El Rey Network has found a way to support the Earth Day movement while remaining “on brand” with its Toxic Avenger Earth Day marathon.
“The Toxic Avenger” is a 1984 horror comedy film from B-movie studio Troma Entertainment about a health club janitor who is thrown into a drum of radioactive waste and becomes “the first superhero from New Jersey.” It was directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman and written by Kaufman and Joe Ritter.
Initially a box office bust, “The Toxic Avenger” has become a cult classic—inspiring three film sequels, a stage musical, a children’s TV cartoon and a Marvel Comics comic book series.
El Rey will show the films and cartoons multiple times over the weekend beginning at 8/7c April 22.
Melvin Ferd’s transformation from 98 pounds of solid nerd into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength*—Toxie—isn’t just a cautionary tale about the dangers of pollution. It’s a violent and bloody revenge fantasy, a “Beauty and the Beast”-style love story and a super hero thriller all rolled into a poorly made, crude and badly acted series of films.
What’s not to love? Read more about the movies and cartoon and find the schedule below or at El Rey Network.
The Toxic Avenger (1984)
7 p.m. April 22; 2:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 10 p.m. April 23; 1:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 8:30 p.m. April 24
Tromaville has a monstrous new hero. The Toxic Avenger is born when meek mop boy Melvin falls into a vat of toxic waste. Now evildoers will have a lot to lose.
The Toxic Avenger Part II (1989)
8:30 p.m. April 22; 10:30 a.m., 4 p.m., 11:30 p.m. April 23; 11 a.m., 4:30 p.m., 10 p.m. April 24
The Toxic Avenger is tricked into traveling to Tokyo to search for his estranged father, leaving Tromaville open to complete domination by an evil corporation.
The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie (1989)
10:30 p.m. April 22; 12:30 p.m., 6 p.m. April 23; 9 a.m., 2:30 p.m. April 24; 12 a.m. April 25
Toxie finds he has nothing to do as a superhero, as he has ridden his city of evil. He decides to go to work for a major corporation, which he discovers may be the evilest of all his adversaries.
Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV (2000)
12:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. April 23; 3 a.m. April 25
The Toxic Avenger must defend his friends from his own evil alternate universe doppelgänger The Noxious Offender.
Toxic Crusaders (1990)**
4 a.m.-9 a.m. April 23; 5 a.m.-9 a.m. April 24; 4 a.m.-5 a.m. April 25
An animated series based on The Toxic Avenger films. It features Toxie, the lead character of the films leading a group of misfit superheroes who combat pollution.
* This line is from the Marvel Comics version of “The Toxic Avenger,” but I liked it so I used it. No need to nerdsplain to me.
** Below is a 1991 Troma video release that combined parts of several episodes of the cartoon into a movie. Notice the writing credits include Chuck Lorre, who went on to create “Mom,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Dharma & Greg,” among others.