Film / The Toxic Avenger

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He's a hideously deformed creature of super-human size and strength!
"Hohoho, no ticky, no washy!"
Toxie, after shoving an old lady into a washing machine.

Meet Melvin the Mop Boy, a 98-pound wimp living in Tromaville. When Melvin runs afoul of a local gang of hoodlums, he ends up falling out of a second-story window at the Tromaville Gym - straight into a vat of toxic waste.

The resulting mutation transforms Melvin into the Toxic Avenger, a Hideously Deformed Creature Of Superhuman Size And Strength. After hooking up with a blind, blonde female accordion player, he proceeds to beat up baddies (and boy, are they bad!) in the most gore-tastic ways possible.

Followed by three (or only one) sequels and an animated series. There's also a musical.


The series includes examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    The entire series 
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Any time the villains threaten Toxie's girlfriend, it means he's going to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Animated Adaptation: The kid-friendly Toxic Crusaders.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Inverted. Toxie's very badly deformed as a result of the toxic waste, but he's the good guy.
  • Blind and the Beast:
    • Sara is nonplussed after finding out that Melvin is a mutant. Strangely, when she can see again, she thinks Toxie is the sexiest man alive, and that normal people are hideous.
    • In the animated series, she puts on her glasses, and screams in terror... at the awful tie Toxie was wearing!
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Toxic Avenger tends to dish this out to his victims, but they always have it coming.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: A lot of random mooks like to throw karate kicks at Toxie.
  • Evil Inc.: Apocalypse Inc. Literally.
    • There are two variations. In the third film, it's run by Satan, whereas in the spin-off cartoon, it's run by Dr. Killemoff, the leader of an alien invasion.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The theme song for the second and third movie lay out the events of the first.
  • Fighting with Chucks: Nunchucks show up often through out the series.
  • Groin Attack: Happens multiple times throughout the series to various villains (and even Toxie himself).
  • Horrifying Hero: Pretty much sums up Toxie.
  • Joisey: The series takes place in New Jersey, just across the water from New York City.
  • Large Ham: Some of the characters in the series. Bozo in the first movie is probably the most infamous example.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: If any jerk ass makes an appearance, expect Toxie to give him a bad day.
  • Laughably Evil: All the villainous characters.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • II and III were deliberately less graphic than the first film, yet the MPAA still removed a bit of stuff compared to the director's cuts.
    • The animated children's series had this trope in spades.
  • Reaction Shot: Every major fight scene throughout the series has at least one participant (usually a hostage or victim) looking on in shock, screaming, and/or making disgusted faces as Toxie takes down the criminals.
  • Recycled: The Series: The cartoon spinoff, Toxic Crusaders, replaced all the R-rated elements with jokes and ridiculousness. Despite this, the series actually kinda works.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: There's not much that harms Toxie, but he's so creative at killing bad guys you don't really mind.her
  • Sudden Name Change: Toxie's girlfriend was named "Sarah" in the first movie, but was changed to "Claire" in the next two. She's back to "Sarah" in the fourth part, but her alternate universe counterpart is named "Claire" (and unlike alternate universe counterpart, she's deaf instead of being blind).
  • Two-Part Trilogy:
    • The second and third films were originally shot together all as one film. It was so freakishly long that they divided the movie in half during post production.
    • Averted with the fourth movie, which was thrown in a decade or so after the previous films.
  • Weapon Twirling: Toxie loves twirling his mop.
  • Would Not Hit a Girl: Toxie in the sequels. Taken to extreme lengths when, in II, he gets the jump on an Amazon Brigade while they torture his girlfriend, and simply chases them off.

    The Toxic Avenger (1984) 
  • An Arm and a Leg: Toxie rips a guy's arm off when he tries to throw him over his shoulder. The actor only had one arm to begin with (you can tell because he never uses his right arm).
  • Asshole Victim: Particularly the three robbers at the Mexican restaurant after one of them killed Sara's dog.
  • Attempted Rape: Frank, the leader of the mexican restaurant robber trio, attempts to rape Sarah, but a timely arrival by Toxie puts a stop to that.
  • Big Bad: Mayor Belgoody, the corrupt politician who is responsible for Tromaville being ridden with crime.
  • Bloody Hilarious: The film made its name on absurdly-violent fight scenes and deaths that cross over from being disgusting to hilarious because of the cheap effects, a staple of Troma films.
  • Body Horror: Melvin turning into Toxie. He manages to get into a bathtub before boils begin to form on his arms, his hair falls out and his face and chest begin pulsing. Then it's Played for Laughs when Melvin's mother seems pleased to know that her son has "finally reached puberty".
  • Calling Card: Toxie shoves mops to the faces of his victims after he is done with them.
  • Camp Gay: The gym regulars include two camp gay hairdressers with lisps, one older and the other young.
  • Comes Great Responsibility:
    • What is the first thing Melvin does when he becomes Toxie? Beat the crap out of criminals (killing most in the process), cleans up, and helps an abused officer on his feet and gives his equipment back. He has been a dedicated crime fighter since.
    • He also has the ability to detect the evil in a person. He questioned his humanity when he believed he killed an innocent old woman uncontrollably, even though she turned out to be a leader of a white slave ring (not that he knew).
  • Detect Evil: Toxie has an innate ability to sense evildoers and is compelled to attack them, even if he himself doesn't know what they've done wrong. That's why he attacks the old lady in the dry cleaning store without knowing why, which makes him think he's started killing innocent people, without knowing that she was actually the head of a white slavery ring.
  • Diner Brawl: Toxie takes out of gang of robbers in a mexican restaurant and even uses the kitchen's appliances to kill two of them.
  • Fan Disservice: Toxie having sex with a beautiful (albeit blind) woman.
  • Fanservice: Lots. The film opens up with a montage of people working out, with plenty of close-ups on women's breasts. There's also a scene where Slug and his girlfriend have sex.
  • Fat Bastard: The corrupt Mayor Belgoody. In several scenes, he is shown having a massage at the health club while stuffing his face. He also has a team of women who wipe his perpetually sweaty brow.
  • Funny Background Event: In one early scene of the film, while Melvin is getting bullied in the foreground, in the background the overweight women at the gym is flirting with an athletic man by adopting the traditionally masculine pose of leaning against the wall with the man standing between her arms.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The setup: humiliate Melvin for being annoying. The result: Melvin is humiliated, and he ends up falling into a barrel of toxic waste accidentally. Before Melvin was thrown into the barrel, he was a frail, perverted, socially-awkward janitor who wasn't very good at his job. Afterward, he gained super human strength, got more intelligent, becomes a hero to the city for cleaning up criminals and helping the innocent, and even got a beautiful girlfriend who likes him for what he is (even though she's blind, she stays with him). Other than a ugly face, his life has certainly gotten better.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Toxie brutally kills, tortures and cripples a number of bad guys. Highlights include him ramming a milkshake stirrer through a thug's throat, shoving another thug's hands into a deep fryer, crushing a drug dealer's face with a weight-lifting machine, and disemboweling the Big Bad.
  • Gorn: Calling it Gorn doesn't even begin to describe it. Then again, what do you expect from a Troma film?
  • Humiliation Conga: One of these ends with Melvin going out the window and taking a swan dive into the barrel of toxic waste.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The female villains are sexually excited by blood and carnage by their boyfriends' turning pedestrians into roadkill... and taking photos of it afterward! Yeah, it's that kind of movie.
  • Jerkass: The mayor of Tromaville. He wants to have Toxie killed just because he's a hero to Tromaville. Justified as he happens to lead a drug cartel, and thus, would be considered a criminal (which Toxie holds a record in capturing/killing to that point).
    • At the end of the movie, the mayor attempts to kill Toxie, despite everyone choosing not to. The crowd cheers when the mayor gets disemboweled for his own selfishness.
  • Karma Houdini: Most of the gym regulars who chased after Melvin leading up to his mutation have nothing bad happen to them. They've apparently come around to celebrating him as "the monster" by the end.
  • Kick the Dog: Various villains are "evil" For the Evulz like in some cartoons that are over the top.
    • The gym bullies persecute Melvin for no reason, then reveal that they're actually serial killers.
    • The Mexican Place robbers shoot a blind girl's seeing-eye dog. This one remains the most complained-about scene in Troma history.
  • Mood Whiplash: The movie moves from a romance scene between Toxie and Sarah straight into a dark horror scene, where Toxie is the one pursuing of maiming one of the gang member's girlfriends.
  • Mook Horror Show: Any fight with Toxie turns into one of these pretty quickly, complete with ominous background music.
  • Ms Fan Service: All the women, really, but Wanda gets a special mention for spending pretty much every one of her scenes either naked or in a bikini.
  • Obviously Evil: Most of the villains in the film are crazed thugs who wear outlandish outfits, bugs their eyes out and screech when they talk. Slug and Bozo also have their kill tally helpfully drawn on the side of the car they use for hit-and-run murders.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Toxie is one of the all time masters of the bon mot.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Toxie's leitmotif is "Night on Bald Mountain".
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Zig-zagged. Melvin is tricked into wearing a pink tutu as a prank, but he continues to wear the now-blackened tutu after becoming the Toxic Avenger.
  • Right Through His Pants: Slug and his crazy girlfriend are apparently having sex, but when Melvin interrupts them, it's clear that Slug is still wearing a pair of black underpants.
  • Share the Male Pain: When Toxie beats Cigar Face's balls like a speed bag, the policeman Toxie is saving covers his own crotch.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Toxie and his blind girlfriend have a smoke after their first night of sex.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Muffled 80's pop plays while the Bozo and Slug run down an innocent young boy for fun and back the car up over his head, crushing it completely. Then their girlfriends proceed to get out of the car take pictures of the incident for future use.
  • Stylistic Suck: Toxie's resonant and cultured voice is so obviously overdubbed and incongruent with his guttural moans and growls that it becomes absolutely hilarious when he speaks.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The corrupt local mayor's chief of police, who speaks with a cornball fake German accent and occasionally betrays Nazi mannerisms. In his first scene, he accidentally gives a Nazi salute and has to lower his arm with his other hand. In the climax, he clicks his heels and gives a Nazi salute when ordered to kill the Toxic Avenger.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Toxie kills a little old lady who was dropping off some pants at a dry cleaners. It turns out she was the head of an international slavery ring.
  • Would Hit a Girl: One of the girls who's part of the gang that came up with the prank that lead to birth of Toxie gets cooked over hot coals in a sauna, and Toxie goes after the other with scissors. It's something of a subversion, though, since the extended and director's cuts reveal that they survived with Amusing Injuries, making them some of the only villains in the original film to not get brutally murdered. The old lady at the end isn't as lucky.

