxic Avenger IV: Citizen Toxie (2001) Blu-ray review

toxie4 (1)The Toxic Avenger IV: Citizen Toxie (2001) Blu-ray review

Director – Lloyd Kaufman

Starring – David Mattey, Heidi Sjursen, Clyde Lewis

Run Time – 108 minutes

Label – 88 Films


When the notorious Diaper Mafia take hostage the Tromaville School for the Very Special, only the Toxic Avenger and his morbidly obese sidekick Lardass can save Tromaville. However, a horrific explosion creates a dimensional portal between Tromaville and its dimensional mirror image, Amortville. While the Toxic Avenger (Toxie) is trapped in Amortville, Tromaville comes under the control of Toxies evil doppelganger, the Noxious Offender (Noxie). Will Toxie return to Tromaville in time to stop Noxies rampage or is he doomed to remain a second-class citizen in Amortville forever? How did Toxies wife Sarah become pregnant with two babies from two different fathers? Will Tito, the Retarded Rebel, ever get over his teen angst and become a productive member of society? – 88 Films

The fourth and up to now final instalment in the Toxic Avenger franchise Citizen Toxie was made quite some time after part three. Over a decade, fans of the most famous Troma creation had suffered a long wait. Was it worth it though?

In a word: no. The charm of the original flicks of the 1980’s is gone and in its place is something that attempts to recreate it. Perhaps the ‘Zeitgeist’ had moved on since 1989, but the spirit of Toxie IV feels too forced and self aware. This leads to overkill of several notorious Troma movie sources of humour or entertainment.

Poo/faeces/scat/shit/crap, whatever you want to call it, is featured quite a bit. Whether it’s characters defecating in their pants or effectively having their head shoved up their own arse and spitting poo out of their mouths the brown stuff is used often. This is always accompanied by fart sounds. Yes, this is Troma but it feels way too forced in another attempt to hit a home run with longtime fans.

Nudity and frivolous sex scenes feature a lot too, and all that can be said about these is that the women involved are all young and have figures that will please any males watching. There is one scene that jumps the shark, as it were, which is something that many thought not possible in a movie of this nature. A large breasted woman lifts up her t-shirt and starts slamming one of her huge boobs into the face of a mentally challenged character. Some people would pay good money for that to be done to them.

toxie4aOf course the feature has its moments, Kaufman has several ‘stars’ from outside of B movies making cameos that are good. Lemmy from Motorhead displays his dry sense of humour in the delivery of his few lines. Ron Jeremy, hairy porn star, appears to be loving every second of his hammy acting demonstration. The plot is a strong point too, in places, with the use of two Toxies and the piecing together of the different strands. It requires two stories to operate at once in effect and then to bring them back together for the movies ending.

A big positive for this film is the appearance of Mark Torgl – who played Melvin, the nerd that would turn into Toxie, in the original Toxic Avenger.

Special features.

There are three, yes three, commentaries for the movie. The first is by Kaufman, the second by and the third by Gabriel Friedman.

Outtakes – Seven minutes in duration, some clips aren’t too entertaining but it shows the cast do like to utter a swear word. Lemmy makes several appearances and these are the more interesting outtakes.

Apocalypse Soon – 2 hours and 17 minutes long, this is a documentary on the making of Citizen Toxie. For Troma fans this is a real treat as it takes the viewer deep inside the notorious approach to film-making the studio takes. Most people involved with the movie have more than one role, no doubt to cut costs. While highly entertaining there are moments that are painful as it shows just how frustrating it is to work an independent feature. One actress, an extra in several scenes, laughingly complains about the lack of money involved in the making of the film (which shows staggering ignorance on her behalf) and how she would get paid more doing ‘girl-on-girl’ porn again. Trent ‘Terror Firmer’ Haaga is the unintentional star of the making of.

Interviews with cast and crew – Very enlightening in places, from the stars of the film to minor actors the interviews on offer are insightful and engaging. Rehearsal plus more behind the scenes footage features. The extra ends in a typical Troma fashion.

toxie4bPre-production featurette – After seeing the lengthy making of, this is 28 minutes of footage showing how the plans for Toxie IV came together before shooting began. Much like the actual shooting this is a similar case of urgency that indie studios experience. On Production featurette – 40 minutes long this is a look at the production team behind Toxie IV as they make the movie. Footage is included of Troma at the Playboy Mansion (which was a tie-in to promote their website).

Release featurette – After viewing all the hard work the viewer gets to see the cast and crew enjoy the premières of Citizen Toxie. There are a lot of smiles on peoples faces, unlike during the making of features…

There are also deleted scenes, trailers and a collection of 88 Films trailers for other releases.

Verdict.The main feature is lacking but the special features are outstanding and enhance the release greatly.

5 out of 10.

– James Simpson (@JSimpsonWriter)

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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