The Toxic Avenger

April 11th, 1986


The Toxic Avenger

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Tromaville has a monstrous new hero. The Toxic Avenger is born when mop boy Melvin Junko falls into a vat of toxic waste. Now evildoers will have a lot to lose.

Release Year: 1984

Rating: 5.9/10 (9,620 voted)

Director: Michael Herz

Stars: Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Prichard

This is the story of Melvin, the Tromaville Health Club mop boy, who inadvertently and naively trusts the hedonistic, contemptuous and vain health club members, to the point of accidentally ending up in a vat of toxic waste. The devastating results then have a transmogrification effect, his alter ego is released, and the Toxic Avenger is born, to deadly and comical results. The local mop boy is now the local Superhero, the saviour of corruption, thuggish bullies and indifference. Troma classic with good make-up effects and stunts, a pleasant surprise indeed.

Writers: Lloyd Kaufman, Joe Ritter

Andree Maranda - Sara
Mitch Cohen - The Toxic Avenger (as Mitchell Cohen)
Jennifer Prichard - Wanda (as Jennifer Babtist)
Cindy Manion - Julie
Robert Prichard - Slug
Gary Schneider - Bozo
Pat Ryan - Mayor Peter Belgoody (as Pat Ryan Jr.)
Mark Torgl - Melvin Junko
Dick Martinsen - Officer O'Clancy
Chris Liano - Walter Harris
Dan Snow - Cigar Face
Doug Isbecque - Knuckles
Charles Lee Jr. - Nipples
Patrick Kilpatrick - Leroy (as Pat Kilpatrick)
Larry Sulton - Frank

Taglines: He was 98 lbs. of solid nerd until he became...


Official Website: Officially sanctioned Toxic Avenger fan site | Troma |

Release Date: 11 April 1986

Filming Locations: Boonton, New Jersey, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $475,000 (estimated)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Canada:  | USA: (unrated version: Directors Cut)  | Argentina: (Mar del Plata Film Festival)  | USA: (R-rated version)

Did You Know?

Look for future Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei as an extra (coming out of a shower).

Revealing mistakes: During the love montage there is a scene where Toxie jokingly puts a pylon on his head and Sara laughs, Sara's character is blind.

Sara: Why Melvin you're beautiful. You're a beautiful person. You're so muscular. It's been two years since I've touched a man.

User Review

The posterchild for the 'so bad it's good' film brigade...

Rating: 7/10

Lacklustre direction by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, a goofy script (by Joe Ritter), truly poor FX and even worse acting all add up to, for some strange, abstract reason, a stupidly enjoyable film experience.

Maybe it's the camp sounding music, the over the top (and in some cases *way* over the top) 'acting', or perhaps it's just the fact that it's so unashamedly weird and downright cheesy that makes it such fun to watch, who knows? Whatever the reason this definitely isn't a film to spend long hours contemplating such things, instead just sit back and enjoy the crazy show.

Performance wise, as already mentioned, none of the actors give even remotely decent performances, with the exception of Andree Miranda who's actually pretty good in her role as Toxie's blind girlfriend. All of the other actors are so far over the top (or indeed just so downright terrible) that by films end they too have somehow managed to take on their own distinctly cheesy charm and add greatly to the whole 'so bad it's good' motif.

As I may have mentioned once or twice before 'The Toxic Avenger' is cheesier than a block of cheese factories, and as such it takes a special type of person to enjoy 'this type of thing', however for those with their tongue planted firmly in cheek, and for lovers of schlock cinema and 50's z-grade monster movies this is a must see. For most everyone else though it's probably best avoided and will most likely induce headaches and annoyance rather than belly laughs and amusement. Which of the above descriptions best suits you I'll leave you to decide for yourself.



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