- Jacob Tremblay, Elijah Wood, Kevin Bacon, Peter Dinklage
- Written by
- Macon Blair (screenplay) Lloyd Kaufman ( based of
- Directed by
- Macon Blair
- Run Time
- Release Date
Before there was a group of superheroes who came together to form a team called the Avengers, there was another Avenger that some might say was quite toxic. I would, of course, be talking about the hero we might not need but definitely deserve, The Toxic Avenger. The Toxic Avenger was a Troma film from 1984 which became a cult classic, one that many in my generation remember fondly. Now, almost 40 years later, he is back and opening this year’s Fantastic Fest, but will he still ooze goodness?
In a city ruled by a corporation that provides supplements that don’t seem to be too good for you, Winston (played by Peter Dinklage) is just another resident who works at said corporation. That place though, is not good for the town and its people. Everywhere you go you can see proof of that. Winston, however, doesn’t care; he is just trying to raise his stepson Wade (Jacob Tremblay) and do right by him. Things are about to take a turn as Winston finds out he has less than a year to live and looks for a way to pay for his treatment after his insurance declines to cover him. So he does what he thinks is right and asks his boss, Bob Garbinger (Kevin Bacon), to help out, but Bob has no interest in that and sends Winston on his way. Despite this, he heads to the factory and decides to steal some money, but he ends up being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and things get worse for him. After being left for dead and thrown into a toxic waste pit, Winston goes through some changes. Now armed with his toxic mop and newfound abilities, Winston becomes the hero the city needs.
The original film was made for what seems like pennies today, and much like its namesake, it refuses to die, as it has spawned sequels, a couple of video games, and now a shining new remake. The latest version is written and directed by Macon Blair, and it faithfully captures the spirit of the original film from Lloyd Kaufman and Joe Ritter. Not only is it faithful, I would even say that this version feels like The Toxic Avenger on steroids. No one would ever call The Toxic Avenger sophisticated; it was full of gore and blood splatter, and for us fans of Troma, this one doesn’t disappoint. With that said, The Toxic Avenger might not be for everyone, but for those who love a good, gory, fun time at the movies, you are going to dig this.
As a fan of the original film, I knew I was going to be down with what Blair and everyone involved was going to do. Not only did he pay the perfect homage to the original film, but it often feels like an inside joke with its many references to the Troma Universe. The good thing is you don’t have to be in on those jokes to enjoy the movie, but I do wonder outside the original fans, who this movie will ultimately connect with. I hope it will find some new fans because Toxie is just too good of a guy not to make some new friends. Blair delivers here as you can feel his love for some people’s favorite Avenger, hands down.