Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Toxic Avenger Part II (1989)

Yet more daftness from the house of Troma. 
If you can't remember what happened at the end of the first part of the adventures of THE TOXIC AVENGER then don't worry, because there's a helpful recap at the beginning of this, which comes after titles that would probably be too bright for an overactive five year old, as well as a bouncy theme song to match.

Toxie is still living in a toxic waste dump in Tromaville with his blind girlfriend who is now played by Phoebe Legere. Ms Legere demonstrates an acting style that can charitably be described as 'unique', but in fact that just means she seems all the more suited to this film than some of the other people in it. 
       After the recap the Tromaville Home for the Blind is blown up by a gag straight out of old Warner Bros. cartoons. The Apocalypse Corporation is to blame and, in another moment straight out of Tex Avery, endless goons pour out of a limo to attack Toxie in a bizarre fight scene-cum-dance routine that goes on for a lot too long. Apocalypse wants to rule the world (or something) by filling it with pollution, but they have to get Toxie out of the way to achieve their goals. 

Apparently Japan has the technology to destroy him, so they buy off Toxie’s sex-obsessed young lady psychiatrist who, during one of her therapy-cum-groping sessions, reveals to Toxie that his father was Japanese. Toxie heads to Japan for the kind of prolonged and 'hilarious' chase scenes fans of Troma movies will probably be used to. I have to admit that by the time Toxie was zooming down a high street in a hovercraft I was chuckling along with the completely potty action, but if you've never seen a Troma film before, you may think someone has knocked you out and filled your head with Smarties. Needless to say it all ends happily after Toxie has fought a Sumo wrestler and made it back to Tromaville where he gets to find out who is true father is and everyone can get back to the dayglo insanity that is everyday life in the strange world Lloyd Kaufman and his gang seem to have created.

88 Films give us a sparkling transfer of THE TOXIC AVENGER PART II on Blu-ray and the print looks uncut to me. There aren't as many extras as on their first TOXIC AVENGER disc, but we do get a feature length commentary from Lloyd Kaufman and two other chaps whose main function seems to be to remind him what's going on. There's also a brief Kaufman introduction and some short featurettes from various Troma acolytes and enthusiasts.

With their whacked out colour palette, insane dance routines, over the top non-acting and ludicrous, good-natured gore, the TOXIC AVENGER movies feel a bit like an attempt to make the old kids' US TV show H R PUFNSTUF for adults. They don't stand up to any serious criticism, and none should be attempted. Until 88 Films started releasing them I'd never watched a Troma film before and I have to say that, in very limited doses, they're actually quite a bit of fun. Any more than that, however, and you're liable to find yourself in the Troma Hospital for the Cinematically Insane. You have been warned. Once again, though, I have to say well done to 88 Films for making these movies available in what amount to definitive Blu-ray editions. After all, someone had to.

88 Films released the insanity that is Troma's THE TOXIC AVENGER PART II on Region B Blu-ray on 17th November 2014

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