#193 -- The Toxic Avenger (1984)

Rating: 5 / 5
Directors: Michael Herz & Lloyd Kaufman

He was 95 pounds of solid nerd, until he became...The Toxic Avenger!

With all those other lucky superheroes out there, I think it's nice to have an unlucky one who everyone can relate to. Iron Man could only do what he did because he had money, and it was the same with Batman. Superman was an alien, so he doesn't count. Thor was a God, so it's only natural that he'd be badass. And then there's Melvin Ferd. I think he's like a cross between Captain America and The Hulk. Captain America was a tiny little nerd, until some unlikely and surprising circumstances turned him into a hero. Bruce Banner was a normal guy, until he was exposed to some gamma rays, turning him into The Hulk.

Melvin was the biggest nerd you could ever imagine. I actually think that's how they came up with his last name--Ferd--a contraction of Fucking Nerd. I mean, he was the worst. He was goofy looking, he was clumsy, he was a pervert; he was every bully's favorite guy. He was a janitor at the Tromaville Health Club. They called him the Mop Boy, and  he was an extremely easy target for ridicule. There was a group of bullies in particular that liked to pick on Melvin, but they were more than just bullies. They were murderers. They played a game of hit and run, with each target earning them a certain amount of points. One day one of the evil girls, Julie, decided to play a prank on Melvin. She told him she wanted to do it with him, but only if he was wearing pink, because pink really turned him on. Since he didn't have anything pink, she gave him a tutu and told him to meet her at the pool. When he got there, all the lights were out, but he followed her voice to her waiting lips. Or what he thought were her waiting lips; the lips that actually awaited him belonged to a sheep. Completely humiliated, Melvin ran.

Everyone in the gym ran after him, cackling laughter all the way. He ended up jumping out of a window, and he landed in a barrel of toxic waste on a truck parked below. Instead of killing him, like you would expect, the toxic waste gave him superpowers.

Everyone who knows anything about Troma knows that they are low budget movies. But anyone who watches them knows that their effects are actually quite good. The transformation from Melvin to Toxic Avenger was gruesome, gross, and awesome. After he was transformed by the toxic waste, Melvin had a sort of spidey sense. Whenever evil was around, he lost control, and he just had to destroy it. The superhero inside of him took over, and evil was no match for him. Toxie, as his fans so lovingly refer to him now, was vicious and bad ass. He could really fuck shit up. And trust me, there were plenty of people to be fucked up in Tromaville. It was a crime-ridden town, with gangs, thieves, drug dealers, and crooked politicians galore. But Toxie was on a mission to rid his beloved town of all evil--cleaning up crime, one thug at a time, with his mops of justice. They called him The Monster Hero, and he was either loved or hated by the townspeople. Some were afraid of him, and thought he should be destroyed, though those were mostly the crooked ones with something to  hide. The others, the ones he saved from the gangs, were very thankful and loyal to him. Along with his blind girlfriend Sarah, they were all on his side, and they would save him from the evil government trying to kill him.

Even though it was a terrible situation that Melvin was thrown into, it wasn't all bad. He got to have his revenge in the end, and he became a hero with a beautiful woman by his side. This might not be a full-fledged horror movie (I think it's lumped in there because of all the over-the-top gore).

It's a beautiful coming of age story with a wonderful message to tell. If Melvin Ferd, the biggest loser on the planet, can find his place in this world, and find love while he's at it, so can you.

To me, there's no excuse for not loving this movie. If you don't, you're a weirdo and you should be ashamed of yourself. Not really, but I do think it appeals to many different senses. It's got the typical Troma gore--over the top and completely ridiculous, but at the same time fucking awesome. It's got those stupid, corny jokes I've come to love. And, of course, it's got an unbelievable story that becomes believable with its wonderful characters. Toxic waste or no, Melvin Ferd is the shit. And if you're one of those awesome people who do enjoy this kind of think, you should check out the novelization of the movie, written by Lloyd Kaufman himself (along with some guy named Adam Jahnke, though I believe it was just Lloyd and he's fucking with us). It gets deeper into Melvin's past, as well as his girlfriend Sarah's. It also tells us more of the corruption of Tromaville and its leaders. And also, it's funny as shit.

The Toxic Avenger is a franchise no one expected. How could something so stupid go so far? Two sequels, books, a children's cartoon, a theater production (I'm not even kidding), action figures, etc. Toxie has become an icon and a household name. So my last words for you guys are these: All hail the monster hero!

Some more screen caps, 'cause I can

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