The amazing theme music, the hilariously grotesque deaths, and the near pantomime scenes of campiness will all be going through the minds of Toxie fans everywhere when ever his name is mentioned. Well keep hold of those happy memories because there is a very real chance they are about to get obliterated. Variety have just released the news that plans are in the works to remake this beloved radioactive crusader from New Jersey into a more main-stream friendly action adventure movie. If that is not making you run to the hills screaming then just wait as there is more. The Governor himself Arnold Schwarzenegger is in talks to play the lead role. Now I know what most people are thinking right now. You are imagining Mr Freeze from Batman and Robin just with green skin and a pink tutu right? Well get rid of all those thoughts because he is not going to be playing Toxie at all…
Now for those unfamiliar with the character of the Toxic Avenger here is a brief recap. Made by Troma Studios (makers of all things trash and proud of it) we have the character of nerdy janitor Melvin Ferd, who after accidentally falling through a window and into some toxic waste (a prank by some heartless jock types), he emerges as a deformed muscle-bound superhero who dishes out justice to the people who wronged him. He is New Jersey’s only superhero. He has fought thugs, corrupt mayors, his own evil twin and even Satan himself and still keeps coming back for more. Despite the highly inappropriate content of the moives, they still found a way for kids to get in on the action with the popular, if not ill-advised, Toxic Crusaders cartoon series.
This is all in the planning stage at the moment so nothing is set in stone but if Arnie is not the avenger then who could he be? My guess is that International Film Trust (who are in charge of the reboot) and Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine) will have Arnold as some kind of detective trying to piece together a series of horrific crimes all involving a mop. No just kidding he is actually a character called ‘The Exterminator’ (thanks to Yahoo Movies for that information), a black ops agent who teaches the Toxic Avenger how to use his powers to fight for justice. So is the Toxic Avenger even going to be Melvin at all, because this seems more like he may be an ex soldier who gets exposed to radiation while on a mission or something of that ilk.
The choice of Steve Pink is interesting. His vision of the 80s from Hot Tub Time Machine was exactly how I imagined it from numerous daily doses of movies like Pretty in Pink and Red Dawn. We know he can do humor quite well, but is he skilled enough to take on Toxie, especially as he has an army of fan boys and girls who will be hot on his heels?
What it seems to me while reading this new is that Troma Studios don’t seem to have any input here. One of the main reasons these films worked was because of the cheesy vibe that Lloyd Kaufman (the creator of Toxie) gave to the movies. The great blending of dark horror and comedy helped to give this film a cult following. If International Film Trust is going for a different tone they may be losing track of what actually makes these movies so appealing. All I do know is that good or bad, this news is going to bring more attention to Troma and their flagship character and if it’s getting new audiences to visit Tromaville for the first time than this reviewer is all for it. Worst case scenario we will always have the original to fall back on. Hopefully future news will give us a better idea on the direction this film will be taking.