Film Censorship: The Toxic Avenger (1984) & (1989)


 

 

 

 

The Toxic Avenger

Directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman / 1984 / USA / IMDb

Roadshow Home Video had a 79m tape of THE TOXIC AVENGER passed with an R-rating in November 1985.

In June 1987, Village Roadshow had a censored 2221.83 meter (81:12) 35mm print rated R.

In July 1987, Roadshow Home Video had a 78m videotape Refused Classification.

 

In 1987, issue sixteen of the CRIMSON CELLULOID fanzine explained what happened to THE TOXIC AVENGER when it was eventually released to video.

A real sign of the times. Toxic Avenger has been banned!! This may seem strange since the uncut version has been available on video for a good two months. Seems the version given an 'R' rating by the scum-suckers at the censorship board isn't the same version released on video. Thus all the video dealers across Australia have been given orders to send back the uncut version in return for a cut version. Fuck 'em!!

 

THE TOXIC AVENGER was first released on tape by Roadshow on their Premiere label. This particular tape had a reversible cover, and ran 78:45. It included the infamous head-crushing scene. We assume that this was the tape that CRIMSON CELLULOID refers to as being withdrawn.

 

The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Premiere Home Video [au] VHS 1The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Premiere Home Video [au] VHS 2

 

 

THE TOXIC AVENGER: Censored video release

Roadshow Home Video replaced the uncut tape with a censored 77:25 version that removed the head-crushing scene.

 

The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Roadshow Home Video [au] VHS

 

 

THE TOXIC AVENGER: Head-crushing scene

The original version of THE TOXIC AVENGER has the punks knocking the boy from his bike, then turning the car around and running over his head. One of the girls then gets out and takes photos of the body.  This was censored from the Roadshow Home Video version.

 

The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Censored Scene 1The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Censored Scene 2The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Censored Scene 3

 

 

Siren Entertainment VHS

In 1997, a 'Directors Cut' of the TOXIC AVENGER was rated R18+ (High level violence, High level coarse language) by the OFLC.

The VHS tape was released by Siren Entertainment in August 1997. It ran 82:04, and included the full head-crushing scene, as well as other extra footage.

 

 

The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Siren Entertainment [au] CatalogThe Toxic Avenger (1984) - Siren Entertainment [au] Catalog 2     The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Siren Entertainment [au] VHS

 

 

Censored Foxtel Screening

Around 2000, Foxtel's Comedy Channel screened a different cut of THE TOXIC AVENGER. Although at 84:37 it ran longer than all of the previous prints, it was still cut.

Some of the violence was definitely toned down, and the head-crushing scene was the soft-version that was prepared for markets such as the U.K.

The soft-version shows the punks knocking the boy from his bike. The following conversation then takes place.

Driver "Let's go for it again"

Male passenger "No, no, I can't. I've got to go home. Got to get up early in the morning. Got to go to church."

Driver and Girls "Ohhhh!"

 

 

Banned TROMA INTELLIGENCE TEST

In October 2000, Tribe Enterprises received an RC rating for a proposed DVD. The problem was not the film, but a DVD extra called THE TROMA INTELLIGENCE TEST. This was eventually removed, and the DVD released with the head-crushing scene intact.

Tribe Enterprises had this 97m DVD passed with an R18+ (Medium level violence) rating in January 2001. The actual running time was 82:07.

 

The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Tribe Enterprises [au] DVD

 

 

Stomp DVD of THE TOXIC AVENGER

In May 2005, Stomp Visual had a DVD of THE TOXIC AVENGER passed with an R18+ (Medium level violence) rating. It was released later in the month by Stomp Visual as part of their re-issue of the Troma back catalogue. The Classification Board's database lists the version as a 'Revised Unfinished Print'.

 

On the back cover, the following was written:

"Toxic Extras and Coming Attractions are not available on the Australian version of The Toxic Avenger"

 

This was different to what was written on the back of the seven other Troma titles released at the same time. They state:

"Troma Intelligence Test and Trailers are not available on the Australian version of ..........."

THE TROMA INTELLIGENCE TEST and THE COMING DISTRACTIONS extras were removed from the Stomp DVD.

 

It is unclear why Stomp dropped some content from THE TOXIC AVENGER DVD. See THE TROMA INTELLIGENCE TEST entry for an explanation of why that extra was missing from the other seven discs.

 

The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Stomp Visual [au] DVD

 

 

Jigsaw Entertainment Re-release DVD

In September 2010, THE TOXIC AVENGER was re-released on DVD by Jigsaw Entertainment, through Gryphon Entertainment.

According to this review at Michael D's R4 DVD Info Page, the disc contains the TROMA INTELLIGENCE TEST.

Troma Interactivity: Although on the DVD cover and the menu, this feature which includes the Troma Intelligence Test and Tour of Troma Studios cannot be accessed from the menu. It is however on the DVD; use the remote to access the chapters.

 

In December 2011, Jigsaw Entertainment re-released the first four THE TOXIC AVENGER films on DVD in a set called THE TOX BOX.

 

The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Jigsaw Entertainment [au] - Gryphon Entertainment [au] DVD 1The Toxic Avenger (1984) - Jigsaw Entertainment [au] - Gryphon Entertainment [au] DVD 2


 

 

 

 

The Toxic Avenger Part 2

Directed by Michael Herz - Lloyd Kaufman / 1989 / USA / IMDb

This film has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included because the distributor released a censored print.

 

CBS/Fox Video had a 91m tape of THE TOXIC AVENGER PART 2 passed with an M-rating in April 1989. This was followed in July 1989 by a 95m version which was rated M (Occasional violence, Sexual scenes). Thanks to Stephen F. for the cover scan.

This was the soft-version that removed many gore scenes. This movie-censorship report documents what was missing.

 

The Toxic Avenger Part 2 - CBS/Fox Videol [au] VHS

 

 

THE TOXIC AVENGER 2: Stomp Visual DVD

In May 2005, THE TOXIC AVENGER PART 2 was passed with an MA15+ (High level violence, Sexual references) rating. This was released on DVD later in the month by Stomp Visual as part of their re-issue of the Troma back catalogue.

 

On the back cover, the following is written:

"Troma Intelligence Test and Trailers are not available on the Australian version of Toxic Avenger Part 2"

THE TROMA INTELLIGENCE TEST and THE COMING DISTRACTIONS extras were removed from the Stomp DVD.

 

The actual running time of the Stomp DVD was 102:47 (NTSC). It contained all the gore that was missing from the 1989 CBS/Fox VHS.

See the separate entry for THE TROMA INTELLIGENCE TEST for an explanation of why it was dropped.

 

The Toxic Avenger Part 2 - Stomp Visual [au] DVDThe Toxic Avenger Part 2 - Censored Coming DistractionsThe Toxic Avenger Part 2 - Censored Troma Intelligence Test

 

 

Jigsaw Entertainment Re-release DVD

In September 2010, THE TOXIC AVENGER PART 2 was re-released on DVD by Jigsaw Entertainment, through Gryphon Entertainment.

 

The Toxic Avenger Part 2 - Jigsaw Entertainment [au] DVD


 

 

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