The Toxic Avenger hailed as “insane, gory blast” in first reactions

Peter Dinklage in The Toxic AvengerLegendary Pictures

Following its world premiere at Fantastic Fest, The Toxic Avenger has been hailed as an “insane, gory blast” in the first reactions and early reviews for the movie. 

There’s been much anticipation for the reboot of The Toxic Avenger, originally a 1984 horror-comedy movie telling the story of a weakling janitor who falls into a tub of toxic waste, only to emerge as a super-powered anti-hero. It has garnered a cult following over the years, with a series of sequels to follow

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Now the titular character is making his return, with Peter Dinklage taking on the Toxie mantle. As per the official synopsis: “A horrible toxic accident transforms downtrodden janitor, Winston Gooze into a new evolution of superhero: THE TOXIC AVENGER!”

With the film making its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 21, early reactions and reviews have started rolling in. So, here are the reactions so far, as well as when to expect the all-important Rotten Tomatoes score. 

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The Toxic Avenger reactions

Following its debut at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, The Toxic Avenger has been hailed as an “insane, gory blast” in the first reactions, with many praising the movie for taking viewers on a “bonkers” ride and staying true to the source material.  

Collider’s Perri Nemiroff wrote on X/Twitter: “#ToxicAvenger is a bonkers/bloody DELIGHT. A wild concept brought (back) to life by a team of people who understand exactly what they’re making and don’t hold back. The kind of movie that functions as a hugely enjoyable and very rowdy escape, and also feels like a celebration of movie magic, of the wild things one can create with ingenuity, practical effects, and a whole lot of passion for the genre.”

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Germain Lussier, senior reporter covering entertainment for Gizmodo and io9, added: “The new Toxic Avenger is a blast. It’s got the same over the top, hyper energy and tone of the original movie, but with more gore, disgustingly beautiful makeup and heart. A whole lot of heart. Dinklage rules, Bacon as the baddie is hilarious, it’s just totally irreverent & fun.”

Writer Dan Scully commented: “THE TOXIC AVENGER retains everything you love about Troma and adds a touch of class (just a touch), channeling the same anarchic, f*ck-the-system energy that first made Toxie an icon. Funny, warm-hearted, and consistently insane. Dinklage is GREAT.”

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Senior news editor at SlashFilm, Jacob Hall, said: “Macon Blair’s TOXIC AVENGER remake feels less like Troma and more like a live-action SIMPSONS Treehouse of Horror episode. Peter Dinklage showcases Ron Perlman- level heavy make-up acting. I found it extremely funny. Lots of people going to hate it.”

Elsewhere, entertainment reporter Matt Donato wrote: “THE TOXIC AVENGER: It’s as much Troma as you can fit into a “mainstream” Troma remake. Super gory, super off-color, and super silly throughout. You’re gonna love or hate this one, and you’ll know pretty damn fast!”

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A film historian who goes by James on X/Twitter gave quite the revealing feedback, stating: “If you ever wanted to see Peter Dinklage shove his hand up someone’s anus and rip out their guts, then you will dig THE TOXIC AVENGER.” 

Prior to this, he wrote: “Macon Blair’s take on THE TOXIC AVENGER is delightful. It feels old school with incredible makeup and practical effects while also being one of the funniest films in recent memory. It’s fun, twisted, gross, and heartwarming.”

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The Toxic Avenger reviews

A few reviews for The Toxic Avenger reboot have emerged from Fantastic Fest, and similarly to the reactions, they are positive, praising its rebellious spirit, great cast, and blood-soaked fun – although they’re aware that the movie might not be for everyone

As said by Variety: “Director Macon Blair’s reimagining of the cult classic won’t convert many new fans, but those in the know are likely to have a bloody good time.” It added that while “it’s hard to imagine” die-hard fans being let down by the reboot, “it’s also difficult to imagine The Toxic Avenger winning over any schlock-averse viewers who aren’t already on board with its brand of campy, over-the-top violence. This is largely a fans-only proposition, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

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Giving the film 7.5 out of 10, SlashFilm wrote: “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.”

We’ll be sure to add more reviews in this space as and when they roll in. 

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Is there a Toxic Avenger Rotten Tomatoes score?

No, there’s no Rotten Tomatoes score for The Toxic Avenger right now.

It’s a little early for the film to be rated, so be sure to check back here when more critics are let loose.

You can read more about The Toxic Revenger here, how many Toxie movies there are here, and check out more of our horror coverage below:

How many Saw movies are there? | LGBTQ+ horrors | How to watch Evil Dead Rise | Terrifier 3 | The Boogeyman ending | Tin and Tina explained | The Thing 2 | The Conjuring 4 | Is The Pope’s Exorcist true story? | How to watch M3GAN | Paranormal Activity in order | Interview with the Vampire Season 2 | The Nun 2

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