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The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger is a 1984 American superhero black comedy splatter film directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman (credited as Samuel Weil) and written by Kaufman and Joe Ritter. It is the first installment of The Toxic Avenger franchise. The film was released by Troma Entertainment, known for producing low budget B-movies with campy concepts and gruesome violence. Virtually ignored upon its first release, The Toxic Avenger caught on with filmgoers after a long and successful midnight movie engagement at the Bleecker Street Cinema in Greenwich Village in late 1985. It is now regarded as a cult classic.

Plot

Melvin Ferd Junko III is a weakling who works as a janitor at a health club in the fictional town of Tromaville, New Jersey, where the customers—particularly Bozo, Slug, Wanda and Julie—harass him constantly. His tormentors murder a young boy on a bike with their car and take photos of the carnage afterward. They trick Melvin into wearing a pink tutu and amorously hugging a sheep. He is chased around the health club and out a second story window. He falls into a drum of toxic waste, which sets him on fire. After running down the street, Melvin douses the flames in his bathtub. The chemicals transform him into a hideously deformed mutant with superhuman size and strength.