The only sort of acceptable waste in Tromaville is of the TOXIC variety. So, when shooting FINALLY wrapped on the first Toxic Avenger sequel co-directors Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz had themselves a six-hour epic, something most filmmakers would consider a bit of a PROBLEM. Not to them! With some liberal plot noodling, the surplus became a lucrative opportunity for the scrappy duo who'd set out to make ONE sequel and ended up with TWO! Well, one-and-a-half maybe, with the stunted sibling being The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie (1989, 99 minutes, Unrated).
The movie: Haven't seen the first two? Not to worry, as is the Troma way, all the best footage is crammed into the opening scenes. Having vanquished all crime, times are tough for our hideously deformed creature of super-human size and strength. Yet it's now that hope of restored sight is dangled before his blind girlfriend (Phoebe Legere) if only Toxie can raise the necessary funds. That's how he gets himself into a real pickle by agreeing to a gig with a money-grubbing outfit run by The Chairman (Rick Collins) who's bent on using the people of Tromaville as cogs in his devil-worshiping corporate machine. Enraged Tromavillians turn against their most lauded citizen when Apocalypse Inc. begins its hostile takeover, forcing women and children to manufacture toxic waste and vomit on command. Faced with his tragic misjudgment, Toxie must do battle with Satan himself to right these wrongs in a series of ridiculous, videogame inspired challenges. One even involving a slime-covered Lucifer kidnapping a school bus load of kiddies for the fiendish purpose of hurling them off a cliff. Sounds better than it is. In fact, it's pretty tame by Tromatic standards. There are little if any naughty words and the only nekkidness is of some babes slathered in glow-in-the-dark body paint. Not nearly the sort of outrageous excess the fiercely independent studio is known for. CineSchlocker's will be interested to note that The Toxic Avenger was portrayed BOTH by John Altamura AND Ron Fazio, but Troma and Mr. Altamura parted company when he topped routine surliness by failing to show up on set.
Notables: No breasts! 15 corpses. Multiple disembowelments. Forcible puking. Gratuitous urination (as a fire-fighting measure). Amateur dentistry. Shotgun attack. Multiple decapitations. Gratuitous "Three Stooges" reference. Firesuit stunts IN costume.
Quotables: Toxie should avoid open mic night at Chuckles, "The Tromavillians tried to put on a brave face and make the best of their mutated environment. But what does one feed a creature that is half frog and half duck? Worse yet, what would you call it?!" While the Lord Host of the Hoary Netherworld doesn't fair much better, "This is one load of toxic waste that won't stay buried!!!"
Time codes: Meeting of the evil, evil Apocalypse Inc (23:40). Fromage to Citizen Kane (37:16). Toxie makes sweet love to his lady (47:13). The Chairman's true self is revealed in gory detail (1:05:20). Spectacular slow-mo FX (1:19:30).
Audio/Video: Digitally remastered and presented in open matte fullframe as per the director's wishes. Utilitarian Dolby Digital stereo track.
Extras: "Unrated Director's Cut" introduced by Mr. Kaufman who also contributes a no-holds-barred commentary semi-moderated by DVD guru Ronnie "Raygun" Thomas. Lloyd begins by proclaiming this to be "if not the best Troma movie ever, certainly the best Toxic Avenger movie ... although, I can't remember too much of it." Troma Team editors Sean McGrath and Gabe Friedman join Ronnie in subtly (at first) challenging his assertion and eventually prod Kaufman into conceding the flick suffers from its chainsaw separation from its Siamese twin (Part 2) and the fact Troma, at the time, was still "playing footsies" with the MPAA. Great track. CineSchlocker fave Joe Fleishaker provides the second commentary. A regular since Troma's War, his sizeable talents are seen, but not heard in Part III, so Joe is relegated to pointing out when he's standing behind someone who actually HAS lines. Unfortunately, the film's audio level isn't dialed down making his insights often difficult to discern. Hang in during the credits, because after Joe signs off, he can still be overheard talking to the sound tech about how fuzzy his memory is about Part 3 and how he had a MUCH bigger role in Citizen Toxie (Part 4).
There's also a collection of new video interviews with cast members (30 mins). Various other clips and promos for everything from Tromadance to how to purchase a Toxie nipple ring for that special someone (10 mins). Toxibillia slideshow. Trailers for all four Toxic Avenger flicks and Terror Firmer (CineSchlock-O-Rama's top-rated DVD of 2001). By far, though, the best feature is "Where in the World is Toxie?" Fans can click various sites on a world map for about an hour's worth of footage from Troma's many festival visits. Don't miss the hilarious England clip with a drunken Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. whose failed attempts to pick up girls on the streets of London inexplicably leads he and his cohorts to attempt scaling the gates of Buckingham Palace. Fish the oceans for an Easter egg. Animated menus with audio.
Final thought: Perhaps THIS abysmal sequel was the not-so-divine inspiration for The Noxious Offender. Only the disc's amusing bonus materials eek out a more favorable rating. Recommended.
G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.