Monday, August 13, 2012

Citizen Toxie: Toxic Avenger IV (2000)

Title: Citizen Toxie: Toxic Avenger IV (2000)

Director: Lloyd Kaufman

Cast: David Mattey, Heidi Sjursen, Joe Fleishaker, Paul Kyrmse


There’s a couple of films out there that pride themselves in trying to be as offensive as humanly possible. Films like John Water’s Pink Flamingos (1972), Trey Parker’s Team America: World Police (2004), Frank Henenlotter’s Frankenhooker (1990) or the Sacha Baron Cohen double whammy Borat (2006) and Bruno (2009). And I get these directors, offending people makes money. In ‘Kiss and Make-UP’ Gene Simmons autobiography, Simmons says that “the formula for success is to offend as many people as possible”; which as we all know has worked wonders for Simmons personal bank account. So I get it, Lloyd Kaufman is doing just that with his Troma films; he’s been doing it for years with movies like Class of Nuke ‘Em High (1986) and Tromeo & Juliet (1996). I’ve yet to see a Troma film that didn’t have some sort of shock element to it. Still, I have to say that with Citizen Toxie: Toxic Avenger IV he really tried his hardest.

Lloyd Kaufman proudly standing next to his creation: The Toxic Avenger!

On this film The Toxic Avenger has to stop a group of terrorist freakazoids called ‘The Diaper Mafia’ basically, these are a bunch of guys who dress up as babies and take over a school of disabled children or as it is called in the film ‘Tromaville School for the Very Special’. Unfortunately, Toxie isn’t very successful in saving the school from the explosion and so the bomb blows up and creates and opens a dimensional rift! Toxie is then transported to Amortville, which is basically an alternate version of Tromaville, and Toxies alternate doppelganger called ‘The Noxious Offender’ is trapped in Tromaville. Will Toxie return to Tromaville in time to stop The Noxious Offender from destroying his life and reputation as New Jersey’s First Superhero?

I have to admit I enjoyed all previous entries in The Toxic Avenger franchise. Parts I through III were actually pretty ‘decent’ comedies. Yeah they wanted to shock and offend, but they were pretty entertaining Z level films. And yeah, there’s a Z level in moviedom for me, it’s reserved for movies such as these; ultra low budget films that are decidedly cheap. Funniest part is that Part IV starts with an opening sequence that says that all previous sequels were not the real sequels: this is the real sequel! Right from the get go, I was giggling with this one. Kaufman knows these movies are bottom rung material, but Kaufman doesn’t give a flippin’ fuck about anything, he just wants to shock and sell some dvd’s while doing it. And he achieves it. I mean, how he could not shock with material such as this! The script literally feels as if it was ‘written’ by someone high on super crack! These films are stupid and offensive but you can rest assured that something funny, or morbid or completely gross will happen at some point, in fact, every five minutes.

Don’t believe me? Okay, try this one on for size: Toxie takes one of the members of the diaper mafia and literally pushes his head out his butthole! Then the guy exclaims “Now I got my head up my ass!” And that’s just for starters…at some point we meet a collection Tromaville superheroes and one of them is called Dolphin Man, and it’s literally a man with a dolphin head! Toxie’s sidekick is an obese dude known as ‘Lard Ass’! Toxie and Noxie both impregnate the same woman, and you can see both babies fighting inside of their mothers womb! I mean, seriously folks, these are not the craziest things you will see in this movie. Not enough for you? Then maybe you’ll enjoy catching cameos from Eli Roth, Ron Jeremy, Cory Feldman, James Gunn and even Lemmy from Motorhead! Hell, even GOD makes an appearance; and guess what? God is a drunken midget on this one! That’s how completely nuts this movie is! And he’s surrounded by whores! Still not enough? Even Stan Lee narrates part of the film! And another thing that made this one more fun to watch then it had any right to be was the inclusion of ‘Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.’ which by the way is another one of Lloyd Kaufman’s crazy creations. He’s an NYPD cop who dresses up in Kabuki style make up to fight crime! It was amusing to see Toxie going up against an evil alternate version of Sgt. Kabukiman. I immediately felt the need to watch Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (1990), so expect a review for that one soon.

Sgt. Kabukiman vs. The Toxic Avenger!

My only real problem with this film is that technically it looks worse then previous sequels, cheaper somehow. I think it’s because the previous films were shot on actual film, and that helps the film look a bit better. Strange that previous efforts look more polished then this one, I guess it makes sense, the budget for this one was a mere 500,000, while parts one and two shared a budget of 2.3 million. Still, even with its budgetary limitations, it’s commendable that Kaufman manages to turn in a bad film that amuses. These films are in my opinion bad taste in its purest form, but damn it, it’s entertaining just for that. I cannot bring myself to say that this is a good movie, because it isn’t! But I would be lying if I didn’t say that I wasn’t shocked or giggling or cringing or turning my face away very five seconds. My advice with this one is, if you are offended easily, do not watch this one! If on the other hand you enjoy the thrill of watching some unbelievably raunchy, sacrilegious jokes and grossly irreverent situations then by all means indulge on this slice of Tromaville low brow entertainment. At the very least you won’t be bored.

Rating: 2 out of 5 

Corey Feldman cameos!


Manuel Marrero said...

I saw Sgt. Kabuki man and its pretty enjoyable. It actually made me laugh a couple of times.

Kev D. said...

Kabukiman is DECENT. It definitely doesn't look as cheap as Citizen Toxie. Poultrygeist takes it a step even further. But when a film tries SO HARD to be offensive, it almost becomes a sad SAD display. Epecially when it's shot on video and essentially stars a cast that looks like they just stepped off of a porn set.

Yeah... DAMN Troma makes me angry some times. And yet I ALWAYS go back for more... so I guess that's something.

Franco Macabro said...

Kev D: I hear ya about how cheap the newer Troma films look, the old ones didn't look that way. Of course digital is cheaper (you don't have to develop film) but come on, Citizen Toxie looked too cheap. Still, I managed to have a laugh. I'll be seeing Kabukiman soon.


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