Enjoy the best of B horror films

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He was 98 pounds of solid nerd — until he became the Toxic Avenger!

Most moviegoers can name that one film that never fails to transport us back to a specific time or discovery in our lives. For Chad Nicefield, vocalist for East Lansing rock band Wilson, that movie is “Toxic Avenger.” And next month, Nicefield and The Crofoot Presents are bringing its director, Lloyd Kaufman, to Grand Rapids.

“‘Toxic Avenger’ and (the) Troma Films enterprise was my entry into the world of bizarro film,” Nicefield said. “Before seeing ‘Toxic Avenger,’ I had zero idea what a ‘B horror film’ was. I still don’t know what that is actually … because I think that ‘Toxic Avenger’ and the Troma franchise are as A+ as it gets when it comes to shock and horror.”

Nicefield and the team at The Crofoot Presents are coordinating filmmaker events here in Michigan. Toxic Avenger: A Conversation with Director Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Films will take place at Grand Rapids’ Wealthy Theatre at 8 p.m., Feb. 6. Tickets are on sale now.

“Seeing fans of people like Lloyd Kaufman light up with joy is what this business is all about,” Nicefield said. “Everyone who knows about the Troma legacy has been feverishly excited about these events.”

“Toxic Avenger” welcomes viewers to Tromaville, New Jersey, a small American town terrorized by criminals. The town’s corrupt mayor sits idly by while muggers, robbers and teenage punks victimize helpless citizens.

Among the residents of Tromaville is Melvin, a nerdy, emaciated janitor at a local health club, until a gang of thugs devise a cruel hoax that goes horribly wrong, and Melvin is cast through a third story window into a vat of hazardous toxic waste and he becomes the Toxic Avenger!

Three decades later, “Toxic Avenger” has spawned a comic book, website, cartoon, action figures and three sequels.

Lloyd Kaufman. Courtesy The Crofoot Presents

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