The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie (1989)
By: Trist Jones on February 23, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Stomp Visual (Australia). All Regions, NTSC. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 101 minutes
The Movie
Directors: Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman
Starring:Ron Fazio, Phoebe Legere, John Altamura, Rick Collins, Lisa Gaye
Screenplay: Gay Partington Terry
Music: Christopher De Marco
Country: USA
Before I begin, I should explain that there are always two ways you can look at any Troma film. You can look at it as a film and hold it up to the same standards you would any other, or you can look at it as the pile of trash Troma intends it to be and accept it for what it is. If you watch films from the first viewpoint, you're likely to be repulsed by anything Troma puts out, but if you can throw those standards out the window and deal with the shit Troma deliberately churns out, then you're just about always guaranteed a decent laugh (depending, of course, on what sort of sense of humour you have).

The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie opens with a hilariously terrible assault on Tromaville's local video store. Anyone who can't handle poor continuity is going to be switching off within the first couple of minutes as a gang of 'corporate representatives' try to turn the local video store into a franchise that rents out nothing but top 20 movies. But fear not! Toxie has returned to Tromaville to save the day! The only problem is, he does too good a job and soon finds himself basically out of superhero work. During this slump, the Chairman of Apocalypse Inc. (the evil multinational conglomerate Toxie faced in Toxic Avenger Part II) , hatches a scheme to make the Toxic Avenger work for the evil company, promising to give him enough money to pay for his blind girlfriend's experimental eye surgery. So Toxie becomes a yuppie, forgetting everything he stood for, until the Chairman reveals himself for what he truly is and the two duke it out in a "5 Levels of Doom" trial ordeal. It's not much of a plot (or film for that matter) even by Troma's barrel-bottom standards.

Now if I were to be brutally honest, The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie is a steaming turd. There is not a single piece of inspired film making to be found inside. The cast is awful, the acting is gut-wrenching and the story feels as though it were put together by a kid in primary school. The editing choices make it almost unwatchable (I have never seen so much reverse footage in my life). But this is me looking at it as a film. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of Troma, so I'm a little bit biased, but having friends who love these films, I know them well enough to say that Troma fans will (and do) enjoy this one. If you can look through the trailer-trash production values, there's an underlying intellect behind the it all that really is worth taking note of. The jab at Blockbuster Video and other environmental and social commentaries are concealed well enough to not be 'preachy' and you realise while watching it that this film is raising some valid points. It's clear enough through some of the lines of dialogue that the guys putting these films together aren't retards, just having a shitload of fun and don't really care whether you like it or not.

Now, if you are a fan of Troma, and a fan of the Toxic Avenger in particular, who hasn't seen this one yet, it is probably the lesser of the Toxic Avenger films. It has the least gratuitous violence and significantly less gore and nudity than it's predecessors, but still retains the absurd wackiness of Part II and self referential humour present in all (it's worth noting too that this film is actually made up of large slabs of footage shot for Toxic Avenger Part II, as the original cut for went for 4 hours).
The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie is presented in 4:3 non-anamorphic. I'd been told that Team Troma finance the production of these DVD's themselves, so it doesn't really surprise me that the image quality isn't quite up to scratch (it's good VHS standard), but at least there isn't any noticeable damage to the print used for the DVD transfer. The only problem is that there are instances where the film seems to flicker in the upper left hand corner, as though the film wasn't spliced properly when put together.
The sound is Dolby Digital 2.0, so it's not going to blow you away (and I doubt too many people are going to want to study the sound track that intensely… shudder!). There is the option for commentaries by the legendary Lloyd Kaufman (the director) and the editors, and another by CineSchlocker's Joe Fleishaker, both of which are always entertaining to hear.
Extra Features
A lot of the extra features on the disc aren't actually listed on the DVD's packaging. The DVD contains the aforementioned audio commentaries (which are hidden in the sound and subtitle options), along with cast interviews (the Joe Fleishaker interview is hilariously demeaning and the interview with Ron Fazio, the man behind Toxie, is particularly interesting, though very obviously edited to the extreme), a slideshow of Toxic Avenger memorabilia and an introduction by Lloyd Kaufman.

There's also a bunch of throwaway extras, mainly just bits and pieces shot by the Troma crew that obviously couldn't fit anywhere (Naked Dance of the Damned Fat sounds funny but is really awful), but there's a gem hidden in there that shows footage of a retrospective screening. Initially it looks to be something big, Lloyd Kaufman is making a nice and very informative speech about the film, and then the camera turns to the audience, revealing a pathetically low number of people in the cinema. That moment alone is probably unintentionally funnier than the majority of the film itself.
The Verdict
Toxic Avenger III: The Last Temptation of Toxie is meant for Troma fans. Filled with in jokes (as most Troma Films tend to be), crass sexual innuendo and toilet gags, ridiculous violence and horrendously over the top acting accompanied by terrible sound effects and a score on par with an 8-bit Nintendo game, Toxic Avenger 3 is everything one can expect from Troma. This is good, if you can stomach Troma films. If not, turn away, because you're probably not going to enjoy a minute of this film.

If you are a true Troma completeist, you may want to grab a copy of American release of the DVD, as it contains the Troma Intelligence Test and trailers absent from Stomp Visuals Aussie release.
Movie Score
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