The Toxic Avenger 3 "The Last Temptation of Toxie" (1989)
Dir: Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz (Troma)
IMDB Rating: 3.5 out of 10
As I mentioned in my last review I feel that Troma did an excellent job continuing the story of Toxic Avenger through it's sequels but for some reason the third installment has always been less memorable for me personally, Now after re-watching it for the ump-teenth time I think I know why it just never stood out as much as the rest of the series. The Last Temptation of Toxie on the surface is not a bad film , It just lacks the zany slapstick and gore the series is known for. Now, don't get me wrong there are a few scenes that live up to the Troma standards but for the most part the film takes a different approach which in some cases is not a bad thing as it helps flesh out The character of Toxie but when Changing the pace this sudden it makes the film come off as a little boring at times , which the rest of the series had never had an issue with. Because The Toxic Avenger series is allot of things but boring was never one of them in my opinion. So let's join Toxie as he battles with some of the demon's within and see just why this flick is just not as "Classic" as the rest of the series.
The third installment picks up right after the events of the second film as Apocalypse Inc has been cleared from Tromaville and once again the streets are filled with folks dancing and living a safe crime free existence. Things however are off to a promising start as a group of left over Apocalypse Inc. goons ransack a local video store and demand that they only provide mainstream cinema to their customers. As the thugs get aggressive and take hostages, Toxie makes the scene and absolutely destroys these would be gangsters in violent , gory fashion. As usual Toxie is never short on creative ways of disposing with his foes and this time is no different as he guts a man, Erases a mans face with a tape cleaner and rips a mans hand to shreds with a re-winder before beheading him with his mop. From this point things take a turn for the odd for a Toxie film as Toxie struggles with life after crime fighting when a important piece of mail comes his way. Claire and Toxie receive a notice of a new surgery that can restore Claire's vision and Toxie of course promises to do anything in his power to get this procedure for his love, However the cost is high and they cannot afford it. So Toxie hits the streets and gets himself a job , only problem is there is not much work out there for a Hideously deformed creature of super human size and strength and he has little to no success.Feeling like a failure Toxie's depression begins to get much worse and he begins having cryptic nightmares and thoughts of suicide. Meanwhile the folks at Apocalypse Inc are regrouping and thinking up ways to take out Toxie so they can return to business as usual. They decide that if you can't beat em' join em' and they decide to offer Toxie a job as a spokesperson, Their timing could not be better as this lucrative position would provide Toxie the money for Claire's operation in no time, So surprisingly Toxie agrees to take the position.
Toxie gets put to work immediately and the public is none too pleased with this change in their heroes behavior as he begins putting his face out there backing the statements of the large corporation. Claire goes through with her procedure in the meantime and she regains her vision just in time to witness her lover begin selling out to corporate America. In one funny bit though when her eyes are uncovered for the first time she freaks out when looking at the handsome doctor but seems to love the looks of Toxie and the two go home to have sex for the first time when she can see the on goings.Toxie continues to change and he becomes more of a yuppie as the days pass by even taking on new dialect and talking like a big city wheeler and dealer. Claire is not a fan of this new found attitude as he dismisses her and her environmentalist beliefs for the almighty dollar.This is where the film strays from the norm for the series and just does not have the same charm as the other films as instead of Toxie kicking ass and spewing cheesy one liners he is just becoming a boring character and the jokes are not as funny as well as the complete lack of action, As all we witness is the big corporation taking over Tromaville and forcing the residents into work camps with little to no resistance. Claire and Toxie have a bit of an argument and Toxie leaves to brush her off , While out on the town he witnesses the citizens taring up his pictures and talking about him being a sell out as well as commenting on how awful their living conditions have gotten. Toxie confused about what to do decides to head to his quiet place for a moment to think and after having another nightmare it becomes clear that he has not been himself and Claire was right the whole time. Toxie now clear headed returns to Claire to apologize and afterwards he heads straight to the Apocalypse headquarters to fight back yet again.
When Toxie faces off with the Chairman, His true form is shown and it turns out that the Chairman is Satan himself. In order to defeat him Toxie must go through the "5 levels of Doom" represented by Earth,Fire,Wind, Water and the fifth is left under wraps as "No one ever makes it to five". The First level is Earth and the ground opens up swallowing Toxie but he is able too easily break free and resurface. The second level is Fire in which both Toxie and Satan are lit aflame , The citizens of Tromaville are quick to throw water on Toxie putting the flames out, then Toxie "Pisses Off" the devil literally as he urinates the fires out and we move on to the next obstacle. Level Three is Wind, Where Satan forces some of the towns children into a school bus which is drove onto a cliff where Satan plans to blow it off sending the young ones to their doom.As expected Toxie comes to the save before the bus plunges to the ground below, However The Chairman's main assistant Malfire is crushed in the process. Level four is a strange one as it is Water yet all it involves is the Bus reconstructed driving Toxie on the hood into a mud puddle where the bus explodes, As we have seen in prior films of the series Toxie seems to fare well in these situations and as expected he survives the blast. This brings us to the fifth and final stage which is the Mind. Satan manages to warp Toxie's mind which causes his body to melt back into his old form as Melvin, leaving him powerless against the lord of darkness. Things are looking grim for our hero when Claire attempts to shoot Satan but he makes her blind once again. Showing that she is not as stupid as she presents herself she runs home to find Toxie's contract and returns finding a escape clause.The contract states that under an act of God he may be freed from bindings, We get a cheesy "God is in the heart of the people" line before a messenger arrives with a note from God himself freeing Toxie from the contract in question. Now with Toxie's strength back in tact he easily takes out his adversary, Skinning him and ripping his head off throwing it across the globe all the way to Japan. Once again peace is restored to the streets of Tromaville and we witness Claire who again has her vision back and Toxie getting married as the film comes to a close.
Although this is clearly a continuation of the second film in order to close the story arch of Apocalypse Inc. This film felt a bit stretched as if they would have just eliminated the Japan sub plot from part two and focused more on the original villains this would be an unnecessary addition to the series. Although if they did that we would have missed out on some pretty fun and classic moments , I do feel that the main points of this film could have been abbreviated and put into the second installment though allowing this film to focus on something new. Toxic Avenger three has it's moments, Like the opening fight sequence and the transformation scene but this one just lacked the action fans have grown accustomed to with the series and watching a dialog heavy Toxie film is a strange change of pace for the series. I don't hate it though as I find it nearly impossible to hate anything Toxie related. This brings us to my next review which will be Citizen Toxie: A Tale of Two Toxie's which honestly is one of my favorites and proves that even years after a series can be brought back to life even after a lackluster edition like this one. So until then I hope you have enjoyed my look into the Toxic Avenger Series so far as I know the next review is gonna be a blast.
Overall: 5.5 out of 10