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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Horror > Monster > Schlock > The Toxic Avenger - Part II (1989/Troma Blu-ray w/DVD)

The Toxic Avenger - Part II (1989/Troma Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: C/C Sound: C+/C+ Extras: B Film: B-

For those unaware of the premise behind The Toxic Avenger, the film (originally created in by Lloyd Kaufman in 1984) focuses on a once humiliated, harassed, and abused janitor turned mutated superhero. Coming into existence after falling into a vat of toxic waste, Toxie battles the baddies of a local town.

5 years after the original film, Kaufman and crew went back to the toxic waste dump to create another Toxie adventure. Waste dump is a fitting assessment for the film, as it does not live up to the first film; which teetered on horrible itself. Yet, an assessment of 'horrible' is not necessarily a bad thing; as I still love the Toxic Avenger, as do many others. The films are cult classic and must be watched in the right mind set. The film is a B-Movie (C?) through and through, but that is half the fun as it is seemingly self-aware.

With bad acting, bad special effects, and admirably bad costumes and make-up; the Toxic Avenger Part II has our hero (played by Ron Fazio) battling the evil Apocalypse Inc. after being lured to Japan, but all is not as it seems as Apocalypse Inc. continues to reap havoc on Tromaville, while Toxie is off saving Japan. So can Toxie save both Japan and Tromaville?

The film (also starring Phoebe Legere as Claire) has gratuitous gore, over-the-top special effects, and an overall bizarre presence. Again, in a 'so bad it's good' way the film successfully accomplishes its mission. Most fans of the Troma-verse are more than aware that Lloyd Kaufman is not making 'Oscar winners' with his films; but instead he caters to fans of debauchery and the inexplicably strange. So for that I say bravo to the Toxic Avenger series.

Though the Blu-ray/DVD case sings the praises of a ''lovingly remastered HD presentation''... the truth is the presentation is satisfactory at best. The picture is presented in a 1080p, 1.78 X 1 HD widescreen that appears to be only a slight upgrade from the DVD release also included here; but distracts as aliasing and banding run rampant. Dirt, debris, and grime plague the image throughout, coupled with blunted colors and noticeable clarity issues. The sound presentation leaves much to be desired as the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo comes heavily from the front and often times can sound muffled or distant. Indeed, Troma films are meant to be ''bad'' and have a degree of camp, but if Kaufman spent the time to go back to the original film stock certainly a better Blu-ray transfer could have been made. Unfortunately, the 'restoration' efforts seem as low budget as the original film itself.

The DVD and Blu-ray are close in presentation quality, but in the end the Blu-ray is a minor upgrade.

Several extras exist on this set, but like the Blu-ray presentation more could have been done. The bonus features (with the exception of the commentary) are all EXTREMLY short with running times of 1 to 3 minutes; leaving much to be desired. Extras include:

  • Film Audio Commentary with Lloyd Kauffman

  • At Home with Toxie

  • A Word from Toxie's Villainous Lisa Gaye

  • Toxie on Japanese TV

  • Old DVD intro

  • Radiation March

  • The American Cinematheque Honors 40 Years of Troma

  • Theatrical Trailer

    - Michael P. Dougherty II


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