Blu-ray review: Citizen Toxie – The Toxic Avenger IV

Starring: David Mattey, Joe Fleishaker
Director: Lloyd Kaufman
Rating: 8/10

toxic-avenger-part-four 2Coming 11 years after the hideously deformed Parts II and III, Citizen Toxie was a late and unexpected return to form for the mop-wielding vigilante. The first half hour, in which a diaper-clad terrorist group massacre a “school for the very special”, is loud, rude, aggressive and literally takes no prisoners – in short, it’s pretty much everything you want from a Toxie movie. Sharp editing and some energetic camerawork by Brendan Flynt give it a lean, mean punk edge, and the casting of 6’10” David Mattey makes for a genuinely scary Toxie whose very appearance causes baddies to spontaneously defecate.

Eventually, a typically daft plot involving Toxie swapping places with his opposite number from an alternate reality, the Noxious Offender, gums up the works a bit, but even then it continues to muster up some memorable set-pieces, such as Toxie’s fight with Evil Kabukiman. This is a Troma film, so there’s always going to be an element of hit or miss, but at it’s best this is a movie that deserves to stand shoulder to shoulder with the original Toxic Avenger.

The HD transfer is just a little soft and some of the flesh tones seem a little washed out, but it’s extremely clean, and on the whole the bright, comic book palette pops very nicely.

toxic-avenger-part-four 1

This release also comes with around four hours of top-notch extras. Apocalypse Soon is a 2 hr, 17 min documentary about the making of Citizen Toxie. It’s in standard def and 4:3 ratio, but it’s well worth seeing as a warts ‘n’ all look at the inimitable Troma method. With its crew of unpaid interns, the production quickly descends into chaos, with extras fighting and urinating on set and ten people walking off the film in one day. “The man we work for is crazy,” scriptwriter and assistant director Trent Haaga bitches, while David Mattey is appalled to discover that Troma is paying actors less on Citizen Toxie than it did on the first Toxic Avenger movie.

In addition, there’s an excellent 29 min piece on the preproduction and casting, and a 39 min location behind-the-scenes, as well as a brace of audio commentaries. Even if you’re not a Troma fan, this release makes fascinating and often extremely funny viewing, and it’s a great way of learning about the do’s and don’ts – mainly the don’ts – of low budget filmmaking.

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