After some really good individual Blu-Ray releases of his four part Toxie epic, Lloyd Kaufman and Troma usher in their classic series on the 4K UHD format. This should serve as no surprise as Lloyd Kaufman and Troma were the first to jump on to the DVD format, and use it as a basis of entering the new generation of movie lovers. This new box set described as “TA on 4K” includes all four “Toxie” adventure movies but on 4K and Blu-Ray, as well as a massive library of special features and vintage extras.
Beginning with 1984’s ultra violent superhero cheapie “The Toxic Avenger,” Lloyd Kaufman paves a wonderful film legacy with four thoroughly enjoyable, and viciously violent superhero films that did everything including break the fourth wall, offer up some meta-humor, and build a cinematic universe, to boot. Everything happens in Tromaville, and Toxie is a fun anti-superhero whose movies get more and more ridiculous, but remain oh so much fun with films like “Part II,” “The Last Temptation of Toxie,” and (not to be outdone) “Citizen Toxie.” It’s an absolute collector’s gem, but also helps pave the way for the highly anticipated remake/reboot starring Peter Dinklage.
For “The Toxic Avenger” UHD there’s the one minute introduction with Troma Entertainment honcho Lloyd Kaufman in his office, where he welcomes viewers to the “re- digitized director’s cut” of “The Toxic Avenger.” He also claims the feature is a major influence on current superhero entertainment, namedropping modern classics like “Deadpool” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Theres also one Commentary featuring co-director/producer Lloyd Kaufman, and a second commentary featuring actors Gary Schneider, Robert Prichard, and Dan Snow, moderated by a member of the Troma Team. The Blu-ray includes a four minutes Intro by Lloyd Kaufman in “Hawaii,” riding a surfboard and sharing information about “The Toxic Avenger.” Michael Herz also appears in a hospital bed.
There is also the pair of aforementioned audio commentaries. The four minutes Behind the Scenes and In Production Slideshow offers numerous snapshots that showcase the creative force behind “The Toxic Avenger,” detailing location work, stunt efforts, and cast camaraderie. There’s a nineteen minutes interview with Jennifer Babtist who remembers her time on-set; Babtist also describes the locations, her discomfort with nude scenes, and her eventual relationship with co-star Prichard. She is joined by her daughter in the last third of the interview. There’s a two minutes interview with actor Robert Prichard who offers a brief recollection of the audition process and comfort with his “Toxic Avenger” legacy, an eight minutes interview with actor Mitch Cohen, who played the mutant superhero.
He recalls his experience working with heavy make-up, his unavailability to comeback for the film’s sequels, and tours his office day job. There’s a four minutes Interview with actor Dan “Cigar Face” Snow shares a few tales of his time on “Toxic Avenger,” including the origin of his character’s name and the challenges of the location, working around garbage in a dank alley, as well as a fifteen minutes interview with Michael Herz (with questions supplied by Lloyd Kaufman) who gives a career overview, with the director and co-founder of Troma describing how financial panic initially drove his interest in a filmmaking career. There are talks about “The Toxic Avenger,” but Herz discusses a variety of topics, including Madonna’s interest in a Troma role, and his tips for upcoming moviemakers.
“Mark Torgl’s Special Video” is a six minutes presentation with the original Melvin in his backyard, sharing original props from the movie, there’s the two minutes “40 Years of Troma,” a short appreciation of the studio’s achievements, and the original Theatrical Trailer. “The Toxic Avenger Part II” UHD includes an Intro with Troma Entertainment founder Lloyd Kaufman in the studio commissary, where he recalls his time in Japan for “Toxic Avenger Part II,” and provides some tips for sushi preparation. There are also Commentary features with co-writer/director Lloyd Kaufman. This three minutes Intro catches up with Troma president Lloyd Kaufman in Copenhagen.
There’s also a commentary with Kaufman, the four minutes “At Home with Toxie” that visits the star of “The Toxic Avenger” in his palatial estate, with his second wife, the vintage two minutes “A Word from Troma’s Villainess Lisa Gaye,” which is a brief conversation with the company’s go-to baddie, who discusses her career and love of screen evildoing. The three minutes “Toxie on Japanese T.V.” presented without subtitles; the true origin of this news piece is unknown, but it does provide a look at BTS footage, with Kaufman wearing a jet-black beard, in a “Toxic Avenger” shirt, leading the production through shots.
The “Old DVD Intro” features a much younger Kaufman, who welcomes viewers to the “digitally remastered” presentation of the sequel, there’s the minute long “Radiation March,” a brief dance piece concerning the dangers of pollution, the two minutes long “40 Years of Troma,” a short appreciation of the studio’s achievements, and a vintage Theatrical Trailer. “The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie” UHD includes the Intro with Lloyd Kaufman in the Troma wardrobe department, where he shares Toxic Avenger fan art and more. There’s a commentary featuring co-writer/director Lloyd Kaufman, and a second commentary featuring actor Joe Flieshaker. The Blu-ray includes an Intro with Troma President Lloyd Kaufman in Denmark, where he welcomes viewers to the “Last Temptation of Toxie” Blu-ray and finds a pair of locals who love to mock him.
There’s the aforementioned pair of commentaries, and the eleven minutes “Make Your Own Damn Horror Film” which follows Kaufman to the set of “Old 37,” a horror picture starring Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley, where he arrives to film a cameo. Kaufman imparts low-budget moviemaking tips while quizzing the professionals on their jobs. The ten minutes “A Halloween Carol” stars Kaufman in a reworking of “A Christmas Carol,” only here spirits from beyond visit the face of Troma to show him what a world without the company’s releases on YouTube would be like. There’s the fake infomercial for the infamous “‘Rabid Grannies’ on Blu-ray,” the “Radiation March,” the eleven minutes “TroMoMa” with Lloyd Kaufman visiting the Museum of Modern Art, topped with a Bollywood dance on stage.
Finally, there’s the “40 Years of Troma” and the original Theatrical Trailer. Lastly, the “Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV” UHD includes an Intro with Lloyd Kaufman on the front steps of the Troma building in New York City, with a clarinet. He welcomes viewers to the “TA on 4K” viewing experience, trying to sell “Citizen Toxie” as a film ahead of its time, sending a warning to viewers about the loss of American freedoms, especially abortion rights. There’s a commentary with co-writer/director Lloyd Kaufman, a second commentary with producer Trent Haaga and actor Michael Budinger, and a third commentary with editors Gabe Friedman and Sean McGrath.
The Blu-ray includes an intro with Kaufman at Stan Lee’s Comikaze, joined by Gabe Friedman (“Poultrygeist” screenwriter and editor of “Citizen Toxie”) and “Transgender Toxie” to discuss this “lovingly recreated” Blu-ray. There’s the trio of commentaries with co-writer/director Lloyd Kaufman, producer Trent Haaga and actor Michael Budinger, and editors Gabe Friedman and Sean McGrath. There’s the over two hour long “Apocalypse Soon” an exhaustive making-of that delivers a terrific fly-on-the-wall perspective on the “Citizen Toxie” shoot. Everything from casting, location shooting, and crew camaraderie, though Kaufman is explored.
“Apocalypse Soon” is a very detailed and brutally honest take on Troma moviemaking, identifying the challenges of indie filmmaking and workin with low budgets. Finally, there’s the “40 Years of Troma,” and finally the eight minutes “Troma’s Tribute to Lemmy,” a collection of moments spent with the late, great Motorhead frontman, who’s been a longtime studio supporter.