Reviewed by Kryten Syxx
Starring Susan Ward, Master P, Danny Trejo, Corey Large, Tom Sizemore, Charity Shea
Directed by Alan Pao
Distributed by The Weinstein Company
Confusion. Confusion is something a filmmaker should try to avoid when making a movie. There’s nothing wrong with having a complex plot, multi-layered characters or strange dialog, but none of that is Toxic‘s issue. Alan Pao has managed to make a movie that never bothers to explain anything to its audience, even in the slightest. Trying to explain the story of Toxic is like beating an illiterate person over the head with a chemistry book. Nothing is sinking in, and when it’s all done you’ve wound up with a big headache and complete emptiness. Not to mention a beat-up book.
Tom Sizemore plays a sleazy crime boss (Van Sant) with a live-in tarot card reading hussy. Why would he need someone like that on his payroll? Well, Van has a daughter whom he claims is cursed. Anyone she comes in contact with meets their demise relatively soon after introduction. So, he’s got his hot cohort around to let him know what’s going on, even though she does a shitty job of predicting the future or even present events for that matter.
Van Sant’s daughter, Lucille, has escaped from a mental institution. This leads the boss to send his two henchmen out to locate and kill her before she reaches daddy dearest. Needless to say, things don’t go according to plan. Hell, was there even a plan to start with? And what the hell is going on with this Lucille chick?
Why she was in the nuthouse? Wouldn‘t doctors find it a bit odd that this random girl showed up with no ID? Wouldn‘t they inquire about her identity? On top of that … what about her curse?! This seems to be a real big deal according to the dialog, yet no one gives a straight answer to anything! Why the audience should give a fuck … also unknown. Don’t expect to get any answers, as Alan Pao keeps shifting focus on his cast of around ten other characters who never really matter, thus neglecting to actually tell a story that makes sense.
First up on the useless list is Master P. playing a slow talking pimp. He serves no purpose here except for getting accidentally killed via shotgun blast thanks to his incompetent girlfriend (Cabin Fever’s Cerina Vincent). That may not be fair to label him useless, since he does bring the homeless Lucille in and makes her a whore. What a great guy! Oh, this also makes one of his distraught hookers kill herself; what was her name? Doesn’t matter.
Lucille, who should have been the main character based on all the drama she’s causing, takes a back seat through a majority of the film. Again, what is she cursed with? Everyone she comes into contact with dies from just being involved with a violent crime ring, how is that a supernatural curse? At the ass end of the film we learned SPOILERS that she can swap bodies with dead peopleEND SPOILERS. But … why?
Sid, labeled as the “complicated” one during the opening of the film, is really the central character with an arc so ill informed to the audience that it is easy to forget him when he is later reintroduced to the viewer half way through the movie. Through Sid we finally find out what is so sinister about Lucille, a plot twist that is sure to leave many asking “What the blue balls was this all about?”
The only bit of real entertainment comes from Danny Trejo. He plays the part of Sid’s thug sidekick, sent to find Lucille, but ends up with more than he bargained for during a kitchen shootout with Master P’s gang. Danny is given all the best lines, especially one about his gun being turned into soup. Sadly, he’s offed just like everyone else and our list of characters to care about grows really short.
Toxic is shot like the deformed offspring of Feast and Crank, but sans the talent behind the camera. Jump shots and special effects reign supreme here, but never any anything aside form the occasional, “Heh, that kinda looked cool, but I still don’t know what is going on.“ Another great idea was to include sexless sex, strippers who don’t really strip and randomly inserting supernatural elements into a story that could have been told without them. It’s like Michael Bay fucked a Stephen King novel!
So, what about special features? None! Guess Mr. Pao didn’t want to explain everything to the audience. In a way, I thank him, since this gets the DVD away from me much quicker. Thanks Mr. Pao!
2 1/2 out of 5
0 out of 5