Posts Tagged ‘Lloyd Kaufman’

Movie Reviews 282 – The Toxic Avenger (1984)

December 23, 2016

The Toxic AvengerThe Toxic Avenger was not only an indie horror sensation, it was what made Troma Entertainment a household name in the B-movie industry and introduced us to the straight-laced but dark minded Lloyd Kaufman, producer and frontman for the enterprise. The character of the toxic avenger, now revered and affectionately nicknamed Toxie by fans, became the de facto mascot for the company and spurned a number of sequels over the years, but it all started right here.

Melvin Ferd (Mark Torgl) is a mop slopping human punchbag at the gym he works in, the perennial butt of jokes and target of muscled jocks and workout leotard wearing prima donnas alike. After one particular incident Melvin gets chased by the entire gym and thrown through a second storey window only to land in a barrel of toxic waste that is conveniently located on a parked truck out front. With oozing and bubbling skin he then transforms into a toxic monstrosity taking another dent in his already pathetic social life and any chance of getting a hot chick like those who surround yet despise him.

But things take a turn for the better when he rescues Sarah (Andree Maranda) from a bunch of thugs robbing a restaurant, an act that not only begins his career as a vigilante but ends his search for love and acceptance. From that point he begins to clean up the town of all evil, moving into a dilapidated makeshift home in a junkyard surrounded by bubbling slime and puffing swamp gases. But for a time he is happy as long as Sarah doesn’t accidentally kill him with her cooking.

Unfortunately his efforts to cleanse the town does not sit well with the evil mayor and his crony councilors who practice all manner of illegal activity and strong arm tactics backing their embezzlement and narcotics operations. Worried that Toxie will eventually get to them, they decide to throw all their resources to taking him down while he continues to aid the poor, the elderly, the downtrodden, and any victim of crime.

Pushed to the limits, the mayor manages to get the US army tanks and troops staring down their barrels as Toxie stands in front of his home as the town dwellers, friend and foe stand as an audience to the final showdown.

Like a modern day Frankenstein, Toxie is the embodiment of the outsider who only searches for acceptance in society. But instead of dark gothic drama The Toxic Avenger delivers the story amidst blowups, boobs, and flying bodies. The effects, while decidedly low budget are effective, but most of all fun.

The success of this movie gave rise to three sequels, a Saturday morning cartoon and even a musical. I especially looking forward to watching The Toxic Avenger IV: Citizen Toxie if only for the numerous celebrity cameos. And you may want to keep a lookout for Marisa Tomei as she is in this first film. My 15th anniversary DVD was chock full of goodies including a whole bunch of clips showing the Troma studio digs in Manhattan and what other goods lurk in the offices and corridors. I think I spent as much time checking out the Extra Features as I did watching the movie.

Movie Reviews 209 – Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned (2008)

February 15, 2015

Midnight Horror - Predator CollectionBeen I while since I plunked in one of those cheap DVD quad packs of Horror movies, so I decided I would consume The Midnight Horror Collection: Blood Predators which I pick up not too long ago for a measly $2.50. Can’t go wrong for 75 cents a movie, right?

 

Bachelor_Party_in_the_Bungalow_of_the_DamnedI started off Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned, and honestly it was this particular title that was the deciding factor to my shelling out $2.50 in the first place. Read that title again. Kinda says it all if you ask me, but I’ll humor my humble reader with a review none the less.

A recently engaged man’s buddies concoct a story about renting a bungalow for a fishing retreat as a excuse for his bachelor party.  Hardly fooling the fiancee, all she want to make sure is that he and the boys don’t go overboard. Unfortunately, the stripper triplet of girls that one of the buddies hires as entertainment, Snowy, Emerald and Vermillion, happen to be vampires and their idea of entertainent includes munching on the boys. Things go from bad to worse when the fiance decides to drop in at the retreat.

I knew I’d be in for a ride, and had no expectations at all, but while it really is a bad movie, it’s almost one of those “So bad, it’s good” movies. Almost.

The dialogue is mostly lame but at least there are attempts at humour and curves (besides those on the women) thrown in. Being a Brain Damage Films release, there are the requisite boob shots but this is a bachelor movie after all, so you kind of expect that anyhow. A short but surprising cameo by Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman was a nice surprise, but blink and you’ll miss him. Most of the special effects are laughable (not in a good way) but there was makeup job of one of the boys in a facial meltdown state that was decent. Just don’t ask why some of the victims end up melting after being assailed by a vampire while others (as expected) and just turn into vampires.

After watching  I can’t help but  wonder whatever happened to director, writer, producer, editor and composer Brian Thompson, the near one-man show who gave us this gem. Surprisingly, he did not cast himself as one of the stars, which is odd for a first time ‘do-everything’ film maker. According to IMDB he hasn’t done anything since. I just wonder if that’s a good thing or bad.

Watch for reviews of The Vampire Conspiracy, Fist of the Vampire and Curse of the Wolf , the other gems in this quad pack, coming soon.

Movie Reviews 123 – Father’s Day (2011)

June 16, 2013

Father's DayIt’s Father’s Day today and what better movie to review than the one that leeches the celebration’s title. Brought to us by Lloyd Kaufman and his Troma team, the same people who brought us The Toxic Avenger, Tales from the Crapper, and The Class of Nuke ‘Em High, this one was guaranteed to be bloody, disgusting, (or simply bloody disgusting) and most of all, fun.

This is a twisted tale of a legendary Father’s Day killer, a man who goes around killing men who are fathers, and Ahab, a victim who lost his own father to the killer and who then hunted him down for years. To add salt to Ahab’s wounds (sea salt I would imagine), Chris Fuchman (yeah Fuchman!), the reputed Father’s Day killer also set up Ahab to accidentally kill an innocent man which put Ahab behind bars for ten years and into self imposed seclusion after that.

The Father’s Day killings which have been dormant for years are suddenly resurrected with a rash of killings. Twink, a young rebellious kid, is brought in by the cops as a suspect in his own  father’s brutal murder. Twink is eventually let go and approached by a young priest, Father John Sullivan who wants to comfort him and offer solace. Spurned by Twink, Sullivan sets out on a ridiculous round the world trek to find Ahab hidden away in a remote cabin. Coaxed out of retirement to once again seek the Father’s Day killer, Ahab teams up with Twink and the priest to solve the mystery of identity of the the killer, why he has rekindled his spree, and finally to take him down once and for all. Quite an order for the three misfits.

The entire hunt brings us to various strip joints (Ahab’s abandoned young sister has taken to the trade), and we get chainsaws, toxic berries, satanic entities, flying hatchets and lots of maple syrup. The maple syrup content, while perplexing at first, makes sense given the fact that this is an Astron-6 production (and even credited as being directed by “Astron-6”), Astron-6 being Adam Brooks (Ahab), Matthew Kennedy (Father Sullivan), Conor Sweeney (Twink) and a few others guys from Winnipeg right here in the Great White North. But this is no mere vanity project by the boys as they deliver the goods (for the most part) especially given the reputed meager budget they had. The icing on the cake is the cameo by Kaufman himself as God and the Devil (you have to watch the movie to see what I mean about the dual roles) and if I may say so myself Kaufman really seals the deal putting in more than his usual few one liners.

My only problem with the film was the last act which kinda drags the movie a bit and ironically it’s the act which features most of the special effects including some ambitious claymation. It just ventures into some ethereal realm, straying too far what from what had been a semi-credible story with simple gags.

But this is definitely a great fun movie and dig that poster art.  Happy Father’s all you pappies!