Toxic Avenger, The: 21st Anniversary Special Edition (1985) (NTSC)
Trailer-Make Your Own Damn Movie
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Introduction-Lloyd Kaufman (President Of Troma)
Audio Commentary-Lloyd Kaufman And Lenny
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Michael Herz, Mitch Cohen, Dan Snow, Robert Prichard
Featurette-Laser Disc Intro And Outro
Featurette-Where In The World Is Toxie?
Featurette-Testimonials From Fans
Featurette-Films And Music Videos
Featurette-Toxic Avenger The Musikill
|Year Of Production||1985|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
David N. Weiss
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The Toxic Avenger is considered a classic for a reason - it's the ultimate Troma film, which basically made the studio what it is today, while also getting some mainstream attention, and combining all of those elements that make Troma films so unique. It's also a fun, clichéd story retold in the most graphic way possible; an underdog story that transforms its underdog as the ultimate socially-inept nerd-geek-stereotype into a horrendous muscly mass of ugly, masculine extreme, while rendering the male bully figures as insane, homicidal murderers that get their just desserts in methods just as graphic as their crimes. Meanwhile, there's no resistance to violence against women, children, midgets, animals - it's all so over-the-top and extreme that it's usually extremely funny in addition to being uncomfortably unsettling. (It's telling that a scene in which a guide dog is shot received more complaints than the scene in which a child is repeatedly run over in a car, as the dog execution is staged more realistically than the latter infamous squashed-melon-head.) Plus, violence against midgets is always hilarious.
It's also defensible on an academic level - the juvenile nature of the film and lack of any real moral boundaries renders it a true work of art, as it resists and plays upon Hollywood technique and narrative cliché to create a true original, often surreal in both plot and violence. The ritual slaughter of sacred cows while meeting every requirement in lizard-brained entertainment - nudity, violence, sex, explosions - all build in extremely sentient, tongue-in-cheek fashion, and the film also takes aim at the notions of corrupt authority and the oppressed people's inability to do anything to overthrow their dominators.
But, let's face it - no one is watching this film for intellectual engagement. The Toxic Avenger is just a bloody, puerile, offensive good time, and I dare anyone not to be entertained by it.
The video transfer shows both the age and budget of the film, full of film artefacts, grain and the interlacing issues common to NTSC transfers. Converted to digital from cheap 35mm film, the film often looks grainy, with very poor black levels and constantly changing light and colours, often in the same scene.
This might sound awful, especially from a technical standpoint, but (interlacing issues excluded) it's the original, intended way to view the film. It's the full B-grade experience, and one of the only Troma films released in widescreen. Honestly, I cannot imagine viewing this insanely graphic, ridiculous film in shiny, clean HD - it wouldn't feel right. Yet there's no denying that the NTSC problems and the non-anamorphic transfer are indeed issues.
No subtitles are available on this DVD.
This is a very basic no-frills 2.0 track, but it sounds great regardless. All of the different elements of the strange, unique soundtrack sound excellent, from the fun pop-rock theme song to the classical music that roars over the transformation of Melvin to Toxie. The recurring motifs, including the theme song to Toxie killing people, sound enchanting as he beats in the skull of his enemies and eviscerates all who stand in his way.
The dialogue is very audible and there are no ADR problems presented, aside from the intentional dubbing of Toxie himself. Although nothing compared to the audio tracks on the latest blockbuster DVDs, this soundtrack is true to the film's roots and is thoroughly engaging.
|Surround Channel Use|
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
- Bonus Trailers
- Theatrical Trailer
- Troma Website Advertisement
- 2 x "Peta2" featurettes
- "The Tromamercial" featurette
Unless you are desperate for these extras, our edition is still superb, though really the cheaper option is the better, especially since there's no PAL transfer available.
Alternatively, or in addition, the American R0 DC direct from Troma Team Video has the complete 110 minute Director's Cut of the feature, as well as a lot of other extras, and is well worth the purchase for Toxie fans and completists.
The video transfer is low quality, but suits the film. Likewise, the audio quality is simple but very listenable.
The extras are a mixed bag, ranging from excellent to diehard-Toxie-fans only, but are in general lots of fun and a worthy tribute to Toxie and Troma.
|DVD||LG LH-D6230, using Component output|
|Display||Benq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|