Science fiction and fantasy
The Toxic Avenger
directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman
The Toxic Avenger doesn't take itself too seriously. However that's about the limit of the praise I can give this utter mess of a film. The characters are all either particularly slow or obvious, and they go about setting up situations that are equally blatant. The acting seems to be done with the assumption that the audience are all idiots who won't pick up on any kind of subtlety, so every emotion is laid on with a trowel. The movie is also full of gratuitous nudity and sex, most of which doesn't add to the story and is only there for titillation.
Melvin's transformation into the Toxic Avenger is cheap and silly. The Avenger is laughably naff with his trusty mop and excessive violence, and he staggers around as though he has to learn to walk again. It's so bad it's good. He storms through Tromaville putting evil to rights by punching it repeatedly and throwing people around, as if fists and fury are all you need to solve your problems. Melvin grunts a lot, like some kind of wild beast. And then he speaks with this very civilised voice that's an absurd contrast with the way he spoke as Melvin the janitor and with the grunting of the man-monster he's become.
Most of the acting is dire, although Andree Maranda stands out for her acceptable performance as the cheerful blind woman, Sara. But on the whole this movie looks shoddy. It doesn't take long to become tedious. It's too brain dead, repetitive and predictable to be entertaining, and it's the sort of movie you laugh at rather than with, and even that pleasure soon fades.
21st June 2011
If you like this, try:Infestation by Edward Evers-Swindell
After a virus forces most of humanity underground, a group of people return to the surface to find out what has happened to a team who went up and failed to report back.
Deadly Species by Daniel Springen
A team of academics find horrors waiting for them in the Florida Everglades when they search for a lost tribe.