Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV 2000
This is the most recent Toxic Avenger movie to come from Troma films, at least until the slowly developing sequel Toxic Twins finally gets made. Apparently the writer/director suffers from procrasti-pation, a cross between procrastination and constipation, at least according to the teaser. But anyway, this movie feels like it already exists in practically a different universe. There’s no direct follow up from Toxie part 2 or 3, in fact his girlfriend is back to being blind. There are plenty of other additions to the movie that make it seem like they’ve been there all along, like Toxie’s sidekick Lardass or his ability to change into a hot bikini babe. There’s also a lot more nudity in this movie, there are more breasts in part 4 than there were in parts 1 through 3 combined, though there’s always a layer of crass humor to undercut any possible sexiness. This movie also has plenty of “star” power, ranging from Stan Lee who voices the opening and ending narration, famous porn star Ron Jeremy, Troma property Kabukiman, and not-exactly-stars-but-I-recognized-them stand up comedians the Skylar Brothers. And also more than any of the previous movies, this film is filled with humor that is based on being offensive. It is still a cheesy B-movie, and as far as my enjoyment level goes, it is much better than parts 2 & 3, though I’m not sure it captured the original intent or charm of the first movie.
The basic plot of the movie involves Toxie getting sent to an alternate dimension that is the evil version of Tromaville, called Amortville. And at the same time Toxie’s evil counterpart, the Noxious Offender, gets sent to Tromaville to cause havoc there. There’s also plenty of offensive material that’s played for laughs, like the opening takes place in the Tromaville school for special children who are all played by adults doing stereotypical handicapped schtick, as well as characters calling them more offensive names. Two of the “children” get sent to the alternate dimension along with Toxie, the rebel who resents being handicapped Tito, and the basically useless Sweetie Honey. There’s also a group of Tromaville superheroes that go to take on Noxie which are all one-note jokes except for Kabukiman, like a rapper named Master something who gets crossed with a pedophile named something Bater, you get the picture. But to go even farther with the pun, he has hairy palms, wears a loose bathrobe and frequently masturbates to an absurdly powerful climax, all while rapping horribly.
I will say that the special effects were a step up from any of the previous installments, and they use them quite frequently. The opening sequences has actual gunshots with actual blood. And lots of it. There’s also plenty of gross out gags involving adult diapers, and I’ll just leave it at that. One of the better, albeit still obviously low budget effects is during the latter half of the movie, Toxie rescues a guy who is being dragged behind a pickup truck until all that is left of him is his head. Of course, he’s still alive and able to talk, and honestly I thought he was the best and funniest character out of the whole movie. There’s also a great, and disturbing, effect near the end of the movie with Noxie’s penile implant which is like a cross between a Xenomorph’s secondary mouth and a Freddy Kreuger inspired creature. There’s also plenty of severed arms, torsos, disembowelment, and plenty of other blood and gore to keep a Troma fan happy.
The humor this time around feels like it gets closer to the right balance. One of the funniest gags for me is when Noxie’s girlfriend is talking, there is a topless sign language interpreter in a little circle near her. But she only actually interprets the sign language in the very first scene, since every time after that the girlfriend actually speaks while doing her fake sign language so the interpretation isn’t needed and she just hangs out in frame doing things like eating a pizza. Unfortunately, there’s still plenty of immature and crude humor involving fart noises, bodily fluid gags, and a fat guy giving oral sex for pastries. Once in a while, these jokes will hit the right note, but more often than not they just fall flat. One minor moment that I thought was a neat choice was bringing back the original “actor” who played the weakling janitor Melvin from the first movie for a brief scene at the end, along with re-used footage from the original movie. I was rather annoyed with the version of Melvin that they created for the third movie and I actually appreciate the callback. While it never quite lived up to the original movie in terms of charm and B-movie entertainment value, I still was able to have some fun with it. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.