Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Toxic Avenger Part II (1989)

Her name is different, yet she's still blind?!? I'm confused. I mean, am I supposed to believe that Melvin, a.k.a. The Toxic Avenger, or just plain Toxie, the first hideously deformed monster hero of superhuman size and strength to come from New Jersey, dumped one leggy blonde blind chick for another leggy blonde blind chick? 'Cause if that's what you're saying, I'm going to have a difficult time suspending belief while I watch The Toxic Avenger Part II, the wonderfully inevitable follow up to the first The Toxic Avenger. Seriously, where's Sara? And don't tell me Sara dumped Melvin, as there's no way she would do that. I don't have to tell you, but what Sara and Melvin had together was beyond special. (All right, before you head down to Troma headquarters with your "We Want Andree Maranda" and "Bring Back Sara" signs, I think I should tell you that Phoebe Legere plays Melvin's new girlfriend.) Is that supposed to mean something to me? We're not talking about replacing any old actress up in this here putrid toxic waste dump, we're talking about Andree Maranda, the actress voted Miss Jerky Head Movement Queen, 1983. (I don't know, "Jerky Head Movement Queen"? That sounds made-up.) You wanna know why it sounds "made-up"? Because I totally just made it up. I make things up, it's what I do (by the way, it's Miss Jerky Head Movement Queen, respect the crown, asswipe). However, unlike other people who make things up, when I make something up, it motivates those very same "other people" to achieve great things.

Now, where was I? Ah, yes. How can you replace Andree Maranda? (Well, hiring another actress is a start.) Very funny. Her jerky head movements were sublime, and the way her eyes bounced around in their sockets was truly inspirational. How do you replace that? (Well, I have two words for you: "Phoebe" and "Legere"?) Again, is that name supposed to mean something to me?

(Remember that kooky blonde in the black fishnet stockings in Mondo New York?) Oh, boy. How could I forget her. She was amazing. (Yeah, well, she's Melvin's new leggy blonde blind girlfriend. And get this, she lounges around Melvin's apartment in white lingerie for most of the movie.)

(Hello? Shouldn't you being picking your tongue off the floor right about now?) Well, you kind of expect Phoebe Legere to wear skimpy lingerie like they were regular clothes, it's a part of her schtick, so my tongue is currently where it usually is, in my mouth.

What I would really like to know is, how does her head move? (You mean does she jerk her head in a manner that was both decidedly off-kilter yet frightfully precise at time? Not only does she manage to capture the essence of Andree Maranda's award-wining jerky head movements, she adds some subtle touches of her own. Mainly, she adds body twitching and spastic convulsions to the mix.)

Body twitching and spastic convulsions?!? Have I died and gone to heaven? The only reason I ask is because jerky head movements combined with body twitching and spastic convulsions are what I live for. It's not even close to being sad, and it's 100% true.

Never quite sure which direction she was going to hurl herself next, I watched Phoebe with a sense of awe, wonder and concern. (I can understand the sense of awe and wonder, but why the concern?) It's simply, really, Phoebe Legere is so committed to acting twitchy and spastic in this film, that I thought she might hurt herself or someone around her.

Seriously, look at those legs! One errant kick to the face from one of her super-long, super-shapely appendages will guarantee an extended stay in the nearest hospital.

Anyway, after stamping out every single last trace of evil and corruption in Tromaville, Toxie (Ron Fazio/John Altamura) is basically left with no heads to crush. Oh, sure, seeing a Freudian psychiatrist and volunteering at the Tromaville Center for the Blind keeps him busy. But as we all know, Toxie excels at ripping the arms off evildoers, not helping old ladies cross the street.

With no criminals to destroy, what's a hideously deformed monster hero of superhuman size and strength to do? Don't worry, the Chairman of Apocalypse Inc. (Rick Collins) and his sultry sidekick Malfaire (Lisa Gaye) are here to fill the villain void. (I hope Toxie's happy, because a shitload of blind people had to die in order for him to get his purpose in life back.) Yeah, I guess that was rather unfortunate. On the bright side, Claire (Phoebe Legere), Toxie's gorgeous, prone to gesticulating girlfriend, didn't die in the explosion that leveled the Tomaville Center for the Blind.

When the Chairman of Apocalypse Inc. and Malfaire discover Toxie wasn't killed in the blast, they sick about a dozen or so henchmen on his charred tutu-wearing ass.