    The Toxic Avenger Part II (1989) 
  • Baguette Beatdown: A random goon beats on an old lady with a loaf of bread.
  • Big Bad: The chairman of Apocalypse Inc., who wants to take over Tromaville.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Somehow, the averagely dressed Sarah from the first movie became a very skimpily dressed Claire in this movie. Though the different dress wear could be excused due to the fact she's blind.
  • Clothing Damage: A female ninja attacks Toxie with a kusarigama (which is a sickle and chain). Toxie, after catching the chain, pulls the ninja girl closer, and starts slashing her with the sickle. A good yank afterwards strips all of her clothes off.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Two cars slam into each other in a front-end collision. They explode violently. TWICE.
  • I Should Have Been Better: Toxie feels a lot of guilt for not being able to stop the center for the blind from being blown up from the start of the movie.
  • Instant Chucks: Toxie counters a mooks nunchucks by grabbing a pair of fish tied together.
  • Instant Convertible: This happens to the taxi Toxie is using during the chase scene at the end of the movie. The cabbie is pissed until Toxie points out that he now has a convertable.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: Half of the film takes place in Tokyo, Japan, whene Toxie is searching for his lost father.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: An arrangement of Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" is used during the first fight scene and during the climax.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Claire pulls some bills out from her cleavage at one point.
  • Victory Is Boring: At the start of the film, Toxie is bored and depressed because there isn't anymore evil to fight in Tromaville. The same thing happens to him in the third film.

