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Release Date: October 24th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 2000

The Toxic Avenger Collection - TA in 4K UHD

Overview -

Troma has unleashed its Toxic Avenger Collection in 4K for everyone to enjoy. All four films are included with a 4K Disc and a Blu-ray Disc. It's finally great to see these films get the proper treatment in 4K with HDR10. The video is the best it's ever looked. The colors are bold and rich throughout. The audio tracks give a nice DTS-HD 2.0 sound, which could have been enhanced with a 5.1 option. The tons of bonus features are all worth watching even if the bulk of them are vintage items. Highly Recommended! 

 

HE WAS 98 POUNDS OF SOLID NERD UNTIL HE BECAME… THE TOXIC AVENGER, THE FIRST SUPERHUMAN-HERO FROM NEW JERSEY!

Tromaville, New Jersey has a monstrous new hero! The Toxic Avenger is born when meek mop boy Melvin (Mark Torgl, The First Turn-On) falls into a vat of toxic waste after being relentlessly bullied by the jerks in the health club where he works. Now Toxie is here to serve and protect the people of Tromaville from evildoers out to destroy him and the town!

 

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4 x 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays + 4 x Blu-rays
Video Resolution/Codec:
HDR10
Length:
407
Release Date:
October 24th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

THE TOXIC AVENGER (1984) 

Film purveyors Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz have been every movie fan's fun and perverted uncles since the late 1970s with their movie studio Troma Entertainment. It wasn't until 1984 that their small company was permanently given a key to the cinematic world with The Toxic Avenger. Their unique brand and style mixed with loads of nudity, troves of vulgar language, and miles of wacky gross-out violence almost instantly led to Troma being an instant cult phenomenon. And The Toxic Avenger paved the way for the rest of their catalog that is continuing to churn out those schlocky B-Movies today.

It's almost like a right-of-passage to be instilled in the memory banks of Troma. Icons like Kevin Costner, Samuel L. Jackson, JJ Abrams, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and even James Gunn all started their careers at Troma Studios. This was a place to allow those young filmmakers to virtually make any script they wanted with no blowback or notes from an uptight studio executive. It was all about community and having fun making movies. Over time, that vivacious attitude caught on with movie-goers who saw something else below the bloody surface guts and pink robust nipples that fill the big screen anytime a Troma movie is playing. That something else was the sheer genuine poignant underbelly of social and environmental issues folded in with over-the-top absurdity that walked together hand-in-hand with comedy to perfect and showcase their own genre.

Whether it be showing a person's head being run over by a car with brains everywhere, pointing guns at toddlers, or killing animals and people left and right - Troma is never afraid to take anyone over their threshold line and be happy about it. The Toxic Avenger is their biggest success to date. This first film spawned three sequels, a cartoon, video games, comic books, and more throughout the years. Most recently, there is a big-budget remake with big Oscar-winning actors driving the boat this time. Needless to say, Troma and Toxie have made their gruesome stamp on pop culture for many decades.

The Toxic Avenger is a tale as old as comic books go back in years. Everyone has heard, read, and seen their favorite character start as a gangly nerd of sorts who has an accident and is transformed into a superhero. Spider bites, shrapnel, or gamma rays may have worked in those comic books, but a teenage janitor at a gym who just wants to be part of the party, but is too nerdy to join is bullied and eventually pushed into toxic waste. In Troma's world, this kid is horribly disfigured, but has a heart of gold as he protects the less fortunate, lands himself a blind girlfriend, and is hot on the pursuit of the evil and corrupt Mayor who is looking to trash the planet. With his newfound strength and powers, there is nothing this ugly man can't do now.

With character names like Melvin, Slug, and Bozo - anyone could foresee the type of movie that will follow, but The Toxic Avenger and Troma Entertainment still manage to surprise with those small and quick references to healing the planet, sticking up for the little guy and taking out big bad corporate villains. All of this is accomplished while dogs, children, and adults get hilariously murdered with mountains of boobs, alcohol, drugs, and violence. Long live Toxie.

