Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 7th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1989
Directors: Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman
Writers: Gay Partington Terry, Lloyd Kaufman, Pericles Lewnes, Fumio Furuya, Yoshiko Miyamoto, Andrew Wolk, Phil Rivo, Joe Ritter
Cast: Ron Fazio, John Altamura, Phoebe Legere, Rick Collins, Rikiya Yasuoka, Mayako Katsuragi, Michael Jai White
BluRay released: November 17th, 2014
Approximate running times: 109 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Stereo English / Japanese
Subtitles: English only for dialog in Japanese
BluRay Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: £14.00
Synopsis: In order to complete their plans of turning Tromaville into a toxic landfill. An evil corporation concocts a distraction for the Toxic Avenger that will take him to Tokyo in search of his long lost father.
The first thing that grabs you while watching The Toxic Avenger II, is how drastically different tone wise it is when compared to its predecessor. Where humor plays a role in the first film, things have been turned up to eleven and then some for this sequel. Which ultimately takes away from the impact of the humor that runs rampant throughout.
Of course gore makes a return for this sequel and though there are a few gruesome moments. These moments lack the potency that they had in spades in The Toxic Avenger. With that being said, one of the few enjoyable moments in this film is when the Toxic Avenger is forced to face a series of colorful villains (including his father?), who all have their own distinctive way of fighting. The Toxic Avenger’s fight scene with the character who claims to be his father is without a doubt this film’s most memorable moment.
Not all sequels are created equal. And in the case of The Toxic Avenger II, it is the often maligned sequel to what is arguably Troma Entertainment’s most revered film The Toxic Avenger. And the end result is a super-sized caricature that tries very hard to recapture the essence of what made its predecessor so successful.
The Toxic Avenger Part II comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Outside of some very minor print debris, most noticeable during the opening credits the bulk of the transfer is in great shape. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels fare well and details look crisp. Also there are no issues with compression and DNR is kept in check.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM stereo English / Japanese and there are English subtitles for the dialog in Japanese. There are no issues with background noise or distortion, dialog is clear and everything sounds balanced. Range wise things sounds as good as to be expected considering the low budget origins of the film, with the score and action oriented moments sounding appropriately robust.
Extras for this release include an introduction before the film with Lloyd Kaufman, president of Troma and creator of the Toxic Avenger, a Toxic Avenger trailer reel, a brief ‘behind the scenes’ segment, three interview segments, ‘Toxic thoughts’ by Fangoria Managing Editor Michael Gingold, ‘Tromatic Comments’ by Videohound Author Mike Mayo and ‘Thoughts from the arch villainess’ Lisa Gaye, a segment titled ‘Scenes from the Tromaville Café’ and an audio commentary with Lloyd Kaufman.
The extras here are all ported over from previous home video releases for this film and anyone familiar with Troma knows what to expect content wise. With that being said, the only extra of any substantial value on this release is the audio commentary with Lloyd Kaufman, who in-between goofing off and self-promoting himself. He actually has a few interesting things to say about this film, most notably regarding the censorship of this film and its various versions.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art option and an 88 Films Trailer Reel. Overall The Toxic Avenger Part II gets first rate audio / video presentation from 88 Films.