• Tox Box, The: The Toxic Avenger 1 - 3

    Released by: Troma
    Released on: 9/3/2002
    Directors: Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz
    Cast: Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Babtist, Cindy Manion, Ron Fazio, Phoebe Legere, John Altamura, Rick Collins
    Released: 1985, 1989, 1991

    The Movies:

    Troma has finally released the un-rated directors cuts of the first three films featuring the character that made them a household name, the Toxic Avenger!


    The one that started it all! This 80s cult classic begins with Melvin, a nerdy little wimp of a man who works as a janitor at a very dated looking 80s health and fitness club. One day, the victim of a cruel prank, Melvin is chased around the club by a bunch of bullheaded jocks and inadvertently ends up running outside where he gets covered in toxic waste from a truck that happens to be making a run from the nuclear power plant.

    This radioactive goop turns the previously wimpy Melvin into the Toxic Avenger, a ‘hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength’ who sets about to right the wrongs of Tromaville and take down the bastards who did this to him.


    In this second film, the Toxic Avenger takes a trip to Japan to find his father. But while he’s out of town, the evil corporation known as Apocalypse Inc. sets out to wreak havoc in Tromaville! But when it turns out that Apocalypse Inc. has sent Toxie on a wild goose chase in order to take over the town by whatever means necessary, Toxie returns to set things right.


    This time out, Toxie seems to have eliminated all crime from Tromaville and is starting to feel a little stale, so he sets out to pony up enough scratch to pay for the operation to restore his blind girlfriends eyesight. In order to make this happen, he takes a high paying job with Apocalypse Inc. and starts to turn into a yuppie! It turns out that Toxie has inadvertently made a deal with the devil, literally, and now it’s up to him to set things right once more in Tromaville.

    While none of the Toxic Avenger films are going to win any Academy Awards, they’ve have their place in horror/schlock/exploitation history solidified by politically incorrect humor, buckets of gore, and gratuitous sex and violence. And while the widely panned sequels in the trilogy aren’t as strong as the first movie, they’re still pretty funny and entertaining in their own rights.


    Presented in 1.33.1 fullframe format, the video is hardly stellar but is none-the-less quite watchable and on par with most of the other Troma DVD releases. There’s a bit of grain and print damage evident, most noticeably in the first film (the later ones do look better).

    All three films and the bonus cartoon disc are presented in Dolby Digital Mono. While it would have been great to hear the head crushings in surround sound, the mono mix really isn’t too bad. For the most part, dialogue is clear and easy to understand and the sound effects and background music levels seem to be balanced properly.

    I’m happy to report that each one of these discs is packed! Toxic Avenger features a great commentary from Kaufman, deleted scenes (some of which are damn funny), an ‘in-character’ interview with Toxie, never before seen stills, cartoon show samples, secrets of the ‘transformation’ scene short, and more.

    Toxic Avenger II features another running commentary by Kaufman, ‘Toxic Thoughts’ by Fangoria editor (and all around nice guy) Mike Gingold, ‘Tromatic Thoughts’ by Videohound author Mike Mayo, as well as Toxie’s appearances on Japanese television!

    Toxic Avenger III: The Last Temptation of Toxie features yet another commentary from Lloyd, joined this time by Joe Fleishaker. There are also interviews with ‘Satan’ and other cast members included, as well as footage from the Toxic Avenger Museum, and a wealth of other smaller bonus features.

    All three of the features also include the standard Troma features like the ‘Radiation March’ as well as the ‘Troma Intelligence Test’, a tour of Troma Studios, and trailers for other Troma releases.

    Rounding out the set is a fourth disc featuring a feature length ‘Toxic Crusaders’ animated movie with an intro from Lloyd, a slideshow from the Toxic Crusaders Comic Book, two bonus serials (Radar Men From The Moon and Undersea Kingdom) courtesy of the Roan Group, and some more trailers.

    Troma has wrapped all of this up with a fancy 3-D cover on the box!

    The Final Word:

    Troma has stacked their flagship characters box set with loads of fun extras and the moves themselves are perfect for those nights where you just want to sit back on the couch with a six pack, turn your brain off, and laugh. Troma fans know what they’re getting with this set, and shouldn’t be without this set. It’s definitely got a lot of bang for the buck.