In the most recent print issue of the Village Voice, we visit the Long Island City headquarters of Troma Entertainment, the “almost” 40-year-old Z-movie studio responsible for such unforgettable titles as Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid!! and Tales from the Crapper. But the company’s best known creation is The Toxic Avenger, an early-’80s cult classic that spawned three sequels, the Saturday-morning cartoon Toxic Crusaders, an “actually kind of good” Off-Broadway musical scored by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan, and a $100 million Hollywood remake that’s in development. The Toxic Avenger is also the moniker assumed by Simon Delacroix, an electro-pop French DJ/producer whose sunny knob-squeaker “3,2,1”–the lead single from the 30-year-old’s most recent full-length Angst–belongs on an afternoon wine-spritzer-party playlist, cued up for the moment the Passion Pit tolerance runs out.
Delacroix answered a few questions about his mutated anti-hero namesake over e-mail.
Why’d you choose the name Toxic Avenger?
I’m a huge fans of B-movies, so I watch a lot of them. Ten years ago, I had a hip-hop band called Ed Wood Is Dead and a French magazine asked us for an interview. At that time I didn’t have a nickname, so I had to pick one, and while I was thinking of which one should I pick, I was watching The Toxic Avenger.
Your thoughts on the movie?
I love it! When films are good, they are good–no matter if they are gore, drama, or comedy. I can watch Troma’s movies [and] Jean-Luc Godard movies, and enjoy them exactly the same.
Has there been any confusion playing shows or promoting your work with that name?
Troma contacted me few years ago while I was touring the U.S., they invited me to their headquarters. I think they kinda like me, because they give me tons of goodies, and they went to my CMJ show.
So people don’t assume you’ll be a monster with a mop?
Not really, even though, sometimes I get Troma fans on my Facebook fanpage.
What do you know about Troma–are you a fan?
I know they are the oldest independent production company, I think in the world. I’ve seen a lot of their movies, from the first one to Poultryguest. Just because of the names, I think everybody should watch them all: Rabid Grannies, Surf Nazis Must Die! etc. My fave one might be Citizen Toxie though!
Lloyd Kaufman, if you read me: LET’S DO A MUSIC VIDEO!!