Just when I had thought that my fun times at Endless Mountains Theater were over, fate stepped in! While killing time on the world wide web, I suddenly received an urgent instant message from none other than Blake Monahan (probably best known to you readers as the Reverend Doctor Zombie MD), the man behind all the Mondo Movie Nights that I attended in the past. Blake is currently the "Head of Public Relations and Director of Acquisitions" for Troma (i.e. he basically chooses what films Troma will pick up for distribution on DVD) and the news he had for me was monumental: "hey toxic avenger 4 march 25th. endless mountains…." I was ecstatic, I was overjoyed! Was Mondo Movie Night back after a year’s slumber?! Well, yes and no. This was purely a Troma event, but it had the look and feel of a good-ole fashioned Mondo Movie Night, and it felt damn good to be there!
After speaking with Blake, I did a heavy word-of-mouth campaign in and around my current town of residence. In the end I managed to get nearly a dozen people to make the forty-five minute journey to the "Electric City" for a night of Troma-style fun. Since my good friend Chris couldn’t make it to the show I brought along my video camera (and my digital camera as well) to document things and let him know what he was missing out on. The majority of us arrived at the Endless Mountains Theatre nearly an hour early after an awesome dinner at Denny’s! (MMmmmm….. buffalo chicken tenders….) We were so early in fact that even Blake wasn’t there, so we just hung around and I filled everybody in on what events might unfold. About twenty to thirty minutes later, Blake showed up with his crew and set up a table to sell some awesome Troma swag! I ended purchasing nearly a dozen films including Troma classics like Surf Nazis Must Die, Troma’s War, Redneck Zombies, and The Children. Needless to say, I was broke by the end of the night.
A few of my other cohorts purchased some flicks and then we all just milled around until the theater doors were opened to us. (The particular theater we were about to watch "Citizen Toxie" in had just previously shown the dreadful "Stay Alive.") At this point, the last of my intrepid group of cult moviegoers showed up and got their tickets. We quickly snagged some seats within the theater then loaded up on movie snacks and got some photos with Toxie. (That’s right folks, the Toxic Avenger himself was roaming around and greeting moviegoers!) I even managed to get a quick interview in with Toxie and discovered that a) Claire is his favorite cinematic girlfriend, and b) his next film is "Toxie Takes Tijuana," where he’ll battle a gang of runaway lesbian Nazi hookers that kidnaped Miguel Feliciano! (Note: As far as I know, "Toxie Takes Tijuana" is not an upcoming film from Troma, just in case you were wondering.)
Now, the main thing I’ve always enjoyed about these events that Blake puts on (other than the plethora of DVDs and toys that he sells), is the number of fun contests that take place before the film begins. As midnight drew near, I thought that there wouldn’t be any contests at all, until ten volunteers were asked to come forward. (But not before J.W., the theater’s promotions manager, gave a speech, thanking us for coming to the theatre and begging us to keep visiting and supporting the "only independently owned and operated movie theater in the area.") I ran up there, not knowing what to expect. In the end, I was one of the last people standing and for once, that wasn’t exactly a good thing. You see, once us eleven guys got up front, Blake revealed the contest: We had to each show our Tromatic Talents to win a prize. Needless to say, a little bit of a heads up would’ve been nice because as far as I know, I have no talents (other than writing about movies and doing impressions of a handful of fictional characters). I watched helplessly as I cheered for other people who could do cool things seemingly at a moments notice. I was beaten before the contest even started!
I can’t say "Supercalafragilisticexpyaladocious" backwards without hesitation (truly impressive), I can’t put my legs behind my head while shoving my fist into my mouth (weird, but again impressive), I certainly can’t dance (my buddy Corey did "The Worm" and fellow Mondo Movie Night fanatic James O’Meara did the "Macarena"), I can’t pull my mustache off (did that really warrant a prize?! It was a fake ‘stache!), I would never do a striptease (chubby, furry bodies just aren’t sexy!), and I’d never have the guts to do a "bad Al Pacino impression" in front of a fairly large audience (kudos to your bravery for that one Joe Bednarchek). Yes everything I mentioned that I can’t do, was done by seven of the volunteers, leaving the rest of us to the whims of Blake and eventually J.W. Those two decided that "if we can’t find a hidden talent, we’ll just find out some hidden secrets." Luckily time was running out and Blake needed to speed things along so that the movie would start on time, but I did not escape unscathed. When a girl in the audience asked (probably jokingly) if any of us had trouble "gettin’ it up" I raised my hand and admitted that heavy doses of NyQuil interfered with my sexual prowess on one occasion. (And on that note, I think I still performed admirably under that embarrassing condition! Even NyQuil can’t stop this train from rollin’… but it can slow it down… anyway… uh…. yeah I hate myself…..)
