How can you call yourself a horror fan, if you have never seen "The Toxic Avenger"??? I must have asked this question a million times too many so-called horror fanatics. Love it or hate it, Troma's "The Toxic Avenger" has forever influenced the way we watch horror movies today.
Born out the dark and deranged mind of Lloyd Kaufman (co-founder of Troma) in the early 80's, Toxie, as his adoring fans have come to call him, helped to establish a new standard for underground filmmaking. This environmental crusader has become a symbol of freedom for children and adults alike and a mainstay for the collective conscious of this here planet earth. But beyond his rise to superstardom in animated features, his own toy line and comic book series, Toxie's misadventures helped to create one of the most entertaining, influential, and fun horror films of all-time.
There are many reasons why "The Toxic Avenger" is such a cool movie. Most fans may not realize that classic films such as "Evil Dead 2" and "DeadAlive" own a great debt to the chances that "The Toxic Avenger" took in further establishing a successful formula for the horror-comedy. Where on the other hand, hardcore junkies should revel in the amount of gore and violence that is infused in the heart of this film. It is from this foundation that the true spirit of independent cinema is left to blossom.
The success of The Toxic Avenger was followed by a string of commercial and artistic triumphs in a similar vein, blending fantasy, heavy action, comedy, and eroticism in a style that can only be described as “Tromatic”. These films, including the Class of Nuke ‘Em High trilogy, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, and Troma’s War, were often ignored or scorned by the intelligentsia of the time but spoke to an entire generation of young people who rejected the pandering, commercial films of the mid-to-late 80’s. Some of these Troma fans went on to become filmmakers themselves, including Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Mike Judge, Peter Jackson, and Trey Parker.