THE TOXIC AVENGER PART II (1989)

The year was 1989 when Kaufman and Herz decided to take Toxie to Japan in a sequel that was designed to make a quick buck titled The Toxic Avenger Part II. There are a lot of fun moments here with this sequel, but Kaufman and Herz decided on the motto "the more over-the-top here, the better." Instead of telling a somewhat cohesive story from start to finish and furthering the Toxie character in their own Troma way, Kaufman and Herz decided to drag out nasty and gooey scenes too long and put together a bunch of schlocky-silly skits together with blood and guts.

Don't get it wrong, there are some genuinely great moments here, but they wear out their welcome rather quickly, even when the crew heads to Japan for a change of scenery. After the events of the first film, Toxie lives with his girlfriend and works at the center for the blind. The town he lives in is free of the bad guys, where everyone lives more or less a hippy lifestyle. Of course, the evil people at Apocalypse Inc., the evil corporation whose sole purpose is to pollute the Earth have a new sinister plan. 

Meanwhile, Toxie is dealing with his past demons in addition to brutally killing the bad guys. Troma and the team want to discover what makes Toxie tick as they explore him heading to Japan to find his father and overcome his depression. It seems like Troma would have the balls to tackle a character study here, but let's get serious for a minute. This is Troma, and Troma is mostly just interested in more nudity, gore, and violence - which is perfect.

One of the unfortunate things here is that Kaufman and Herz throw all the playing cards on the table in the first fifteen minutes of the movie in one long action scene of destruction, and the film never recovers. They literally blew their wad too early. There are a few later scenes that pack this kind of action, but it is short-lived with long gaps of slow-paced problems. This sequel is still a good romp, but the slow pacing brings it to a turtle's pace. But Toxie in Japan is a site to behold. 

THE TOXIC AVENGER PART III THE LAST TEMPTATION OF TOXIE (1989)

Releasing the same year as Part II, this third film in the franchise will make anybody say, "Jesus Toxic Christ!" It still has tons of gorgeous naked gals, heaps of gore, and ridiculous one-liners that Troma is known for. Even its title takes its cues from another legend named Citizen Scorsese. But like its previous sequel, the story never really goes anywhere fast as Kaufman and Herz struggle to find anything cohesive to produce. There is a solid foundation in the narrative, but it doesn't get anywhere fast. Luckily, the Troma fellas inject those infamous schlocky moments to get the audience through it all.

Toxie has come home from Japan and doesn't have much to do, because he is too good at his job. He has stopped the evil corporations from polluting the planet and killing people. He is severely depressed and still works odd jobs. Luckily his blind girlfriend figures out she can get an eye transplant but the cost is almost half a million bucks. What is a poor Toxic janitor to do? Toxie is offered a job with the evil corporation he has been battling his whole life and becomes a corporate shill in turn for the money for her surgery. Thus the temptation of Toxie is forged where he must choose love or his morals. Again, this is a wonderful base for a storyline, however, the slow pacing, over-the-top low-budget action sequences, along with tons of footage from the second film make up most of the run time. It's still a fun time for fans of the franchise, but it holds no candle to the first film.

CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV (2000)

In the year 2000 and after many Troma movies were released, Uncle Kaufman and Aunt Herz traveled back to Tromaville to do business with The Toxic Avenger himself yet again in Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV. The dastardly duo may have either known this was their last hurrah for the character or they wanted to go big for the year 2000. Either way, they accomplished that with every inch and fiber of their being with this fourth installment. Every nut in the wheelhouse is thrown in her for good measure and it never stops trying to offend and take everyone who watches into their Troma space for loads of gross-out gimmicks and laughs.

And just like the adult film industry - Troma Entertainment is first to the scene with stories and equipment and was ahead of the curve by more than a decade here with The Toxic Avenger IV. This film deals with alternate and multiple universes, bizarro alternate versions of characters, and various plot devices that have riddled the MCU and DCU for the last few years. There is a connection and Troma started it. Instead of dealing with pollution and destroying God's Green Earth, Troma navigates school shootings and kids in the classroom this time around. A group of people known as the Diaper Gang has taken a school for the disabled hostage where Toxie must step in and deal with this chaos. A bomb goes off inside the school sending Toxie to an alternate universe where there is an evil doppelganger of Toxie and the two see fit to battle. Meanwhile, Toxie's blind girlfriend is pregnant which culminates in one of the weirdest fights to ever be filmed.

