There have been some rumors about a remake of Troma’s original classic The Toxic Avenger. While fans will no doubt balk at the idea, I can see why Troma would want their famed character updated and made fresh again. A gore cult classic of the highest order, The Toxic Avenger is now 30 years old, so why not reboot it; they’re rebooting everything else in Hollywood, right?
For now, the closest we may get is Septic Man, from director Jesse Thomas Cook (Monster Brawl) and writer Tony Burgess (Pontypool). And while it may be receiving mixed reviews, I liked it for what it was: an origin tale wallowing in filth, never scared to wear its inspirations on its sleeves. Starz Digital Media is releasing the film on VOD August 12, in theaters August 15, and on DVD August 19.
Jack (Jason David Brown) is our titular hero, a sewage worker stuck in the middle of a water contamination crisis with the town’s water supply infested with everything from E. coli to Cryptosporidium. The Mayor (Stephen McHattie) has just ordered an evacuation, but Jack is approached by the mysterious Phil Prosser (Julian Richings) and offers Jack a down payment of $20,000 with another $180,000 paid after he figures out the origins of the contamination.
What Jack finds out is that a pair of brothers — Giant (Robert Maillet) and Lord Auch (Tim Burd) — have been dumping dead bodies into the water supply. Now, Jack is stuck down there with the bodies and is slowly transforming into a hideous beast while his pregnant wife Shelley (Molly Dunsworth) tries to find him.
While never reaching the dizzyingly graphic heights of The Toxic Avenger — and never setting its sights on social commentary either — Septic Man definitely delivers what it promises: a gross night out at the movies. Septic Man definitely has plenty of yuks to go with the yucks. If you don’t need a shower after wallowing through the quick 85-minute runtime, then you may need to have your head examined. Icky is the best way to describe the happenings, but the gross outs never spoil the fun. You’ll never think of the term “blood bath” the same way again, and other peoples’ intestines sure come in handy in a fight for your life.
There’s been only one gore-filled film recently that falls in the same range of gross but fun as Septic Man, and that’s last year’s Evil Dead remake. Not to discourage moviegoers from seeing the film in theaters, but you may want to take this one in on VOD to have the comfort of your own bathroom in case you need to use it. You definitely won’t want to use a public restroom in the middle of this one. But it is worth seeking out for those who know what they’re getting into. Septic Man even comes with a theme song while ending on a note for future adventures. I for one would like to see what’s next for the new fecal mutant.
Photos courtesy Starz Digital Media