While I haven't forgotten the leggy legacy that is Andree Maranda in the original The Toxic Avenger, it's impossible to deny the amount of girlish spunk, forthright sticktoitiveness and pure, unadulterated awesomeness that Phoebe Legere brings to the role of Claire, the extremely leggy blind girlfriend of Melvin Junko, a.k.a. The Toxie Avenger, or just plain, Toxie, in The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie, the third chapter in the epic saga about the hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength from New Jersey. It's hard to believe there was an actually moment in time when I thought Phoebe Legere couldn't fill Andree Maranda's red pumps. In fact, I may have even looked at Phoebe Legere with a scornful glare when she first appeared onscreen in The Toxic Avenger Part II. Nowadays, however, I look at Phoebe Legere with nothing but a childlike sense of wonder. If you can believe this, I was worried that Phoebe Legere's penchant for jerky head movements and frenzied eye-darting would be curtailed by a peskier than usual plot point. While I won't divulge what this pesky plot point entails exactly–at least not at this particular juncture–but let's just say I thought Phoebe Legere's innate creativity was going to be severely stymied by the events that this so-called pesky plot point could potentially set in motion. Let me assure you, not only does it not dampen the appeal of Phoebe Legere's outre performance, it actually enhances it. Enhances it how, you ask?
I thought you would never ask. What's that, you never did ask? Well, either way, I'm answering anyway. Even though Claire goes through serious changes in this film, it doesn't alter the fact that Pheobe Legere will bring the fullness of her unique brand of insanity to the toxic table.
You don't merely watch Phoebe Legere in The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie, you experience it. Have you ever heard the expression, "on the edge of your seat," used to denote something that is either thrilling or exciting? If you have, the act of sitting on edge-like surfaces is a great way to describe Phoebe Legare's performance, as you constantly feel like you're about to fall face first into her cotton-covered crotch every time she appears onscreen.
Seemingly teetering on the brink of madness from the moment she wakes up in the morning to the moment she goes to bed at night, the sheer volume of uncut brainsick Phoebe Legere is putting out there caused this viewer to pause the film on several occasions. That's right, I was so overwhelmed by the unending deluge of crazy being hurled in my not-so general direction, that I felt the need to take a breather every now and then.
Oh, and by the way, don't think for a minute that Phoebe Legere's unsoundness of mind is diminished just because she's asleep. Uh-uh, the insanity continues long after her pretty head hits the pillow. Are you ready? She sleeps in white stockings with her legs wide apart. If that doesn't sound unsound enough for you, she sleeps with an accordion between her legs. And don't forget, she lives in a shipping container in a toxic waste dump with her equally toxic boyfriend.
Welcome to Tromaville. After a brief recap of the events from the previous films, part three gets underway at Tromaville Video, where bikini-clad ladies are browsing the latest videotapes available to rent. When all of a sudden, the serenity of their tape browsing is interrupted by a gang of tattooed thugs wielding automatic weapons. Since Toxie's tromatons are still in working order, Melvin Junko: The Toxic Avenger (Ron Fazio/John Altamura) should be dropping by at any moment now. Oh, and in case you don't remember, tromatons are what Toxie uses to detect evil. Entering the video store, Toxie makes short work of the gang of tattooed thugs. Using the intestines of one unlucky tattooed thug to jump rope with and severing the hand of another with a VCR, it's obvious that Toxie hasn't lost his touch when it comes to dismembering criminals.
(Wait, I thought Toxie had ridden Tromaville of criminals?) He did. This is merely a flash-forward to the middle of the story. After the video store scene, we pick up where the last film ended. Peace and quiet has finally come to Tromaville. But what's a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength supposed to do with no criminals destroy, no corruption to stamp out, and no toxic waste to clean up? (Hey, this sounds like the plot of part two?) You're right, it is similar. But get this, Toxie becomes a yuppie! I know, pretty gross, eh?
