The Toxic Avenger 21st Anniversary Edition (Widescreen) product details page

The Toxic Avenger 21st Anniversary Edition (Widescreen)

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One of the most gleefully violent and tasteless super-human hero films ever to have been committed to celluloid, The Toxic Avenger proved the film that truly launched Troma as the center of the universe for mindless and endearingly sleazy entertainment. Upon viewing the film in retrospect, the fact that it spawned a series of lucrative sequels for Troma seems a given, though the simultaneous fact that it also proved the forerunner to a fairly popular but short-lived Saturday morning kiddie cartoon (complete with action figure tie-ins) is no less than mind-boggling considering the film's shockingly graphic violence towards children. Though anyone with a sensitive stomach and the easily (and, perhaps, not so easily) offended should be forewarned to avoid this film at all costs, those with a hearty sense of pitch-black humor will certainly find this no-budget, no-holds-barred cartoonish shock-a-thon required viewing. Best appreciated with a group of similarly twisted gore-hounds in the wee hours of a Saturday night, co-directors and Troma Studios co-founders Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Hertz pull out all the stops in playing such atrocities as a shotgun pointed at a baby and a child whose head is smashed repeatedly in graphic detail under the wheels of a car for laughs. While taken out of context these situations would read as some of the most horrifying imaginable, combined with sub-par and gleefully campy acting, cheap gore effects and an infectively giddy sense of anarchy, they work to create an atmosphere in which these otherwise unforgivable events are rendered so improbable that they become ridiculously humorous. Reportedly inspired to create this extreme effort after hearing that /horror films were a dead genre, Kaufman may not have succeeded in single-handedly revitalizing the truly effective /horror film, though he without question created one of the most influential exercises in bad taste since Pink Flamingos. Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide