Legendary Entertainment Takes on Most Bizarre Project Yet
In 1984, Troma Entertainment released the gross horror comedy The Toxic Avenger, which became a cult classic and spawned countless films. Years later, Legendary Entertainment, known for megahits like The Dark Knight (2008,) has remade it, except the monster is no longer a hulking giant with a lazy (or, let’s say, “unproductive” eye); it’s Peter Dinklage.
But Do We Need Another Hollywood Remake?
This isn’t merely a remake; it’s a resurrection. With a bunch of high-profile celebrities – maybe as many as a Hollywood-saturated Wes Anderson film today. Behind it is Macon Blair (I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore), who gives an updated twist on the 80s original while simultaneously keeping the gore and camp that fans crave. He knows that Troma fans are about as diehard as they come.
Who are All the Celebrities?
It wouldn’t be a Troma film without countless celebrities, said no one ever before. The film is a departure from the usual B-movie fare. In the past, celebrities’ agents wouldn’t let them touch that toxic sludge – I mean low budget – within an inch of their bank accounts.
Therefore, it’s shocking that sporting the latex suit is Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones). He portrays the titular character Winston, who morphs into The Toxic Avenger. Although, Director Macon Blair says there’s technically a Portuguese woman in Peter’s latex suit: “So, Toxie is actually Luisa playing Peter with Peter’s voice playing Luisa.” According to Blair, Luisa Guerreiro is an actress who studied Peter’s acting as Toxie, including all the intricacies of his performance – gait, voice, etc. Then, she embodied his interpretation. Finally, Peter made adjustments based on Luisa’s characterization. It’s undeniably admirable that Luisa’s preparation encompasses the research of a Christian Bale role in a film this disgusting and outlandish.
However, we’re not just talking about Peter Dinklage and a woman sharing the same seamstress; we’re talking about Elijah Wood, who plays the antagonist, Fritz Garbinger. Moreover, the actor’s appearance has garnered a lot of attention recently. Unfortunately, in our vapid society, people have been harping on about how Elijah’s not aging as gracefully as he should.
But before you criticize his epidermis, just remember that he looks pretty good for a 40-something man despite how his character’s eyes resemble a meth junkie’s, and even a newborn baby has more strands of hair on its bald head. Furthermore, being compared to Danny DeVito’s The Penguin from Batman Returns (1992) is never reassuring, but the former Mr. Frodo Baggins takes it in stride.
Next up, we’ve got Kevin Bacon in his scariest role yet. Just kidding. That’s reserved for Sleepers (1996), where he played that juvenile prison guard. Undertaking this character erased any positive memories of him playfully dancing around in a barn in Footloose (1984). In today’s The Toxic Avenger, Bacon plays the evil CEO who won’t loan Winston money to treat his life-threatening health condition. By not giving up the bacon, he’s perhaps equally as abhorrent as a juvie prison pedophile. The Toxic Avenger’s stepson, Wade, is played by Jacob Tremblay, the kid from the Oscar-nominated film Room (2015.) It’s nice to see that he’s been released from his torturous hellscape bunker to appear in another torturous hellscape.
Enough With the Celebrities – What’s the Plot?
The film’s official synopsis reads: “Peter Dinklage stars as downtrodden janitor Winston Gooze, who, after falling into a vat of toxic waste, becomes none other than The Toxic Avenger. This timely reimagining is up to its eyeballs in environmental themes as Winston goes up against the evil forces of greed and corruption to save his son, his friends, and his community.”
For anyone saying that the film is too low-budget and absurd, they’re obviously not familiar with the original. Troma films are supposed to be mind-bogglingly weird. They were intended to enrage your parents and make them question your sanity for watching such utter sludge. But this isn’t just a Troma film; this is Macon Blair’s updated take on it, and hopefully, his interpretation will usher more fans into this crazy universe.
As of this time, a release date has yet to be announced, but there are plenty of Troma movies to rewatch in preparation for the strange spectacle.
The Toxic Avenger (2023) Official Legendary and Troma Entertainment Teaser Trailer