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Movie Reviews : Return of ‘Toxic Avenger’ Doesn’t Pack Much Punch

The only amazing thing about “The Toxic Avenger: Part II” (citywide ) is that Part I generated enough interest to warrant a sequel. In any event, Part II is too silly to be funny, and although good-natured in the low-budget Troma Pictures tradition, it is too violent to recommend for children who would otherwise be the most likely to appreciate it. It’s not for nothing that it’s been rated R. (Certainly most kids see much stuff as violent as this--or more so--but why numb them further?)

You may recall that the Toxic Avenger started out as nerdy New Jerseyite Melvin Junko, whose tumble into a toxic chemical waste turned him into a tall, smudgy-looking muscleman with a hideously deformed, rubber Halloween mask-like face and head. The Toxic Avenger is a sweet-tempered do-gooder whose chemical bath has left him with a built-in evil detector.

This time, Troma partners and co-directors Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz contrive mightily to get the Toxic Avenger (played by Ron Fazio and John Altamura) to Tokyo, possibly to make use of Japanese co-production yen. The pretext is that a conglomerate baddie (Rick Collins) who wants to turn Toxie’s hometown Tromaville into the “toxic waste capital of the world” must lure Toxie to Japan, where a formula has been devised to render him powerless. We’re told the potion is “too volatile” to be shipped to New Jersey.

As it turns out, Toxie’s adventures in Japan are no more worth outlining than those that await him upon his return to Tromaville. Alas, Troma promises us that we haven’t seen the last of the Toxic Avenger.

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