Trevor Rank’s review published on Letterboxd:
My first proper Troma experience, and what a way to start! The Toxic Avenger is 80's schlock at its most entertaining. There is a radiating toxic charm to this film that is absent in so many other B-movie comedies that attempt to walk the fine line between camp and cringe. There is just something about this movie that feels so original.
The Toxic Avenger has it all: prostitute grannies, driving over children's head with a car, and shooting service dogs. While the film may seem to be offensive, it is all done in a tongue-in-cheek absurdist way. The humor is certainly not for everyone, even I thought a few moments were bordering on grating (especially revolving around the main character Melvin), but for the most part The Toxic Avenger absolutely hits all the marks it sets out for. The film is very competently made, making great use out of the minuscule budget Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz had to work with. The editing and production design felt completely original. The entire city of Tromaville felt expansive and unique, akin to the slight Grand Theft Auto parodies of real cities in the United States. We are treated to parodies of facist police officers, corrupt politicians, and blatant disregard to environmental safety. That is... if you want to look into a film like The Toxic Avenger for social commentary...
The Toxic Avenger is an absolute gem of 80's camp. The defining film of Lloyd Kaufman and the marginal film empire he created with Troma Films. A production company that I think is best compared to Psychopathic Records (Insane Clown Posse's label) in terms of an output that is unlike any other company and cult status amongst fans. I am so excited to check out more films from Troma in the future.