John Altamura Leaves Behind Legacy as the Toxic Avenger
Actor John Altamura died from a heart attack last week, according to his sister Lorraine Altamura. Word of the Nerd has no other details at this time.
Altamura played the titular role in The Toxic Avenger Part II and The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie, both released in 1989. The Toxic Avenger franchise has a cult following that is undoubtedly mourning the great actor and remembering his legacy.
History as the Toxic Avenger
The Toxic Avenger franchise follows Melvin Ferd, a scrawny janitor at a health club who is bullied by customers. A prank gone wrong exposes Ferd to toxic chemicals. He gains great size and strength but is horribly deformed. Ferd does what anyone would do in this situation and becomes the Toxic Avenger (also known as Toxie), a mix between superhero and movie monster. He begins to take out violent criminals and uncover a crime conspiracy led by his town’s mayor.
Altamura plays the Toxic Avenger in two of the sequels, originally meant to be one movie but split into two when director Lloyd Kaufman wound up with too much footage for one feature. The Toxic Avenger Part II finds our hero lured to Japan, where Apocalypse, Inc. wants him so they can execute dastardly scheme in Toxie’s hometown.
In The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie, Toxie takes a job with Apocalypse, Inc. so that he can afford a procedure to give his blind girlfriend sight. Things escalate when Toxie learns that the literal Devil is in charge of Apocalypse, Inc. Toxie fights the Devil for the greater good.
Additionally, Altamura appeared in more than the Toxic Avenger franchise. His acting credits include The Naked Detective, Bikini Bistro, New York Nights, and The Marilyn Diaries.