Wall Street Toxie?

The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie continues Troma’s beloved property with more gags, swipes, and crack-ups for New Jersey’s unsung superhero. Picking up from The Toxic Avenger Part II’s shenanigans in Japan, co-directors Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz try to recapture their earlier magic with middling results.

Troma’s film oeuvre of course is an acquired taste as they cheekily push the boundaries of filmmaking decorum for crass jokes, tasteless gags, and senseless violence. The Toxic Avenger struck a chord with fans, an insane parody of wack superhero nonsense made on a shoestring budget. The Toxic Avenger Part III offers more of the same mayhem though the indefatigable charm begins wearing off this time around. It’s no secret most of its footage is leftover material from the second movie.

An absolute madcap opening at a local VHS rental store may be The Toxic Avenger Part III’s shining moment

Toxie returns to his stomping grounds of Tromaville, New Jersey. He’s stamped out all crime, living with his blind girlfriend (Phoebe Legere) in relative peace and happiness. Now he’s in search of figuring out a way to pay for an expensive surgery which can restore her sight. Sniffing an opening, the evil Apocalypse Inc. gives Toxie a professional job making serious money. The Toxic Avenger slowly transforms from a champion of justice… into a typical ‘80s yuppie. Toxie has inadvertently made a deal with the Devil and chaos ensues.

Kaufman and crew make a crude, occasionally funny parody of unchecked ‘80s capitalism à la Wall Street. It’s not a bad idea in theory but the uneven execution often mars the wacky humor and over-the-top gore. Seeing what sticks, an absolute madcap opening at a local VHS rental store may be The Toxic Avenger Part III’s shining moment.

There are small nuggets of hysterical brilliance, seeing Toxie’s ridiculous lifestyle as a yuppie trying tennis is pure fun. The humorous set-pieces increasingly become less and less funny however. What we are left with is silly slapstick and uninspired Troma fights with slap-dash costumes.

The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie nearly killed the franchise, Troma wouldn’t return to the character for over ten years with Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV. It’s not that bad but this sequel is largely disappointing.

Video

Troma’s The Toxic Avenger Part III hits UHD with minor improvements in its color density and rendition thanks to the expanded HDR capabilities. The new 4K film transfer has been struck from the original camera negative, handled by the same team behind Vinegar Syndrome’s output.

The 1989 indie movie’s 1.85:1 presentation represents a satisfying, film-like reproduction of strictly pedestrian cinematography. I’m not sure a full-blown 4K presentation was that necessary for The Toxic Avenger Part III but rest assured it’s never going to look any better than this UHD.

Provided on UHD is the unrated director’s cut, running 103 minutes in smoothly transparent HEVC quality. Definition and clarity are okay with an excellent contrast and solid black levels. While every older film benefits from a modern 4K scan, The Toxic Avenger Part III reveals Troma’s limitations as filmmakers. Variances in the sharpness and lighting affect fine detail levels. The glowing green toxic sludge found in Tromaville gives off an eerie sheen looking quite vivid and bright, easily bettering earlier 1080p versions.

What’s funny is the original DVD for The Toxic Avenger Part III was released in an open-matte presentation at 1.33:1, supposedly at the director’s wishes. Troma must have changed their mind at some point about that issue.

Audio

The monaural 2.0 DTS-HD MA soundtrack boasts a score by Christopher DeMarco and intelligible dialogue. Serviceable sound design provides clean, clear audio with sufficient dynamics. There’s nothing to get particularly excited about in the lackluster but steady sonic presentation.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font.

Extras

The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie hits UHD as part of Troma’s The Toxic Avenger 4K Collection, packing it with the three other films in the franchise. Each flick gets its own UHD and companion Blu-ray inside a traditional UHD case. They are packaged inside a fairly nice slipcase with an embossed photo of Toxie himself. The Blu-rays are coded for all regions. Each box set comes with a collectible postcard.

The only bonus features found on the UHD itself are two older commentaries from the DVD era and a new intro by Lloyd Kaufman. The remaining extras are all found on the BD. Troma seemingly ports all bonus features from their own 2015 Blu-ray release. It should be mentioned 88 Films over in the UK issued this movie with a few different bonus features on BD.

In response to glitches occurring on some discs, Troma has issued this statement:

“It has come to our attention that the 4K Ultra HD discs for “The Toxic Avenger Part II”, “The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie” and “Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV” found inside our newly released “Toxic Avenger Collection” box set may experience playback issues in some 4K players. From the information we were able to gather and our own extensive QC tests, we have come to the conclusion that issues with these discs may only affect select players and we do not believe this is a widespread issue. Please make sure that your 4K Ultra HD player firmware is up to date. If your firmware is up to date and you do experience any difficulties playing these discs, please contact [email protected].”

Prologue by Director Lloyd Kaufman (01:33 in UHD)

Audio Commentary with Director Lloyd Kaufman – Kaufman is joined by editors Ronny Thomas and Sean McGrath in this rolling discussion technically moderated by Ronnie “Raygun” Thomas. Recommended for all Troma fans.

Audio Commentary with Cast Member Joe Fleishaker

“Make Your Own Damn Horror Film”: Behind the Scenes of Old 37 (11:26 in SD) – Kaufman visits the set of horror flick “Old 37” starring Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley.

“A Halloween Carol” Short Film (09:54 in HD) – Kaufman does a parody of “A Christmas Carol” about Troma.

“Rabid Grannies on Blu-ray” (1:56 in HD)

Radiation March (00:56 in SD)

“TroMoMa” (11:40 in HD)

“40 Years of Troma” (02:03 in SD) – A brief snapshot of Troma’s history.

Theatrical Trailer (03:00 in SD)

Troma Trailers – A mix of Toxic Avenger films and Return to Nuke ’em High

Full disclosure: This UHD was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

Toxic Avenger Part III
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
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Movie

Troma’s Toxic Avenger franchise takes a stumble in this third installment as Toxie sells out to corporate evil

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User Review
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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 47 full resolution, uncompressed 4K screen shots ripped directly from the UHD:


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