There's not a lot to offer in the way of poignant issues or social propaganda like in the first film or even the second installment, but with this fourth movie - Herz and Kaufman threw in every bit of gore, nudity, vulgarity, and craziness into one film. None of it seems to work on a narrative level, but then again, Troma makes it work with the perverse absurdity and candid genuineness of the title character Toxie. It's a gross sight where nobody can look away and that's what makes The Toxic Avenger so special, and after four films, it's still amazing to see the transformation and character arc of a nerdy janitor who turns into a superhero with depression issues.

 

Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
The Toxic Avenger Collection in 4K has oozed its way to an HDR10, brand new 4K transfer from Troma and MVD. Four hard, black plastic cases house the eight discs in the set. Each case has two discs of the film. One 4K and one Blu-ray. Each case has its own respective original poster artwork of the movie from its original release. The big cardboard sleeve that houses these cases is a gold and green seal of approval of Toxie himself with an embossed cover. The discs themselves are fully illustrated with the poster artwork. There are no inserts for digital codes or booklets, sadly. 

Video Review

Ranking:

THE TOXIC AVENGER (1984)
It's a wonderful time in the world where The Toxic Avenger receives a 4K release. The most recent time this movie was available on Blu-ray in 1080p was around 2014 which had a decent enough transfer but was by no means a demo-worthy disc. But the good folks at Troma and MVD have given this release a thorough comb-over with a brand new 2160p UHD 4K image with HDR10. This is the best the film has ever looked thus far.

The goal of this new transfer was to make everything look brighter and more fluid. The color palette this go-around brings in deep natural colors that mix well with the vibrant, bolder choices. The lime green ooze and toxic waste now look excellent and the many shades of green and black on Toxie himself are distinguishable. Different variations of red blood, gore, and guts all look amazing now. The exterior shots in the city are fantastic with browns, oranges, and grays that contrast nicely with the blue skies. Primary colors of wardrobe choices and signage on buildings are fantastic. Black levels are inkier than ever and the skin tones are natural.

The detail is sharp and vivid for better or worse. Facial features such as tons of sweat, pimples, acne, practical makeup effects, blemishes, and pores show up in every moment. The gross makeup and rubber effects on the Toxie suit are impeccable now. Gore and entrails, and of course, nudity showcase the funniest and most wonderful skin textures. The film grain is intact and never looks like the movie went through a digital carwash.

There are a few issues at hand though. The print was in rough shape and the source wasn't great either for common sense reasons, but overall the picture looks amazing. There are some warps, dirt, and debris still around, and sometimes the frame can jump out, and there are some color timing issues, which seem to have been noticed by Troma and there might be a Disc replacement program for those who want. However, these small issues only bring that nostalgic grindhouse feel to the movie and make it even better. This is the best the Toxie has ever looked.

THE TOXIC AVENGER PART II (1989)
The Toxic Avenger Part II was last released on Blu-ray in 2015 with a 1080p HD transfer. The funny thing was that it actually wasn't. Someone somewhere transferred the DVD image to the Blu-ray and released it. It seems like a very Troma thing to do. But everyone can rest easy now because this new transfer is definitely in 4K with a glorious 2160p UHD transfer with HDR10.

The colors again are turned up bright with all of the bright primary colors having a warm look. Reds, blues, greens, and blues all look amazing and stand out across the Japanese landscapes and in Tromaville. The Toxie suit still lives up to the moldy green and brown palette while the naked girls and other costumed characters bring in the dazzling rainbow of colors in the wardrobe and makeup. Black levels are deep and the skin tones are still natural. The HDR10 really enhances those brighter colors, even in darker settings. The detail is sharp and vivid with great close-ups that bring forth facial hairs, makeup applications, and more.

