Monday, October 08, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—The Toxic Avenger (1984) zero stars

UR, 87 min.
Directors: Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman
Writers: Joe Ritter, Lloyd Kaufman, Gay Terry, Stuart Strutin
Starring: Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Babtist, Cindy Manion, Robert Prichard, Gary Schneider, Pat Ryan, Mark Torgl

A couple of years ago, I watched “Troll 2”, which has been called the worst movie ever made. It’s bad. I confirmed that when I screened it for Horrorfest ’10. I didn’t think it was the worst movie of all time, but it was so bad it didn’t really matter which film (or films) was worse. “The Toxic Avenger” is worse.

I knew going into it, just as I did with “Troll 2”, that “The Toxic Avenger” wasn’t good. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it, but I figured there had to be something to its camp to produce three sequels, an animated series, and a musical adaptation. Nope. It’s just bad.

One difference between “Troll 2” and “The Toxic Avenger” is that “Troll 2” isn’t trying to be bad. The filmmakers are earnestly trying to make the best movie they can. They’re simply incompetent, which brings a level of appreciation to the horridness of the movie that’s somehow appealing. The makers of “The Toxic Avenger” on the other hand are trying to make a bad movie. It is still probably the best movie they’re capable of making; but since they’re not really trying to make something that they feel is good, it isn’t as fun.

It’s stupid. That’s what it is, because that’s all it’s trying to be. The characters are ridiculous and seem to be based on nothing but the silliness that the filmmakers and actors can come up with off the cuff. There’s no real thought put into it. It’s very exploitational, which can be fun when done with style. Style is something far from what any of the talent here can pull off. Using the word ‘talent’ in the context of this film feels like a betrayal of the art and craft so many filmmakers work so hard to achieve.

I’d go over the plot, but I really don’t care to. If the filmmakers don’t care to put work and thought into the movies they make, why should I bother to do so in my reviews? Of course, I have put forth a little bit of thought here. So, I’ve already afforded them more respect than they did me.

Although, I'm sure no one will want to, you can screen the entire movie below.

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