If you like gruesome kills and excessive gore you'll love the next scene; an extended fight sequence where Toxie battles a bunch of Apocalypse Inc. goons outside the ruins of the Tromaville Center for the Blind. However, if you're like me, and you would rather watch Phoebe Legere cower while in the crouched position, you'll be rewarded with a few shots of Phoebe cowering while crouching. But not enough to fully satisfy all your Phoebe Legere crouching while cowering needs. (Wait, I thought it was, "cowering while crouching," not "crouching while cowering"?) Either way, turning dwarves into basketballs supersedes anything that involves cowering or crouching or crouching or cowering over the next ten or so minutes.

After losing a ton of henchmen (their bodies ripped to shreds by Toxie), the not-so fine folks who run Apocalypse Inc. assemble to discuss their Toxie problem. You see, they're an evil corporation who want to take over Tromaville, yet they can't because, you guessed it, The Toxic Avenger won't let them. And since Lisa Gaye (her thighs, and I suppose the rest of her legs, smothered in jet black nylons) is the only actress in this film with the verbal fortitude to vomit out such an exceedingly large chunk of exposition with anything close to resembling verve, she delivers a lengthy monologue that explains the goals that Apocalypse Inc. hope to achieve over the course of this sequel.

If you listen to Malfaire's monologue, and why wouldn't you, she's only one talking when she delivers it, you will hear her describe Claire's legs as "long." I have no real point to make, I just wanted to make it known that I'm not the only one who noticed that Claire's legs are longer than usual.

On top of waxing poetically about the length of the legs attached to his girlfriend's torso, Malfaire lays out her plan to neutralize Toxie's "tromatons," the chemicals that cause Toxie to instinctively want to destroy evil. The plan involves getting Toxie to go Japan, where an anti-tromaton spray is being produced. (Couldn't they just bring the anti-tromaton spray to Tromaville?) Nah, it's too volatile. (All right. How are they going to get Toxie to travel all the way to Japan?) It's simple, really. Tell Toxie, via his shrink (who has long since sold out to Apocalypse Inc.), that his long lost father lives in Japan. Oh, and make sure to feed him some warmed-over gobbledygook about how he needs to reconcile with his father in order to attain spiritual harmony.

With Toxie busy windsurfing to Japan to find his father, Apocalypse Inc. take advantage of his absence to remake Tromaville in their own corporate image and crush all those who stand in their way.

(Did Toxie at least give Claire's aching pussy a good going away pounding with his radioactive penis before he left?) You bet he did. And not only that, Toxie and Claire had a going away picnic as well. (A going away radioactive penis pounding and a going away picnic? Is Toxie the best boyfriend or what?)

Well, Claire ain't no slouch, either. I mean, she serves up Chicken à la Clorox in white stockings for her deformed man like a pro.

Searching the Tokyo streets, with a little help from the adorable Masami (Mayako Katsugari), Toxie immerses himself in Japanese culture. In fact, he met Masami at a Taiyaki stand. He rescues her from a trio of reprobates, one has their nose turned into a Taiyaki-shaped monstrosity, another is tuned into a noodle dish in an overheated hot tub, and a demented/leggy Yôko Ohshima is transformed into a radio transmitter. More bizarre deaths occur as Toxie and Masami track down his father to a large fish market.

Anyone else notice the similarities between Masami's light blue two-piece number and the light blue two-piece Diana Barrows wears in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood? No? It was just me, eh? Okay.

Meanwhile, in Tromaville, the Chairman of Apocalypse Inc. has a brief exchange with a homeless Tromavillian in the park. After being asked if he can spare any change, the Chairman tells her: "'Neither a borrower nor a lender be,' William Shakespeare." To which the homeless woman responds: "'Fuck you,' David Mamet." Classic.

In what could have been the film's greatest scene, but doesn't quite get there, Claire does battle with Malfaire in the cramped quarters of her shack. Wearing her trademark white stockings and playing the accordion when she arrives, Malfaire attempts to violate the leggy beauty with her probing hands. Egged on by smattering of "Bad Girls," including Helen Wheels, there's so much nylon and spandex in this scene, it will make your genitals spin. Ending with a sharp knee to the cunt, the "cat fight" scene is painfully short. Whereas the chase between Toxie and "The Dark Rider" seems to drag on forever.

Judging by the words I just typed, it would seem that The Toxic Avenger Part II was a mild success. And speaking of things that would seem, it would seem that my initial concerns regarding the whole Sara-Claire situation were completely unfounded. Kudos to Phoebe Legere for doing the impossible, making me briefly forget about Andree Maranda. And kudos to Lloyd Kaufamn for casting her. I would love to lavish more praise on Phoebe Legere, but it says here she's in The Toxic Avenger Part III. In other words, I don't want to use up all my Phoebe praise all in one go. How many of you want to bet that I use the word "leggy" more than once to describe Phoebe in part three?

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