REVIEW: The Toxic Avenger Part III – The Last Temptation of Toxie (1989)

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1989, Troma Inc.

Directors:
Lloyd Kaufman
Michael Herz
Producers:
Michael Herz
Lloyd Kaufman
Writers:
Lloyd Kaufman (story and screenplay)
Gay Parrington Terry (screenplay)
Cinematography:
James London
Editing:
Joseph McGirr

Cast:
Ron Fazio (The Toxic Avenger/Apocalypse Inc. Executive)
John Altamura (The Toxic Avenger)
Phoebe Legere (Claire)
Rick Collins (The Chairman/The Devil)
Lisa Gaye (Malfaire)
Michael J. Kaplan (Little Melvin)
Tsutomu Sekine (Announcer)
Jessica Dublin (Mrs. Junko)
Michael Jai White (Apocalypse Inc. Executive)
Kariim Ratliff (Apocalypse Inc. Executive)
Joe Fleishaker (Apocalypse Inc. Executive)

In this continuation of the series, the monster hero takes a Faust-ian route in order to help his beloved only to learn the dark truth behind what he had done and seeks redemption.

Having gotten rid of Apocalypse Inc., the New York-based chemical company, from turning Tromaville into a dump, Melvin Junko, the monster hero known as the Toxic Avenger, is now in a state of depression. Why? Because he no longer has any bad guys to destroy. Tromaville is once again a peaceful town. While that is fun, Melvin finds himself in a state of boredom. Things just get worse in a way when he learns Claire, his blind girlfriend, may have the ability to see again. However, it will cost $357,000.

Enter the Chairman for Apocalypse Inc., who has learned of the situation and has done the inexplicable. He has Melvin hired as a new executive associate. As Melvin slowly transitions to become a toxic yuppie, he has lost the respect of all the little people of Tromaville. Even Claire, who has regained her eyesight, is even upset with Melvin. Once again, Melvin is depressed to the point where he starts to see his former self. Soon, Melvin has learned the harsh realities of his decisions and begins a road of redemption, forcing a showdown between himself and the Chairman, whose true identity is revealed: the Devil himself!

The Toxic Avenger is back in this film, which like part II, was originally four-hours of footage split in two films. The opening of the film showcases some of Troma’s trademark madness and stylistic violence that the Toxic series is best known for as he takes on Apocalypse goons in a video store. This leads to the lengthy flashback where we learn that Melvin, once again played by the duo of Ron Fazio and John Altamura, actually worked for the evil corporation he stopped in the previous film.

The issue with this installment of the series is that unlike its predecessors, there isn’t enough action to satisfy even the most avid Troma viewer. Instead, it was an attempt to show an action scene, bring more the dramatic portion, and then have an action-packed finale. In the first two, the action was sporadic throughout the films and it worked better there. It is understandable that the movie was trying to bring a sense of religion and Faust in it, but it seemed empty. While it is nice to see the return of Melvin’s old self before his transformation, he is not played by original actor Mark Torgl, but that of Michael J. Kaplan, who comes off as a much more annoying version of the original character. In other words, even Torgl would have wanted to pull a Toxie on this Melvin.

Thankfully, the film is not completely bad. The action scenes in the first scene and final acts are quite enjoyable. We see the likes of a goon getting disemboweled and then have Melvin use his intestine as a jump rope and another goon just getting completely arrogant to the point where he suffers the most damage. And that’s all in the opening scene.

The final act starts out promising as we seen a graphic view of the Chairman transforming into the Devil in a way that even shocked two apparently blind churchgoers. The final battle is based on a favorite video game of Melvin’s, The Five Levels of Doom, and it is a nice mix of comedy and action. Even Michael Jai White, who can be seen as a gun-toting member of Apocalypse, has a laugh when Malfaire has to adjust how much she will pay a goon to mow down Melvin. After some comic-action madness, a twist is revealed to be quite annoying, but thankfully doesn’t last long.

Enough couldn’t be said, but it can be somewhat agreed that The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie is the worst of the Toxic films, but it does have its moments. So all is not lost, even if the Toxic Avenger was at one point.

WFG RATING: C-

DVD/BLU-RAY

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