My reward for my self-deprecation was a cool promotional mini-poster originally printed up to advertise the original "Toxic Avenger" film. (Said poster now resides at my friend Chris’ apartment, a token of my own self-loathing that was lovingly given away.) After us "losers" took our seats, "Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV," began playing. I’ve seen this movie multiple times, so I was more than prepared for the violence, gore, nudity, offensive humor, and utter depravity contained within "Citizen Toxie." However, most of my invited guests had no idea what they were getting into. I actually believe that the first fifteen minutes alone (the infamous "Retard Massacre" scene) actually offended my friend Mark and caused him to make a hasty decision. He gave me the entire set of "Toxic Avenger" films that he bought no more than a half hour earlier, and asked me to sell them on E-Bay. (Sorry folks, but I found a buyer before I even left the theater that night so they are long gone!) Anyway, here’s a little more information about the night’s feature film.
"Citizen Toxie" is, quite simply, "a tale of two Toxies!" During the aforementioned "retard massacre" in the beginning of the film, the Tromaville School for the Special is blown up. However, an equal explosion in an alternate universe had also occurred at the same exact moment and caused a brief rift between two dimensions. (As explained to us by James Gunn in an hilarious scene later in the film.) Toxie is transported to Amortville, and his evil doppelganger Noxie (the Noxious Offender) ends up in Tromaville. For the rest of the film, both "hideously deformed creatures of superhuman size and strength" have a series of misadventures in their respective universes. Toxie battles evil versions of fellow superheroes (including Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.) while Noxie devastates and conquers Tromaville, while killing Ron Jeremy, Julie Strain, and a gaggle of goofy superheroes along the way. Eventually Toxie does return to his own dimension and battles it out with his evil twin. Though Toxie wins the day, the film is set up for yet another Toxic Avenger sequel. (Will it happen?! Only time will tell.)
"Citizen Toxie" is one of the most immoral films ever made and that’s the main thing to love about it. Lloyd Kaufman and company have set out to shock and offend anyone they can, and this movie succeeds at that with flying colors. Despite the complete and utter crudeness of the film, "Citizen Toxie" definitely won over the majority of the crowd, long before the end credits rolled. And the entire experience was all the better because there was an awesome audience in the house that night. The crowd in the half-filled theater reacted in unison with cheers, jeers, screams, laughter during key parts of the film. (The biggest uproar was caused by the unveiling of Sgt. Kabukiman’s pale Kabuki-schlong!) Once the film ended, everyone parted ways with satisfied grins on all their faces. I for one had an awesome time and so did everyone else that I’ve spoken to since. And I can’t wait until the end of May when Blake brings Troma back to Scranton and screens Trey Parker’s "Cannibal! The Musical!" I’m already counting down the days and I plan on dressing up for the event. Now all I need is someone who’s willing to dress up as a snowman…. hmm….
Anyway, I hope I’ve convinced anyone that’s reading this article about how much fun these events are. This is a once in a while chance to have a fun time, cut loose, shout out comments in a movie theater, and just act goofy as hell. So if you get the chance, go to a Troma movie screening, or a Mondo Movie Night, or similar event and bring a lot of people with you if you can. If you show overwhelming support for these types of events, you’re guaranteeing that more will happen in the near future. With that said, if you live anywhere near the Scranton, PA area, please come out and join us cult movie freaks at the end of May (don’t worry, I’ll announce the date and official details in the Rogue Cinema forums) for "Cannibal! The Musical." The movie is hilarious, the songs in the film are catchy, and the whole night will be amazingly fun. Check back here at Rogue Cinema in May for my coverage of the next Tromatic movie event, and "don’t give up the fight for truly independent cinema!"