Troma is a company in a class of its own, or more accurately, a lack of class of its own. They pride themselves as being the last genuine independent studio, and they might be right. Here’s a production team with absolutely no corporate endorsement which survives only through its dedicated fan base which eat up every new insane flick they produce. Troma movies are like nothing you’ve ever seen, blending gore, sexploitation, bad slapstick, graphic toilet humor, super-hero antics and politically incorrect satire. Some of the films they made through their 25 year history are plain unwatchable, but others are just irresistible. Their crowning achievement to me has always been “The Toxic Avenger”. That ultra violent 1985 cult classic was followed by two “rotten sequels” and even a Saturday morning cartoon, but only now can we see a “real” sequel which does the original justice.
“Citizen Toxie” is, put simply, the sickest film ever made. Pink what? Freddy got what? There’s Something About Whom? There’s no way to describe how overwhelmingly depraved this picture is. There isn’t a bodily fluid that isn’t sprayed all over, not one vital organ which isn’t ripped out a chest, not a single female cast member which doesn’t show her boobs just because, not a line which isn’t crossed and then some! For many people, this means you better stay far, far away from “Toxie”, but if you’re into movies that really push the boundaries of good taste, you’re in for a demented good time.
Sooooo…. What’s it all about? Well, if you’ll remember, in the first film janitor Melvin fell into a barrel of toxic waste which turned him into a deformed beefcake who made himself a reputation as the Toxic Avenger, Tromaville’s fearless protector! As “Citizen” begins, a school for special children is being attacked by the Diaper Mafia (don’t ask!) who’ll kill a kid every five minutes until their demands are met. Enter Toxie and his new sidekick Lardass (played by Troma producer Michael Herz, unafraid to mock his obscenely obese self). They manage to save the day, but fail to prevent the bomb attached to one of the terrorists from blowing up.
So we’re not twenty minutes into the movie that we’ve been bombasted with two dozen graphic murders, grown men shitting their pants, “retard” jokes, Toxie finding the time to go impregnate his blind wife, and pokes at how the media always try to link school shootings to violence in movies and music, and writer, director, producer Lloyd Kaufman is just getting warmed up! The explosion of the school has somehow caused a breach in the space-time continiuum sending Toxie and special kids Sweetie Honey and Tito the Retarded Rebel (!) in the Bizarro version of Tromaville, Amortville. Meanwhile, his evil twin, the Noxious Offender, also switches dimension and starts a crime spree, prompting the mayor (porn star Ron “The Hedgehog” Jeremy) to put together an elite team of heroes to stop Noxie, led by Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD (from the 1990 Troma flick of the same name) and including the self-pleasing Master Bator and his female counterpart Vibrator, the mutated bovine Mad Cow-Boy and Dolphin Man… Need I go on? Expect the unexpected, as well as the silly and the demented!
Now how do I review this mess ? Well, I loved it. It’s so over the top and merciless in its desire to make fun of the most innapropriate things that you can’t really be offended. As for the filmmaking, while Kaufman’s movie can seem cheapish and botched, he does make the best of what little resources he’s got. Practical special effects and make-up are so much cooler than CGI anyways, and Kaufman has been bbehind the camera for decades so he’s no hack. In its own punk-rocky way, this movie is kind of well crafted. There’s a split-screen fight sequence which is really interesting visually, for instance.
“Citizen Toxie” is wrong in so many ways, yet it’s not really mean-spirited. When the Troma guys laugh at religion (the late Hank the Drunken Dwarf is cast as God!), abortion, lynching, prostitution and drug addiction, it’s always in good humor. Kaufman is like a big kid who still finds farts hilarious, who enjoys coming up with inventive killing techniques and who can never get enough of nude girls. It’s as if a teenage geek had meshed together his collection of comic books, Mad magazine, Fangoria and Playboy. A flawless film it might not be, but watching a midnight screening of it with a rowdy crowd is embarassingly fun.