REASONABLE REMAKES: Toxic Avenger

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Under The Gun is continuing our efforts to bring you more original and engaging content with REASONABLE REMAKES. Written by film-nerd Justin Proper, this column aims to highlight Hollywood’s forgotten gems and spark debate.

You see, we’ve grown tired of Hollywood rehashing ideas we’re old enough to remember. Why remake something the majority of the planet still remembers and loves deeply when there are tons of films that deserve a chance to be as great as modern technology and skill can make them? If you agree, this column is for you.

If you have any suggestions for films or topics you’d like to see covered on REASONABLE REMAKES, please send an email titled “remakes” to utgjames@gmail.com.

The world is missing something in the field of movies these days. You may not realize it, but a key component of cinema has disappeared completely. This is something that is easily one of my favorite aspects of the film industry, and I think it died right around the time Bruce Campbell started making a tv show. The thing I’m talking about is B-Movie cult sensations with a campy, catch phrase spitting, bad guy killing machine. Sure, we have our action movies, but they’ve been taking themselves way too seriously (even Cowboys and Aliens tried too hard to be an A-Movie) and we have our cheesy horror movies but let’s be honest, when was the last time you saw a movie that was clearly so bad it was good on purpose? No, the _____ Movie crap doesn’t count, that’s just purely terrible (I’m pretty sure watching Dance Flick is what made my organs start to fail). With this in mind I sat down and watched this weeks film I think should be remade, The Toxic Avenger.

The original Toxic Avenger is about a total dweeb that works as a janitor at a gym in New Jersey. He gets pranked by a group of douchebags and accidentally falls in to some toxic waste, transforming him in to The Toxic Avenger (we’ll refer to him as TA for the rest of the article). TA is a mutated monster that is hell-bent on ridding the city of crime, usually by killing the bad guys in hilarious ways like dropping exercise equipment on a guy’s skull. The deaths are pretty gory and brutal considering the low budget (and all around amateur vibe) of the film. That’s really what makes this movie so fun to watch is the great low budget special effects and bad acting.

So if the movie is already a cult classic, why remake it? I think we’ve been over-saturated with superhero movies lately, some good (Thor) and some bad (Green Lantern) and there’s really no end to this trend in sight. This is the perfect pop-culture trend for this remake. You could get a big enough budget for the film based on that alone. The only superhero spoof movie that has popped up was Superhero Movie, and we all know that was pretty bad, but it doubled it’s money at the box office. Now is the time for the Toxic Avenger to rise out of it’s cult movie status and bash its way into genuine Hollywood gold. First things first, lets take out the health club setting and put TA as the weird janitor at a high school. This plays to the teen crowd and we wont have to see to many guys working out in tight clothes. Instead of a love interest (seriously, that was just ridiculous, even in a movie that rivals a David Lynch film for coherence) we can give him a high schooler sidekick that knew him before the accident. Let’s have some asshole kids put some toxic waste in to his coffee or something and that turns him into TA (hey, it makes as much sense as “bit by a radioactive spider”). This makes the movie more accessible to the general moviegoing audience of the 2010’s. One thing needs to carry over from the original though, and that is the R-rated gore. That’s what made it a cult classic, and that’s what will keep it hilariously visceral.

As far as a director goes I would love to see Edgar Wright helm the film. He did a phenomenal job with Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz that he would be perfect for a superhero spoof. He knows how to mix just the right amount of action and comedy to keep the movie funny without going in to full-blown comedy territory. His command of action sequences and gory deaths fit the bill perfectly and he already has quite a fan base so you know the movie would be successful.

My first choice to play TA would be Jason Segel. He’s big enough, and funny enough to pull off the character just right. We know he can do serious when he needs to (just watch How I Met Your Mother) and I have a feeling he’d do a great hulk-esque superhero with rage issues. I think he would be a perfect choice for a new era B-movie action star. I can see him saying hilarious one liners before killing someone in my head, and it’s pitch-perfect. For his sidekick I think that Clark Duke would work very well. I know he already sort of played a high school superhero sidekick in Kick-Ass, but I don’t care. His witty character has just the right element of sarcastic nerd to add to the movie in a positive way.

Toxie needs to return and the world is ready for B-movies to rise again. I think this remake would start up some great trends in making movies that don’t take themselves too seriously but still have good plot and development. If you agree, let me know in the comment section below. If you disagree, tell me why and I’ll avenge my articles ridicule from your toxic opinions (I couldn’t resist one good pun). I don’t have a great clip from a bad remake this week, but let me take another chance to let you know that if you have a movie you think should be remade please email utgjames@gmail.com with the subject “remakes” or just tweet at @uwebollarama. Odds are I’ll at least watch the movie and tell you why you’re wrong, but maybe, just maybe, you’ll see your suggestion in an upcoming article.

Written by: Justin Proper

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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