    The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie (1989) 
  • Amusing Injuries: One of the video store robbers gets his face erased (sans his eyes) by having his face shoved into a video tape eraser.
  • Author Filibuster: The film is pretty much entirely an anti-corporation Author Filibuster. The head of the Apocalypse Corporation is literally The Devil.
  • Big Bad: The chairman of Apocalypse Inc., who in this film is revelaed to be the Devil.
  • Body Horror: Toxie turning back into Melvin.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Toxie's power of detecting evil is ignored completely, as he doesn't realize that Apocalypse Inc. is evil.
  • Excrement Statement: When Toxie has to put out the devil in the "Fire" challenge, he sees that there's no water nearby... so he just puts him out by pissing on him.
  • Fictional Video Game: The arcade game "Five Levels of Doom" that Toxie is shown playing briefly. Satan decides to model his and Toxie's fight after it.
  • He's Back: When Toxie realizes that he's been working for the bad guys, he breaks out of his funk and goes to town on them.
  • The Last Title: Used as a subtitle.
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth: When the Devil tries to kill Toxie by having one of his guys run a lawnmower over him, Toxie stops the blade with his teeth. He spits it into the mouth of another goon, which makes him lose his teeth.
  • Numbered Sequels
  • Stealth Pun: A mutated duck-frog shows up, and Toxie wonders what you would even call it. More likely than not, a fuck.
  • William Telling: The chairman makes one of his henchman put on apple on his. Unfortunately for him, the chairman is using a shotgun, and he's pointing straight down.

    Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV (2000) 
  • And You Were There: When Toxie finally makes it back to his own world, he tells Sergeant Kabukiman NYPD that he was there, but he was evil and he kicked Toxie's ass. He notices the two guys next to Kabukiman, and says they weren't there.
  • Ass Shove: Toxie does this to a member of the Diaper Mafia in Citizen Toxie.
  • Attempted Rape: Sweetie Baby is almost raped by the alternate universe equivelants of the Diaper Mafia, but Toxie intervenes in a timely fashion.
  • Big Bad: Noxious Offender, Toixe's evil alternate self.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Toxie fights Noxie in the Tromaville Hospital while the unborn fetuses of both men duke it out in Sarah's stomach. Toxie rips apart Noxie as his unborn son strangles the Noxie fetus...and then an evil doppleganger of Melvin emerges from Noxie's stomach.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: The movie begins with Toxie fighting a band of terrorists calling themselves "The Diaper Mafia". And yes, those diapers do get used for their intended purposes.
  • The Cameo: A ton of them; including Stan Lee, Ron Jeremy, Lemmy, Corey Feldman and Mark Torgl reprising his role as Melvin.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • As a nod to this,a formal apology is given for the previous two sequels.
    • Melvin's last name is still Junko (it was Ferd in the original, and changed to Junko in the sequels out of fear of a possible lawsuit from MAD Magazine, who had used the name Melvin Ferd frequently during the Kurtzman era of the publication), and his mother is completely out of the picture. Melvin may have acquired his last name through Sarah, but this is never confirmed.
    • Toxie's wife is named Sarah, while Noxie's girlfriend is named Claire.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The leader of the Diaper Mafia orders the students to "drop your tacos or I'll blow your brains out!" This is the exact same line that Leroy says in the original film during the Mexican restaurant holdup scene.
    • The climax has Toxie throw the Melvin doppelganger out of the second-story window of the Tromaville Hospital into a vat of toxic waste, just like the original film. It even uses the same footage!
  • Creator Cameo: Lloyd Kaufman appears as himself in the newsreel about the alternate univer accidents at the end of the film.
  • Depraved Bisexual: The Noxious Offender is a textbook example of this keeping both a woman and a man at his house which he sexually exploits. He also attempts to rape Toxie during their final fight with each other which is made even creepier by Noxie's very expectant tone of voice.
  • Deus ex Machina: Near the end of the film, Chester finally finds a way to send Toxie back to Tromaville. That solution? A pair of ruby slippers.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Both Toxie and Sara go through incredibly traumatic circumstances. Toxie loses his sidekick, gets shot at by cops in Amortville, fails to save a man being lynched by a pair of rednecks, almost gets killed by multiple assailants, discovers that his wife is pregnant, and finally triumphs over an alternate universe version of himself. Sara gets groped by a member of Noxie's posse, raped by Noxie himself, groped and raped by Sgt. Kabukiman, freaked out by a gynecologist and writhes in pain as her unborn fetuses duke it out in her stomach. Luckily, everything works out well at the end.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Lampshaded:
    "This is an American-made car: every time they flip 25 feet into the air and crash down, they blow up. Let's get out of here!"
  • Evil Twin: The Noxious Offender a.k.a. Noxie and Evil Kabukiman.
  • Fallen Hero: Sgt. Kabukiman. Once one of the most renowned heroes, he's since become a pathetic, drunken has-been.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • A very buxom chick with blue hair making out with Toxie's wife while Noxie masturbates to a photograph of a nuclear explosion.
    • There's also a topless member of the Diaper Mafia making out with a special needs student, while Lardass smears peanut butter on a bomb, eats it and farts loudly.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: A doctor examining Sarah shows her two vials of natal fluid, with the green one representing Toxie's baby, and the red one representing Noxie's. He helpfully clarifies that you can tell Noxie's is evil because it's red.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted. Lardass eats the bomb in order to save Toxie and the two surviving students, except that there was no real reason to (Toxie and the others escape in time), and his intended sacrifice ends up making things worse when it rips open a dimensional tear and brings Noxie into Tromaville.
  • Jerkass: Tito tries to sell his classmate Sweetie Honey off to the alternate universe version of the Diaper Mafia in exchange for drugs, then acts utterly unrepentant when Toxie calls him on it after saving both of them.
  • King of All Cosmos: God makes a brief appearance as a hairy midget (played by Howard Stern show regular, the late Henry Nasiff, Jr., aka Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf). We see him deciding how certain people are going to die, and he needs to be informed that Polio now has a cure. When he sends Toxie on his way he asks him for two favors; the first is to keep killing all of the murderers and child rapists. The second is to tell the pope to stop talking about him. He doesn't know him, he's an asshole, and his hat looks fucking stupid.
  • Losing Your Head: Toxie tries (and fails) to rescue a black man who's being dragged behind a pickup truck by his head. However, he befriends the man's (Pompe's) head, and carries it around with him for the rest of the film.
  • Numbered Sequels
  • Overly Long Gag: The 5-second bomb. Not only does the bomb announce what second it is at multiple times, but Toxie has enough time to go to the janitor's closet, have a short conversation with Tito, go home, have sex with Sara, speak with her about her pregnancy, get a bagged lunch, run back to the school and pull the surviving students out before the bomb blows.
  • Population: X, and Counting: When Noxie goes on a killing spree when he first arrives in Tromatown, a worker has to keep placing new numbers over the town's sign.
  • Rape as Comedy: Kabukiman, was incredibly drunk and taking a piss in Toxie's laundry basket. In the middle of said piss, he turned his head and saw Sara tied up. This caused him to became aroused, and, forgetting to zip up, he went over to the bed and tried to untie her. In his highly inebriated state, he passed out on top of her, and literally fell inside her. It Makes Sense in Context...kind of.
  • Rousing Speech: Mad Cowboy gives one when Kabukiman is considering running away. It works, even though it's entirely in moos.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Practically Tito's catchphrase, tho he uses the more colorful variant "Fuck This Shit, Man, I'm Outta Here!".
  • Shout-Out:
    • There are several references to The Wizard of Oz.
      Toxie: I don't think we're in Tromaville anymore, Toto.
      Tito: Tito! My name is tito!
    • At one point, the Noxious Offender gets a nosebleed. Cue him muttering "noseblood" and dropping a snowglobe. Then again, since the movie is titled "Citizen Toxie", it would be odd NOT to have a Citizen Kane reference.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: One of the special needs students and member of the Diaper Gang have a smoke after having sex. This results in tragedy because Lardass had just let out a huge fart after eating a bomb which result in an explosion.


Alternative Title(s): Toxic Avenger, Toxic Crusaders, The Toxic Avenger Part II, Citizen Toxie The Toxic Avenger IV, The Toxic Avenger Part III The Last Temptation Of Toxie

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