The original film was set in Tromaville, New Jersey - a small American town, terrorized by criminals. Among the residents of Tromaville is Melvin, a nerdy emaciated janitor at the local health club. A gang of thugs devise a cruel hoax that goes horribly wrong as Melvin is cast through a third story window into a vat of hazardous toxic waste. However, an unexpected metamorphosis takes place. As the chemicals take hold of his body, Melvin turns into the Toxic Avenger, doer of good, and brutal mauler of evil.
Directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman, the original launched their company, Troma Entertainment with "Toxie" as their corporate mascot. The original The Toxic Avenger spawned three sequels and an animated series.