The Toxic Avenger Review: Peter Dinklage Brings Soul To A Gore-Soaked Comedy Of Anarchy [Fantastic Fest 2023] – /Film

I keep coming back to Dinklage, encased in a full-body prosthetic suit that transforms him into a grotesque, musclebound superhero/monster, and his choice to let his one exposed eye bring a tragic depth to this whole endeavor. Elijah Wood, playing Gollum playing Danny DeVito’s the Penguin as Bacon’s put-apong henchman brother, brings a similar pathos. The collision of an honestly soulful performance and a character design torn out of an EC horror comic sums up the movie’s chief appeal: Either you find this s*** funny or you don’t.

Early in “The Toxic Avenger,” Winston leaps into the road to save a cat, and an offscreen character literally shouts, “Hey! That guy saved a cat!” Either you get the joke or you don’t. More so than the many, many blood-soaked executions, this beat sums up the film’s wry sensibility.

Will most people appreciate that wry sensibility? I’m not sure. Blair made a movie that feels built to amuse himself. And I’m glad it exists. It feels like he got away with … something. Lots of people are going to hate “The Toxic Avenger” and its avalanche of blood-drenched chaos and self-aware, silly asides. But for the dozen or so people on Blair’s wavelength … I guess I’m one of them.

/Film Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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