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The Toxic Avenger (1984) Review

The Toxic Avenger is a 1984 American superhero horror comedy film directed by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz. The film stars Mark Torgl as Melvin Ferd the Third, a janitor at a local gym who is transformed into a deformed mutant after being exposed to radioactive waste. The Toxic Avenger becomes a vigilante, fighting crime and cleaning up the streets of Tromaville, New Jersey.

I guess for the initiated there is no need to try and sell Toxie, you either love it or hate it. Those who haven’t yet seen this movie are well and truly in for a great time. The storyline revolves around a geeky teenage dude called Melvin who’s got a down and out janitors job in one of the local gyms in Tromaville. After some shenanigans involving a four legged sheep of some kind, poor Melvin finds himself floating in the nuclear soup (I won’t connect the dots for you). Well this twist of fate turns the flyweight teenage weakling into the Toxic Avenger, Troma’s own superhero ready to kick ass for the helpless and put a stop to those who wronged him in the past.

I guess Toxie’s strength in comparison to a lot of other Troma movies lies in it’s pacing and it’s humour. I was in pain from laughter at some of the jokes in this movie (I got a dark sense of humour ;). It has strong acting for a Troma flick also, everybody does well in their ‘cut in a mould characters’. The SFX are acceptable for a mid 80’s b-movie and actually serve to give the movie it’s charm in a lot of ways. Also there are some fine looking women in this flick who are not shy about being in front of the camera if ya get me 😉

In the end I would recommend The Toxic Avenger to every horror movie fan, this is definitely one that needs to be seen. Get the beer in and enjoy!

The Toxic Avenger is one of those rare films that is so bad it’s good. The acting is terrible, the special effects are laughable, and the plot is ridiculous. But somehow, Kaufman and Herz have managed to create a film that is so entertaining it’s impossible to look away.

The Toxic Avenger is a must-see for fans of bad movies. It’s a hilarious, over-the-top, and campy good time.


At the New Jersey Toxic Waste Dump, Melvin Ferd the Third, the site manager, is accidentally sprayed with toxic waste. As he runs around in agony, he falls into a barrel of the stuff and is transformed into a deformed mutant. He kills a group of bullies who had been tormenting him, and then sets out for revenge on those responsible for dumping the toxic waste.

After a failed attempt to get his revenge, Melvin retreats to the sewers, where he is befriended by a group of mutant creatures. He adopts the name “Toxie” and becomes their leader.

Toxie then sets out to stop the evil plans of the mayor and the head of the local mob. He defeats them both and becomes a local hero.

The Toxic Avenger is a 1984 American superhero horror comedy film directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman (who also served as co-writer and producer) and starring Mitch Cohen, Andree Maranda, and Jennifer Babtist. The film was distributed by Troma Entertainment.

Movie Details

Directors: Michael Herz, Samuel Weil
Writers: Lloyd Kaufman, Joe Ritter, Stuart Strutin, Gay Terry
Actors: Cindy Manion, Mitchell Cohen, Mark Torgl, Andree Maranda
Release Year: 1984