Iron Man gets top billing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Superman in the DC Extended Universe.
And when it comes to B-movie superheroes, at the top of the list is the Toxic Avenger
Toxie, as he is also known, was a 98-pound bullied New Jersey janitor who, after falling into a drum of toxic waste, became a deformed yet good-hearted mop-wielding, crime-fighting creature with superhuman strength.
The campy and violent Toxic Avenger movie released in 1984 was followed by three sequels and helped turn its director Lloyd Kaufman into a cult sensation. Today, he has more than 50 directing credits and 100 producer credits.
Now, one Tampa Bay area resident can become the Toxic Avenger for three days.
Kaufman is the featured guest at this year’s Tampa Bay Screams horror convention to be held August 23-25 at the Ramada Hotel & Suites at 1200 North Westshore Blvd.
Those interested in donning Toxie-attire and standing alongside Kaufman throughout the festival can email the festival’s founder Sean Donohue at [email protected]
The email must include your name, contact information, height and weight and an explainer on why you should portray the Toxic Avenger.
The gig does not pay, Donohue said, but fans of the Toxic Avenger and Kaufman and his Troma Entertainment production company might want the job just for the memories.
So, what is Donouhue looking for in applicants?
“You don’t need a college degree,” Donohue said with a chuckle. “Are you available? Are you reliable? I would prefer that you be a big fan, but I think anyone who wants to do this would be one.”
Toxie might be a young, white male, but age, race and gender will not be a determining factor.
Still, “preferably I want someone who is six feet or above and muscular,” Donohue said. “That person would probably have a better chance. But everyone should apply. You never know.”
Now in its fourth year, the Tampa Bay Screams includes a film festival for that genre plus a vendors’ room where items for sale include DVDs, posters and all “horror-related items,” Donohue said.
Other guests at the horror fest will include Rhonda Shear of USA Up All Night fame and Catherine Parks who starred in Friday the 13th Part III.
As for Kaufman, Donohue said, “this is his first Tampa appearance and his only Florida appearance this year. If you don’t get to meet him at the event, you won’t be able to in Florida.”
Contact Paul Guzzo at [email protected] or follow @PGuzzoTimes.