The Toxic Avenger Part II (Gryphon) (1989) (NTSC)
Introduction-Director Lloyd Kaufman
Audio Commentary-Director Lloyd Kaufman
Featurette-about 15 pieces of the usual Troma stuff
Trailer-x 9, including the 3 Toxie films
Gallery-Photo-Film and behind the scenes
|Year Of Production||1989|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||None||Smoking||Yes, Bad guys always smoke|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The dastardly Apocalypse Corporation are seeking to take over Tromaville for a toxic chemical waste dump. When their goons try to destroy the Tromaville Centre for the Blind, thereby having the property condemned, the Toxic Avenger (John Altamura / Ron Fazio) steps in to thwart their plans as well as save his blind girlfriend Claire (Phoebe Legere). The Apocalypse Chairman (Rick Collins) need Toxic out of the way, so concocts a new plan: with the help of a sexy psychiatrist they entice Toxic to Japan in search of his father, allowing them their opportunity in Tromaville. In Japan Toxie searches for his father and fights crime, including saving Japanese woman Masami (Mayako Katsuragi). Disappointed when the man Toxie is told is his father turns out to be a drug dealer, Toxie returns home in time to stop Apocalypse’s takeover of Tromaville, save Claire from an attack by the “Bad Girls” led by Malfaire (b>Lisa Gaye) and to meet his real father.
The Toxic Avenger Part II uses a completely new cast from The Toxic Avenger, including two different actors as Toxie. Not that it matters, as acting and continuity are not priorities for a Troma movie. The gross out gore and violence quota is also reduced in The Toxic Avenger Part II. Kaufman in his commentary explains that this was done to try to obtain the R rating that would allow the film wider distribution in theatres; it did not really work and so afterwards Troma just went for the maximum, irrespective of possible ratings. In addition, this release of the film is the severely truncated version – see below. The result? In Australia this release of The Toxic Avenger Part II is rated MA while every other Troma film I have reviewed, including The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke’em High, Poultrygeist, Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. and Tromeo & Juliet are all rated R. I should say, however, that The Toxic Avenger Part II does have a healthy serving of nudity, including a scene in a Japanese bathhouse.
What The Toxic Avenger Part II really lacks is ideas, originality and a coherent plot structure. For example, the opening 20 minutes are almost exclusively Toxie fighting a succession of Apocalypse’s goons, the Japanese scenes are from another movie and upon his return to Tromaville the most that the writers can come up with is a motorbike and car chase that, while a few cars are trashed, is really nothing different or inventive. The film also falls back onto a voiceover narrative to fill in the plot holes.
The Troma trademark school of acting is also in full view. Most Troma films contain exaggerated overacting that is barely under control; in The Toxic Avenger Part II it is out of control, with Phoebe Legere being extremely silly and annoying, although Rick Collins is not far behind. There are still some humorous moments; if you throw enough jokes in a script a few have to work out, but these moments are not frequent enough to raise one’s interest for any length of time.
The Toxic Avenger is synonymous with Troma films and Toxie’s misshapen face has become the Troma logo, so important was this film to the fortunes of the company. The Toxic Avenger Part II has its moments but confirms to the generally accepted lore about sequels, including being about 13 minutes longer than the original, even in this truncated version.
The Toxic Avenger Part II has been released in Australia previously and was reviewed on this site here. While most of the extras are still the same, it seems that this new release is a different cut of the film, running 95:13 as opposed to the 102:49 listed in the review. The explanation is that this new release is a severely truncated version of the film, not the unrated Director’s cut, missing about 7 minutes of gore and some extra scenes in Japan: for a look at what is missing see the comparison on the movie-censorship site here.
The Toxic Avenger Part II is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33.1, which is listed in the IMDb as the original ratio, and is not 16x9 enhanced. This is an NTSC format disc.
This is a better than average Troma print. It is generally soft and lacking in contrast, especially in scenes where the light source is behind the actors, such as 27:50. Towards the end of the film, in the car chase sequences, the film is much sharper, and quite good. Colours are flat but natural enough, as are skin tones. Blacks are acceptable, as is shadow detail. Also on the plus side, there are no scratches and dirt marks are infrequent and small. The film also paused for a fraction of a second on a number of occasions, including 7:21, 15:58, 33:51, 50:37, 68:22 and 76:31. Although brief, the pauses were noticeable. I tried the DVD on a couple of players, with identical results. Looking back at my review of The Toxic Avenger pauses also occurred on that release as well.
There are no subtitles as such, although burnt in white subtitles translated some of the Japanese dialogue, generally I think when a joke was involved. Quite a lot of other Japanese dialogue was not translated.
Audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track at 384 Kbps that is quite good. The commentary track is also at 384 Kbps.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand. Effects were reasonably crisp and sharp, and some effects and music were directed to the surround speakers. My sub-woofer gave minor support to the explosions. There was no hiss evident.
Lip synchronisation is off in the Japanese sections where the characters spoke English as all were overdubbed.
The score by Barrie Guard, adds the Toxic Avenger Theme Song as well as sampling Amazing Grace and It Don’t Mean a Thing If You Ain’t Got That Swing. The music called attention to itself on many occasions, so I guess suited the film although it did seem obtrusive.
|Surround Channel Use|
Quite a variety of extras however only a few, including the commentary, are specific to The Toxic Avenger Part II as the majority have appeared on other Troma releases. Not a lot of value, to be blunt.
Kaufman talks non-stop with his usual array of jokes, location information, making sequels, low budget filmmaking and troubles with the rating agency. I expected more about why part of The Toxic Avenger Part II was made in Japan. Interesting enough, although not one of his most sparking commentaries.
Some short comments on the Toxie 2 experience. Instantly forgettable, except for Lisa Gaye’s assets. They are:
17 movie and behind the scenes stills. Silent screen, use the remote to advance.
Includes the following:
Trailers for Troma titles: The Toxic Avenger (3:10), The Toxic Avenger Part II (2:19), The Toxic Avenger Part III (3:00), Def by Temptation (1:45), Class of Nuke’em High (2:55), Blood Sucking Freaks (1:58), Surf Nazis Must Die (2:49), Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (3:35) and Tromeo & Juliet (2:12).
Although on the DVD cover and the menu, this feature which includes the Troma Intelligence Test and Tour of Troma Studios cannot be accessed from the menu. It is however on the DVD; use the remote to access the chapters.
Two silent pages of film and DVD credits.
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.
The The Toxic Avenger Part II has been released in different cuts. This release is identical to the US R rated cut. I’d seek out the unrated Director’s Cut that is still available on Amazon.com. Sales sites in Australia are advertising the “Unrated Director’s Cut”, but be careful – a running time of 95 or 96 minutes is not that cut of the film.
The Toxic Avenger is synonymous with Troma films and Toxie’s misshapen face has become the Troma logo, so important was this film to the fortunes of the company. The Toxic Avenger Part II has its moments but confirms to the generally accepted lore about sequels. And, while this release of The Toxic Avenger has vastly improved video, it is the truncated version of the film, missing much of the gore. One for fans to decide: I know what I would prefer.
The video and audio are acceptable. The extras, except for the commentary, have appeared elsewhere on Troma releases.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|