There is still some evidence of dirt and debris associated with this transfer, but it's all part of the schlocky fun. The grain looks great and keeps with that filmic aesthetic. This is another homerun in the video department.

THE TOXIC AVENGER PART III THE LAST TEMPTATION OF TOXIE (1989)
The Last Temptation of Toxie looks phenomenal in this new 4K transfer with HDR10. The same is true for this third film where the colors are turned up high and bright, which dazzles in those low-key color situations. The lime green monsters and the faded brown and green suit for Toxie himself go in line with his depression here. Blood red and gory warm colors of entrails and body parts all look fantastic.

The detail is sharp and vivid once again examining the facial pores, individual hairs, makeup blemishes, naked titillating body parts, gruesome guts, and more. Black levels are inky and the skin tones are also natural. The filmic look is here to stay with a nice layer of grain that never fluctuates or swarms. There are still some moments of debris and dirt, but it's all part of watching a Troma movie. This is the best the film has ever looked.

CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV (2000)
This Toxic Avenger film was made in 2000, so there was a bit of the HD already at hand when this was filmed. This new 4K transfer with HDR10 looks amazing and quite possibly a bit better than the previous films since there was better equipment in 2000 than in the '80s. And right now, Citizen Toxie looks excellent. The HDR10 brings out those decaying colors of brown and black with patches of green in the Toxie rubber suit. The school colors and costumes bring out that vibrant primary rainbow of colors that has a warm setting. Again, like the previous films, the goal was to make every color bright and boastful, which this accomplishes. Reds, blues, greens, purples, and pinks are all punk rock in this movie with some dynamic color sequences in lower light settings.

Black levels are inky rich and the skin tones are natural. The detail is vivid and sharp throughout, revealing individual hairs, facial pores, gory makeup applications, rubbery suits, metallic weapons, cars, and some nasty entrails and guts for good measure. Wider shots never get soft. The filmic image is in place that never allows the picture to look digitized, but still keeps that Troma grindhouse feel. There are some issues with dirt and debris, but other than that, this is the best this film has looked thus far.

Audio Review

Ranking:

THE TOXIC AVENGER (1984)
This is the oldest film in the set and has been given a new DTS-HD 2.0 audio track. The sound effects hit hard and with force, but there is no low end of the bass to back any of it up. And since this first film was low budget and wasn't made with great equipment, the source audio wasn't good to begin with. Still, the dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow. The sound effects are solid but never cross over into that booming territory. The music cues and score are rock n' roll and always add to the Troma aesthetic. There are still some minor sound issues, but overall, this is a worthwhile audio track for fans to enjoy and an upgrade from previous releases. 

THE TOXIC AVENGER PART II (1989)
This Part II comes with a DTS-HD 2.0 audio track that has some issues. First, it's a well-balanced track but there is no low end of the bass. Second, the music cues and score keep in tune with the chaos of the film. That being said, the dialogue is not as clean or clear as it could be. The audio sounds muffled in parts and tin-canny at times. The same goes for the needle drops and score. This is the worst audio mix of the set, but it gets the job done - barely. 

THE TOXIC AVENGER PART III THE LAST TEMPTATION OF TOXIE (1989)
This third installment delivers a DTS-HD 2.0 audio track that does its job well within its wheelhouse. The stereo option limits the low end of the bass with all the explosions and bigger sound effects, however, those effects still come across with robust noise. Nothing is ever tin-canny either. There is a good dynamic range and the LFE is solid. The music choices and score is all over the place, but a lot of the fun to listen to that adds to the mess of the story. The dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow along with. There are no audio issues to speak of.

CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV (2000)
This release comes with a DTS-HD 2.0 mix that sounds great. Being made in 2000, it has more of a modern audio track, but again the limitations of the budget and it being only in stereo fence in this audio. The dialogue is always clean, clear, and easy to follow with every vulgarity and Troma one-liner sounding off nicely. The gooey sound effects are good and loud with some vehicle's engines revving and weapons discharging. The score and song cues always bring in the punk-rock vibes too. This is a solid audio mix but could have benefitted from that amazing low end of the bass. 

