Gang! Let’s kick #MyToxicWasteParty off right! In celebration of my newest book release, All the Toxic Waste From My Heart: Stories by Kevin Strange (available for pre-order now,) I’ve put together a SWEET movie viewing list to get ya’ll in the mood to read my newest devastating literary accomplishment! Below are my absolute favorite toxic waste movies.
All of these movies have a theme that was prevelent during the 1980s, long before the current climate change craze became the newest bleeding heart fad-of-the-moment. In the 80s, quicksand, roaming gangs of street punks and motherfucking toxic waste were my generation’s biggest fears.
These movies are gratuitously violent, over the top gory and a HELL of a lot of fun. Before you even THINK about cracking open my new book, watch all the flicks on this list!
7. Robocop (1987)
You might be asking yourself, “wait a minute Kevin Strange, you done lost your mind. Robocop isn’t a toxic waste movie.” And you’d be right. I am out of my mind. But not about Robocop! There’s a toxic waste scene in Robocop.
Why would I include a movie that only has one small scene about toxic waste in a list about toxic waste movies? Because Paul Verhoeven is a bad motherfucker who makes super ultra violent movies and even though there’s absolutely no reason for it, he put a god damn toxic waste scene in his futuristic dystopia movie about a cyborg cop fighting crime.
This scene is is definition of “violence for violence’s sake.” It is gratuitous, it serves absolutely no story purpose and it is one of the coolest fucking meltdowns you will ever see in trash cinema!
Basically, one of the bad guys crashes into a random barrel of toxic waste stored at the big warehouse during the climactic action scene. As if it wasn’t enough that the bad guy crashes into a huge vat of toxic waste, he actually gets back out and walks around with his body parts melting off! As if THAT wasn’t enough, another bad guy smashes right into him, splattering him all over the windshield! I’m sorry, but ANY self respecting lover of slime cinema has got to include Robocop on their list.
6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze (1991)
Man, was a I a Ninja Turtles kid. Collected the comics, watched the cartoon, loved the first movie. But when I got Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze on VHS tape when I was 12, I watched the fuck out of it every single day!
Back when the absolutely awful Michael Bay produced remake came out a few years ago, people tried to bust on this movie like “You don’t like this Michael Bay piece of crap but you liked Secret of the Ooze? Har har har!”
Yeah, motherfucker! I LOVED Secret of the Ooze. I loved Razar and Toka. I loved Super Shredder. I loved the pizza delivery sidekick. I loved EVERYTHING about this goddamn movie, which of course is centered around the toxic waste ooze that originally transformed the turtles and splinter into mutants.
Shredder gets his hands on some and kidnaps one of the TGRI scientists in order to create his own super mutants with which to fight the turtles. And they’re COOL AS FUCK big ass Jim Henson-esque muppet mutants!
The whole thing climaxes with a dance off in a club with, I shit you not, Vanilla Ice! V-Ice even recorded a brand new song for the movie, the ninja rap! If you don’t know, now you know, kid. Ninja Turtles 2 ain’t nothing to sleep on.
5. C.H.U.D. (1984)
Fucking C.H.U.D. The title of this trashy little flick is an acronym that stands for Canibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller. How cool is that?
C.H.U.D. might be the movie that inspired every other goopy slime monster movie after it. At the very least it was part of a great trend in the 80s of marketing gross-out stuff to little kids, myself included. C.H.U.D. stands right there along with the Garbage Pail Kids, Mad Balls, and Boglins. What a glorious time to be a kid!
Anyway, so these toxic waste monsters eat homeless people, and since the homeless population has dropped, the toxic monsters have come to the surface and started feeding on the regular folk.
But more than anything, C.H.U.D. is probably most remembered as the movie that came before the jaw-droppingly awful sequel C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the Chud. I’m talking, take everything that was OK with the first flick, throw it out the fucking window, and then add song and dance numbers and a completely over-the-top slap-stick comedy style to it. Yeah. It’s really that bad.
C.H.U.D. might not be quite as bad as its sequel, but it’s definitely the weakest movie on my toxic waste flick list.
4. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Night of the Living Dead is on every horror purist’s top most influential horror movie list. Romero invented the modern zombie for fuck’s sake!
But every trash cinema lover can tell you, the BEST zombie movie from the 80s was Return of the Living Dead. Featuring zombies, slime monsters, and that god damn roaming gang of punks everyone was scared of in the 80s!
Trioxin is some nasty stuff. It reanimates the dead! The government bottled it up in air-tight barrels and stored the shit all over the place and then forgot all about it. God damn government.
