Welcome to this week’s installment of “It Came from the Bargain Bin!” I guess this week’s selection falls under the “horror” genre but you and I know that often times just because a movie is labeled horror, drama, action, etc., etc., this does not mean that the particular movie always reflects the genre that it falls under. For example, Escape from L.A. may be considered an action movie but we all know that Escape from L.A. may as well be a comedy and I feel this this week’s pick from The Bin is one of those multi-genre movies. To be honest, I’m not sure if this week’s flick even reflects the horror genre as much as it comes across as a comedy. You decide where this movie stands as far as it’s genre. This week’s “horror” movie from The Bargain Bin is 1985’s “The Toxic Avenger!”
The Toxic Avenger
Tromaville, New York is, some might say, the toxic waste dumping capital of New York and it just so happens that Tromaville is also the residence of Melvin Ferd. Melvin is what many may consider your classic nerd. Not only is Melvin an awkward teen but he also happens to be the “Mop Boy” at the local athletic club where hard bodies, leotards, and spandex are the norm. Melvin is obviously a square peg at the Tromaville Health Club. Life is far from easy for poor Melvin who constantly falls victim to the harassment of other more athletic members of the club, like the muscle-bound meatheads known as “Bozo” and “Slug.”
One day, while working out at the athletic club, Bozo’s girlfriend “Julie” devises a plan to teach Melvin a lesson that he won’t soon forget. The “harmless” prank proves to be extremely harmful for Melvin when, to escape the laughter and ridicule of the onlookers, Melvin dives through the window of the health club and into a barrel containing toxic waste thus transforming Melvin into a super hero/monster whose sole purpose is to avenge the victims, including himself, of all evil doers throughout New York City.
The Toxic Avenger has all the makings of a cult classic. Not that all cult classics have the same formula and of course, not all cult classics are very good movies and The Toxic Avenger is one of those cult classics. What The Toxic Avenger does have going for it is a ridiculously far fetched plot, horrible acting that you have to watch like a bad car accident, and an unlikely hero that you have to love. I, myself, love this flash from the past but I am not blinded by the fact that The Toxic Avenger, although entertaining, is, quite frankly, a bad movie. Lets be honest, I think we all know, once having viewed The Toxic Avenger, that it was not made to be a great or even good movie. It is also obvious that The Toxic Avenger is not exactly a horror movie but lets not label this one with a genre because some movies just aren’t meant to be trivialized by labels. The Toxic Avenger is an intentionally bad movie and this is one of the things that I love about it. I give The Toxic Avenger 1 1/2 out of 3 Guys. See you next week with another review from The Bargain Bin.