The Toxic Avenger Part III
The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie 1989
After the drop in entertainment quality between the first and second Toxie movie, I didn’t expect very much from The Last Temptation, and aside from a couple minor moments, it follows along the exact same path as Part II. There’s the childlike exposition narration, the usual over the top hammy acting, though another thing I noticed this time around was the horrible pacing. Even though the effects are nothing to write home about, they often linger on them as if they were a multi-million dollar set piece, complete with reaction shots of crowds gasping and screaming as if they’re watching something absolutely horrifying, and while a case could be made for that, they’re often watching something that they should be cheering for in an odd way, rather than screaming in terror over. I’m hoping that what I’ve heard holds true and the final installment brings it back up a notch, if not in actual movie quality, at least in entertainment value, which as fans of bad movies know are not always the same thing.
This time around there’s a full blown recap of the events that took place in the first two parts of the movie as if this were a part two of a cliffhanger television series. Tromaville’s happy (once again), and Toxie’s unfulfilled (once again). Only this time it’s because he’s not actually making any money through his being a hideously deformed hero of superhuman size and strength. Not only that, but he has found out of a medical procedure that can restore his blind girlfriend Claire’s sight, at a cost of over three hundred thousand dollars, which is a tall order considering they live in the dump. He ends up getting a job with Apocalypse Inc, who were the villains from the second movie, and by the end of the movie you find out that the head of Apocalypse Inc is actually the devil himself, which makes kind of sense considering the title of the movie. And from my perspective, the whole concept was basically just to have Toxie end up fighting the Devil in the end. This fight does have the benefit of having one scene that actually impressed me, during their face off which the Devil calls the five levels of doom there is a scene where Toxie basically melts. He first starts bulging and oozing, and then the skin melts off of his body, and the way this is done in the movie really impressed me, especially based on the quality of their special effects so far.
Once again, I think the biggest problem with the movie is the expository narration, as well as lingering painfully long on effects that are of varying quality. As much as I was impressed with the melting scene, it went on probably a full minute longer than it needed to. There’s also a scene where the head of Apocalypse Inc actually turns into the Devil, well more like the Devil tears out of him in a scene that goes on for what feels like a full five minutes, which is more than four minutes too long. Not only that, but Toxie himself comes off really bad in this movie. He’s supposed to be the hero, but he is extremely either self serving, completely stupid, or both based on the obviously evil work he does for his employer. Things like condemning houses, forcing Tromaville residents into work camps testing Agent Orange, all for the money which he apparently receives up front through a contract signed with blood. And his blind girlfriend Claire is just as annoying as she was in the second movie, even when she is no longer blind she still occasionally has some of her “blind” mannerisms. She does have a couple lines near the end that are actually delivered well, and in a fairly understated way which is amazing considering this is a Troma movie, but it was too little too late.
There are some good points in the movie besides all the bad. One thing I really enjoyed were all the fourth wall-breaking stuff in the movie. Like the opening scene where they’re in a video store and Toxie first hides in front of a life size poster from the first Toxic Avenger movie, then he later picks up the box and uses the tape to dispatch one of the villains in the store. There’s also references to things happening “in the ninth reel of the first movie”, and a quick line about the budget of the current movie. I would have liked to have seen a lot more humor along those lines. I also thought the makeup for the Devil was very well done, aside from the odd choice of giving him soap bubble slime in some scenes so he could blow weird soap/slime bubbles while he talked. I also thought it was very interesting that he also flicks his tongue in several places which reminded me a lot of the Devil in the Holy Avenger segments of Super, which was directed by James Gunn who got his start at Troma. It makes me wonder if the Devil in Super was a slight tribute to his time at Troma, even though the look isn’t extremely similar to the makeup in this movie. Knowing that this movie and the second were originally supposed to be one movie makes it tough to figure out how it was supposed to work as a single unit, since the two movies have a very similar story arc, and yet don’t really intersect with each other. It had a few moments of fun but was mostly a waste of time. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.