So blah blah blah, one thing leads to another and a couple of goofballs release the Trioxin gas all over a cemetery. All hell breaks loose when zombies start crawling up out of the ground forcing the punks and the goofballs to fight for their lives as the whole town is overrun by the dead.
Standouts here are Linnea Quigley’s turn as “Trash” a red headed punk girl who loves to get naked and fantasizes about being killed by a group of old men. She gets her wish when a bunch of zombies rips her to shreds, bringing her back as the (second only to ROTLD 3’s Julie) sexiest zombie bitch, ever!
Also we get to meet the zombie stored inside the barrel of Troxin, Tarman, one of the coolest looking zombies you’ll ever see in cinema of ANY era. Really ALL of the zombies in this flick are inspired and original. A classic treat for any gore hound and zombie lover, and a stand out on my weird little toxic waste movie list.
3. Street Trash (1987)
I’ve already used Street Trash on a list here on the site, and guess what? I’ll probably put it on two or three more lists before it’s over because this movie is fucking badass!
Viper is a toxic liquor that violently turns anyone who drinks it into a melted puddle of technicolor goo.
This is another homeless people movie from the 80s. It seems like in addition to quicksand and roaming gangs of punks, Hollywood really wanted a young and impressionable Kevin Strange to believe that homeless people were going to play a MUCH bigger role in my life than they ever actually did.
Still, the best scene in the movie (and there are MANY outrageously violent scenes in this movie!) is when a bum downs a whole bottle of Viper while taking a shit on the toilet. He completely melts down into one of the gooiest, grossest piles of gunk you’re ever going to see in a movie.
This ain’t one to miss if you love sleazy cinema. It’s also quite possibly the meltiest movie of all time. If you love melt movies, be sure to check out my previous movie list for Kevin Strange’s top 6 melt movies!
2. Class Of Nuke Em High (1986)
Love em or hate em, Troma was without question the king of the toxic waste movies of the 1980s. So much so that on my short list, Troma appears TWICE!
Class of Nuke Em High is the natural follow up to Troma’s first bonafied horror hit, The Toxic Avenger and it is probably a better movie. Nostaliga rules though, and I have to cite Toxie as my favorite Troma film, maybe because I saw it first, or maybe it’s because I have a thing for blind blonde bimbos who fuck stomach-turningly ugly mutant men.
But back to the flick in question. Class of Nuke Em High is bigger, weirder and WAY more toxic than Toxie 1. Troma had a lot more money to work with this time around and it shows. The monsters are bigger, the slime is gooier and the girls are sexier.
Essentially, a small group of Tromaville Highschool kids has to battle a gang of mutated freaks called the Cretins and a toxic waste mutated monster fetus after an accident at the Tromaville nuclear power plant spills toxic chemicals into the school’s water supply.
This flick is every bit as loud, obnoxious, pervert and bloody as any exploitation film you’re likely to find. And I’m serious when I say that if The Toxic Avenger didn’t exist, this would be the best Troma movie of all time. It’s definitely the high water point of the company, and a rock solid number two on my list of toxic waste flicks.
1. The Toxic Avenger (1984)
Everybody has that one thing. That thing which will define the course of the rest of their lives. For me, it was when twelve year old Kevin Strange first rented The Toxic Avenger on VHS at my local video store.
This movie was everything that described my life. The character of Melvin was a complete social outcast and nerd, and yet even after he became a super human toxic mutant violent killing machine, he still had a soft side. He was still a good person under all the ugliness the world had afflicted him with.
It sounds silly, but it affected me profoundly and not just from an artistic perspective. Sure I would go on to write and direct what would amount to be little more than tiny no-budget love letters to Troma, but more than that, I felt an emotional connection to Toxie in a way I was never able to do with the other 80s action movie heroes like Stalone and Schwarzenegger.
And further more, Toxie was MINE. Nobody at school was watching this weird crap. This wasn’t my parents’ horror movie, it was MINE and mine alone. Some monster kids had Dracula and Frankenstein. Some had Godzilla or Ultraman. But me? I had the motherfucking Toxic Avenger all to my own weird self.
Anyway, it’s about a kidnamed Melvin the Mop Boy who falls into a vat of toxic waste, becomes a super hero mutant monster and saves Tromaville from a corrupt mayor while also finding the time to bang his hot blind wife. And it is without question the best God damn toxic waste movie ever made.
If you’re only going to watch one movie on this weird list, make it The Toxic Avenger. If you’re into odd crap, goofy gore and off-the-wall violence, you can’t do any better than this disasterpiece of modern sleaze.
That’ll do it for this list, gang. Goodnight, and please buy my new book.