This review is sponsored by
|Category||Comedy||Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette - Tromatic Interactivity
Featurette - Radiation March
Featurette - Aroma Du Troma
Featurette - Interview With Toxie Today
Featurette - Mopboy's Secrets
Trailer - The Chosen One: Legend Of The Raven
Trailer - The Rowdy Girls
Trailer - Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD
(Not 97 minutes as stated on the packaging)
|RPI||$39.95||Music||Christopher Burke (and others)|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Original Aspect Ratio||?1.33:1||
|Macrovision||?||Smoking||Yes, in rather amusing ways, too|
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No, thankfully|
The film begins in Tromaville, New Jersey, the same place where most of Troma's films take place, so take pity on the citizens there. Melvin (Mark Torgl), a stereotypical ninety-pound weakling, is being bullied by Slug (Robert Prichard) and Bozo (Gary Schneider) at the local health club. With constant spurning by women such as Wanda (Jennifer Babtist) and Julie (Cindy Manion) to boot, a practical joke in the club results in Melvin plunging out a window into the back of a truck. Nothing wrong with that, you might say, but this truck happens to be carrying vats of toxic waste, one of which Melvin lands more or less directly in. From there, Melvin emerges as Toxie (body by Mitchell Cohen, voice by Kenneth Kessler), a new superhero with a girl-pulling power that defies his ridiculously hideous appearance. His first heroic act is to save a police officer from being killed by Cigar Face (Dan Snow), Knuckles (Doug Isbecque), and Nipples (Charles Lee, Jr.), which draws the media's immediate attention. It also draws the ire of the incumbent mayor, Peter Belgoody (Pat Ryan, Jr.), who is responsible for half the crime in the town.
We also get to see a love interest for Toxie in the shape of Sara (Andree Maranda), proving that love is not only blind, but it is also completely insane when it occurs in Tromaville. The rest of the film uses graphic violence (pay attention for a classic Troma moment at 36:19 when [Ed. Spoiler-highlight with mouse to read] Toxie rips off a robber's arm and then smacks him in the face with it) and sex to keep us all entertained as it moves along to its conclusion, although there are three sequels waiting to be transferred to our beloved format. It's all basically one big take-off of superhero films, with extremely dodgy dialogue and effects, and it works quite well at that. Interesting bits of trivia include the fact that future Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei makes an appearance as an extra who comes out of a shower, and that Jennifer Babtist and Robert Pritchard actually got married after this film was completed.
Sure, the plot is crap, the actors are terrible, and the set design is non-existent, but this is basically the king of B-grade cult movies we're talking about. It also has a touching message to share about judging people by the content of their character rather than how their body looks, even if it is about as subtle as a nuclear strike on an outdoor toilet. Come to think of it, maybe I should send that idea Lloyd Kaufman's way and see if he can do anything with it.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that this is in fact the proper aspect ratio of the film. Obviously, the transfer is not 16x9 Enhanced.
The transfer is not particularly sharp, although I am fairly certain that it is generally much better to look at than any other format that this film has been shown on. Foreground details are clear enough, but the picture is nowhere near as distinct as you'd expect from a film of this age. The shadow detail is poor, with most of the details simply being lost in black patches, and there is no low-level noise. Having said all of these things, however, it is worth mentioning that these faults are all inherent in the source material rather than any specific transfer issue.
The colours are somewhat on the muted side, with the daytime sequences having the same drab and dull look that you will find in daytime television shows such as Days Of Our Lives. On the positive side, there are no problems with cross-colouration, colour-bleeding, or misregistration.
MPEG artefacts are not a problem with this transfer, thanks in part to the RSDL formatting. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some minor aliasing, but this artefact was occasional and very well controlled. Film artefacts consisted of numerous marks, scratches, vertical lines, and hairs on the picture throughout the running length, although this is less of a problem when you make the necessary allowances for the fact that this is a Troma film.
This disc makes use of the RSDL format, with the layer change taking place at 73:55. This is in the middle of a fade-to-black, and it is very much the kind of layer change you'll miss unless you're really paying attention, so it is definitely the best kind of layer change you can have.
The dialogue is clear and easy to make out most of the time, although most of it is so terribly banal that I'm sure nobody would care if they missed a word or two. Most of Toxie's dialogue consists of growls, grunts, groans, and extremely odd-sounding voiceovers by Kenneth Kessler, some of which are actually accompanied by lip movements from Mitchell Cohen, which are odd-looking to say the least. There are are no problems with audio sync, save for some extremely crappy ADR here and there.
The music in this film consists of a couple of pieces
of score music by Christopher Burke, and numerous others such as
Delmar Brown, Morrie Brown, and anyone else who was brave enough to let Troma have the rights to their music. In keeping with the tone of the film in general, it consists of completely stupid and dated numbers that are entirely performed on synthesizers, cheap guitars, a hollow-sounding bass, and cheap drums. Considering that I watched this film hot on the heels of The Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers 2000, I am certain that the twee, canned sound of the music was quite magnified.
The surround channels are not used at all by this soundtrack, although there are very few instances in this film where they'd really be appreciated. There could have been the odd effects in the fight sequences that could have used some redirection into the rears. Nonetheless, this is a Troma film we are talking about, so the fundamentally mono soundtrack with some occasional stereo separation is to be expected. The subwoofer was occasionally used to support the music and the sounds of explosions and cars being overturned, which it did without seeming out of place at any time.
The video quality is acceptable.
The audio quality is acceptable.
The extras are comprehensive, although a commentary
would have been nice.
© Dean McIntosh
(my bio sucks... read it anyway)
April 7, 2001
|DVD||Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm) in 4:3 mode, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Amplification||Sony STR-DE835, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NS-C120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|