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2002, dir. Lloyd Kaufman
108 min. Not Rated.
Starring: David Mattey, Heidi Sjursen, Joe Fleishaker, The Hedgehog.

Review by Noel Wood

Since 1985's TOXIC AVENGER turned Troma films from an obscure independent film studio to the undisputed leader in low-budget gross-out flicks, there have been a lot of ups and downs for the flagship character. Two back-to-back sequels disappointed many of Toxie's fan base, and the watered-down cartoon version didn't satisfy Troma's target audience. Troma still managed to put out some winners, such as SGT. KABUKIMAN, N.Y.P.D. and TROMEO AND JULIET, but what the studio really needed all this time was a way to redeem the hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength that put them on the map.

Enter CITIZEN TOXIE, which begins by apologizing for the last two sequels and then boldly proclaims that this is indeed the real sequel to THE TOXIC AVENGER.

Troma spared no expense in putting together this epic opus of a B-movie. Almost every Troma regular was rounded up and put in roles that were more ridiculous than they had ever faced before. An all-star cavalcade of celebrities were on hand to make cameos. And as far as the usual Troma penchant for outlandish gore and unnecessary nudity goes? This film takes that quotient and plunges it into hyperdrive.

And beneath it all, there's actually a story that serves pretty well as a follow-up to the first TOXIC AVENGER film, and this one even acknowledges some of the odd incongruencies between the original and its follow-ups. The film begins by re-introducing the back story, and this time refers to our hero as Melvin Furd rather than Melvin Junko. However, in a later scene, we see that Toxie's wife Sarah's last name happens to be Junko. And on the subject of Sarah, she's back to that name (and back to being blind) after two sequels where Toxie's girl was named Claire, but the same actress also plays a character named Claire in CITIZEN TOXIE. This is getting confusing, so I'll get to that in a moment.

CITIZEN TOXIE starts off much like the other sequels in that a gang of colorful baddies are wreaking havoc among some innocents. This time, it's the Diaper Mafia, a gang of terrorists who wear pacifiers and bonnets, and their victims are Mrs. Weiner's (Debbie Rochon playing pregnant in a mousy wig and glasses) "special needs" classroom at the local grade school (Never mind the fact that the retarded students are all portrayed by actors who look to be pushing 40.) They shoot up a few of the 'tards and make demands to the police until Toxie comes to save the day, disguised as a bikini-clad news reporter alongside his sidekick Lardass, played by Troma regular Joe Fleishaker. This is the first we've ever heard of Toxie having a sidekick, but it's not like flipping off continuity is new territory for a TOXIC AVENGER sequel.

Ultimately, Toxie's Tromatons get the best of him and he fails in his mission to save the school, detonating a bomb that blows up Lardass and the majority of the kids left. Toxie escapes with rebellious junkie retard Tito and impressionable retardette Sweety Honey. But when he emerges from the school, things have changed. The cops begin shooting at him, and his good buddy Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD appears to be a Yakuza-tied crack dealer now. Suddenly he realizes this is not Tromaville, but rather Amortville, where Lardass is now just plain old Chester, giving blowjobs on the street for 50 cents a pop.

Turns out ol' Toxie has been transported to an alternate dimension, where everything seems to be reversed. And on the flip side of that equation, his evil doppelganger Noxie (short for the Noxious Offender, obviously) has arrived in Tromaville and begins ripping people's arms off. Tromaville's Mayor Goldberg (Ron Jeremy, who gets to die in a unique but Troma-tastic fashion) assembles a team of superheroes to thwart the bogus Toxie, including Dolphinman, the Vibrator, Mad Cowboy, Master Bator, and the drunken Kabukiman; but Noxie disposes of them in quick fashion. Next thing you know, Noxie has stepped into the mayor's office (helped by his neo-nazi buddy and Tromaville cop Ted Kazinski) which prompts a brilliant parody of the opening scenes of the film's title inspiration, CITIZEN KANE. Nooooose Blooood!

Meanwhile, Toxie's wife Sarah has been impregnated by both dimensions' versions of her husband, and she goes to see a gynecologist regarding the matter. And, behold...


Yes, MCFTR's resident mascot/punching bag Corey (that's two Surreal Lifers in this movie!) appears under the pseudonym Kinky Finkelstein in a landmark performance here, telling Sarah that her two fetuses will fight a war for supremacy within her womb, and advises her to seek an abortion. But on the other side of the dimensional barrier, Toxie has discovered that Sarah also has a twin on the other side: Claire, the abused long-lost love of Chester (In this dimension, Sarah/Claire is deaf rather than blind.) Toxie reunites the couple and discovers that Chester is a physicist who can get Toxie back to his home dimension Wizard-of-Oz style.

Toxie eventually gets back to Tromaville (after meeting God, played by the late Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf) and makes an effort to put a stop to his doppelganger. Sarah is still struggling with her rock 'em sock 'em fetuses inside, and Noxie reveals that he has some powers that Toxie hadn't planned on (including the return of the Monster Penis, a prop which resurfaces from TROMEO AND JULIET.) It's up to Toxie to put an end to Noxie's reign of terror and save his progeny!

CITIZEN TOXIE is an instant Troma classic, ranking up there with the best that Lloyd Kaufman has ever popped out of his twisted skull. Not only is it a full-on Troma production that makes no apologies, it's damn clever and is full of semi-obscure pop culture and cinematic references. The cast that Lloyd has assembled here is impressive. Ron Jeremy, Corey Feldman, Hank The Angry Drunken Dwarf, Julie Strain & Kevin Eastman, Hugh Hefner, Stan Lee, Lemmy from Motorhead, and a handful of Playboy Playmates all show up in some form here. Perhaps the best cameo of them all is from Mark Torgl, who played Melvin in the original TOXIC AVENGER almost two decades before this and hasn't appeared in anything since.

And if you came to see violence, this is the movie for you. Arms are ripped off, intestines are ripped from stomachs, bodies are dragged behind cars until they fall apart, human body parts go to the hot dog factory, fingers are sharpened, faces ripped off, deaths by dirty diaper aren't out of the ordinary, tongues are pulled out of heads and mops are plowed through them, and of course, there are plenty of crushed heads to keep hardcore Tromaites happy. And that's just scraping the surface. It took two Toxies to make a Troma movie that topped the typical Troma movie.

CITIZEN TOXIE is Troma at its best. This is Lloyd Kaufman at his most inspired. This should be the standard that all things Troma are held to for years to come. Whether you're a Troma newbie or a die-hard fan, check this movie out at all costs.

Rating: Five out of five Toxies.


All Material Copyright 1998-2006 Movie Criticism for the Retarded.

For questions, comments, or the occasional stalking letter, send mail to Noel Wood. Please give proper credit when using any materials found within this site.

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