What we need to see right about now is a shot of Claire (Phoebe Legere), Toxie's non-seeing girlfriend, strutting her stuff down the center of Tromaville. And wouldn't you know it, the Troma gods have clearly been listening to my prayers, as we get a shot of Claire, who seems even more leggy than she does in part two (which is technically impossible since part two and three were filmed at the same time), walking down the street in the shortest skirt ever.
It should be noted that Phoebe Legere designed all the outfits she wears in both part two and part three. So, whenever you see Phoebe wearing nothing but white stockings and oven mitts, it was probably her idea.
When Toxie learns there's this new eye surgery available that can cure Claire's blindness, he seems genuinely excited. Unfortunately, it costs around 537,000 dollars. Since there's no money to made in crime-fighting, and even if there was, there's no crime to fight in Tromaville, Toxie gets a job at the IRS. When that doesn't work out, he works at the video store. And when that doesn't... well, you get the idea.
Unable to pay for Claire's surgery, Toxie goes into an even bigger funk; he even contemplates suicide at one point.
Meanwhile, across the river in New York, Apocalypse Inc., the unabashedly evil corporation, are having a very stimulating board meeting. A plan is hatched that involves convincing Toxie to work for them. (Hold on, why would Toxie sell out and work for Apocalypse Inc.?) Um, he can't afford to pay for Claire's surgery. And on top of that, it's 1989. Meaning, it was cool back then to jettison your principles. In other words, you can't blame Toxie for choosing to work for an evil corporation, he's just doing what society has told him and countless other to do, and that is, make as much money as you can no matter how it effects the world or those around you.
Clouded by his desire to make money, Toxie seems oblivious to the fact that he is about to become a cog in the wheel that is preparing to run over the soul of Tromaville.
Hmm, from the sounds it, you could say The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie is more than just a film about a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength killing bad guys with a mop. Personally, I prefer to view the film as the best opportunity to bask in the not even close to being undue length of Phoebe Legere's long ass gams in a cinematic setting currently available. However, you could approach the film as a satire on the yuppification of modern society.
(Can't you view/approach the film as both?) What? (As a satire on the scourge that is yuppie scum and as a showcase for Phoebe Legere's mouth-watering stems?) I suppose you could do that. Even though it does sound like a lot of work.
Anyway, ignoring Claire's advice to put on a fresh tutu, Toxie starts his new job as a spokesmen for Apocalypse Inc.
You gotta hand it to Phoebe Legere, only she could make lying in a hospital bed seem sexy.
With his leggy girlfriend's eye operation a success (the scene where Claire sees Toxie for the very first time is very moving) and a new job that pays well, things are looking up for Toxie. Yeah, they're going great for Toxie, but what about Tromaville? The place is turning into a fascist hellhole.
Are things really all that great for Toxie? Sure, the money's nice, but the residents of Tromaville, even Phoebe, all hate this new Toxie (one who plays tennis and carries a briefcase). What will it take for Toxie to realize he's helping destroy his beloved Tromaville? He needs to see the Chairman of Apocalypse Inc. for what he really is. Now, I don't want to say who exactly the Chairman really is. But let's say he has horns and is tad on the slimy side.
A classic battle between good and evil ensues that uses the video game format (Toxie must pass five levels to attain victory). Some time around level five, Phoebe Legere wields a shotgun.
Speaking of wielding shotguns, Lisa Gaye, who plays Malfaire, an Apocalypse Inc. employee, does exactly that, wields a shotgun. But she's not as prominent as she was in part two. Which was mildly disappointing. She's got this Gina Gershon/Marica Karr/Fran Drescher vibe about her that is quite appealing.
Despite the lack of Lisa Gaye and the fact the film isn't all that gory (other than the video store scene, the film is surprisingly tame, gore-wise), The Toxic Avenger Part III is a passable chunk of filmed entertainment. Oh, and make sure to keep an eye on Phoebe Legere during Toxie's battle with the Chairman of Apocalypse Inc. as the amount of effort she puts into reacting to the events unfolding before her is off the charts as far as outré enthusiasm goes.