Special Features

Ranking:

There are a smattering of bonus feature on each disc. Not all bonus features are new. In fact, it seems like the intros might be the only thing that might be new here. But all of them are fun to watch and listen to. There are interviews, extras from previous releases and movies, and Lloyd Kaufman having a perverted ball. 

THE TOXIC AVENGER (1984)

4K UHD

  • Intro (HD, 2 Mins.) - Lloyd Kaufman intros the film in its new 4K master and mentions some Marvel films that were influenced by him and Troma. 
  • Commentary #1 - Lloyd Kaufman delivers a fun and informative commentary track over the film. He talks about the origins of the story, making the movie, the actors, shooting on location, and more. 
  • Commentary #2 - Actors Gary Schneider, Robert Prichard, and Dan Snow discuss being a part of history with this movie and what it was like working with Lloyd. 

BLU-RAY

  • Intro (HD, 5 Mins.) - Lloyd Kaufman is in front of a green screen surfing while Michael Herz is in the hospital bed talking about Toxie. It makes sense.
  • Commentary #1 - Lloyd Kaufman delivers a fun and informative commentary track over the film. He talks about the origins of the story, making the movie, the actors, shooting on location, and more. 
  • Commentary #2 - Actors Gary Schneider, Robert Prichard, and Dan Snow discuss being a part of history with this movie and what it was like working with Lloyd. 
  • Jennifer Babtist Interview (HD, 19 Mins.) - The actress discusses her time in the film, what it means to her, and coming back to it after all these years. She also talks about her comfort and discomfort with the nudity. Her daughter joins her in the interview. 
  • Robert Prichard Interview (HD, 3 Mins.) - The actor talks about his audition and the legacy of the film.
  • Mitch Cohen Interview (HD, 9 Mins.) - The actor who donned the Toxie suit talks about working those long days in heavy makeup and rubber suits. He also lets everyone in on why he didn't return to the franchise and tours his new office. 
  • Dan Snow Interview (HD, 5 Mins.) - The actor discusses his role in the film, the namesake origins, and working with garbage on the street during the movie. 
  • Michel Herz Interview (HD, 16 Mins.) - Kaufman interviews Herz where he talks about his passion for moviemaking, his career at Troma, the work of Toxic Avenger, and more. There are a lot of silly jokes laid in here. 
  • Slideshow (HD, 5 Mins.) - A collection of behind-the-scenes photos from the movie are shown here. 
  • Mark Torgl's Special Video (HD, 7 Mins.) - The original Melvin displays some of the props and other relics from the movie with some models in the background. 
  • 40 Years of Troma (HD, 2 Mins.) - A promo reel for the studio. 
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3 Mins.) - Trailer for the film. 

THE TOXIC AVENGER PART II (1989)

4K UHD

  • Intro (HD, 2 Mins.) - Lloyd Kaufman intros the film and talks about visiting Japan and how to make great Sushi. 
  • Commentary - Lloyd Kaufman gives another commentary track about making the second film. It's a lot of fun. 

BLU-RAY

  • Intro (HD, 3 Mins.) - Kaufman is in Copenhagen this time and talks about making the second film as he visits a landmark and tells a story about Toxie destroying a bathroom there. 
  • Commentary - Lloyd Kaufman gives another commentary track about making the second film. It's a lot of fun. 
  • At Home With Toxie (HD, 4 Mins.) - A fun little skit that catches up with Toxie at a mansion with his new wife. 
  • A Word from Lisa Gaye (HD, 2 Mins.) - An old interview with the go-to villain of all the Troma movies who talks about being a heel and her love for Troma.
  • Toxie on Japanese TV (HD, 3 Mins.) - This looks to be an old Japanese EPK with on-set footage, interviews, and more. 
  • DVD Intro (HD, 1 Min.) - A very young Kaufman intros the DVD release from years ago. 
  • Radiation March (HD, 1 Min.) - An interpretive dance about pollution.
  • 40 Years of Troma (HD, 2 Mins.) - A promo reel for the studio. 
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3 Mins.) - Trailer for the film. 

THE TOXIC AVENGER PART III THE LAST TEMPTATION OF TOXIE (1989)

4K UHD

  • Intro (HD, 2 Mins.) - Lloyd Kaufman hides in the wardrobe department and showcases fan art and costumes while talking about indie filmmaking. 
  • Commentary #1 - Kaufman gives another fun and informative audio commentary that is worthy of a listen.
  • Commentary #2 - Actor Joe Flieshaker talks about his time making the film, working with everyone, and how much Troma means to him. 

BLU-RAY

  • Intro (HD, 4 Mins.) - Kaufman is in Denmark where he tries to get the locals to watch this movie and finds some fans who joke with him.
  • Commentary #1 - Kaufman gives another fun and informative audio commentary that is worthy of a listen.
  • Commentary #2 - Actor Joe Flieshaker talks about his time making the film, working with everyone, and how much Troma means to him. 
  • Make Your Own Damn Horror Film (HD, 12 Mins.) - A hilarious extra where Lloyd Kaufman heads to the set of a horror movie and in between takes, questions the staff and filmmakers, interviews the talent, and more. Eventually, the director took Kaufman's name off the movie entirely. He did it for the lulz.
  • A Halloween Carol (HD. 10 Mins.) - A great bit featuring Kaufman reimagining A Christmas Carol where he shows what life would be like without Troma on YouTube.
  • Rabid Grannies on Blu-ray (HD, 2 Mins.) - A fake promo for the Blu-ray. 
  • TroMoMa (HD, 12 Mins.) - The Museum of Modern Art honored Lloyd and Nuke 'Em High with a Q&A, a screening, and a dance. 
  • Radiation March (HD, 1 Min.) - An interpretive dance about pollution.
  • 40 Years of Troma (HD, 2 Mins.) - A promo reel for the studio. 
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3 Mins.) - Trailer for the film. 

CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV (2000)

4K UHD

  • Intro (HD, 2 Mins.) - Lloyd Kaufman is at Troma headquarters in New York playing the clarinet on the street. He talks with people about Toxie on 4K and other issues like abortion and freedom. 
  • Commentary #1 - Lloyd Kaufman gives yet another wonderful commentary track where he discusses making the movie, the legacy of the character, and more. 
  • Commentary #2 - Producers Trent Haaga and Acrot Michael Bidinger come back and talk about making the film. 
  • Commentary #3 - Editors Gabe Friedman and Sean McGrath discuss the editing process of the film and working with Kaufman. 

BLU-RAY

  • Intro (HD, 3 Mins.) - Kaufman, Friedman, and Transgender Toxie discuss Toxie on home video. 
  • Commentary #1 - Lloyd Kaufman gives yet another wonderful commentary track where he discusses making the movie, the legacy of the character, and more. 
  • Commentary #2 - Producers Trent Haaga and Acrot Michael Bidinger come back and talk about making the film. 
  • Commentary #3 - Editors Gabe Friedman and Sean McGrath discuss the editing process of the film and working with Kaufman. 
  • Apocalypse Soon (HD, 148 Mins.) - A feature-length behind-the-scenes of the fourth film is presented here. There are tons of interviews with the cast and crew, on-set footage, and candid moments of the cast and crew getting angry with each other. It's crazy and worth watching. 
  • Troma's Tribute to Lemmy (HD, 9 Mins.) - Troma pays homage to their friend - the Motorhead frontman. 
  • 40 Years of Troma (HD, 2 Mins.) - A promo reel for the studio. 
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3 Mins.) - Trailer for the film. 

The Toxic Avenger Collection in 4K is a masterpiece in and of itself. While it's not the prettiest, it's finally a piece of Troma in 4K of their biggest films. The new 4K images with HDR10 are the best images these films have ever produced and are the best they have looked thus far. The DTS-HD 2.0 audio mixes sound good enough but could have benefited from a 5.1 option as well. There are tons of extras here on each disc, but nothing quite new. Still, This 4K set is finally here and it's amazing. Highly Recommended! 

Order your copy of The Toxic Avenger - TA in 4K Collection