In the mid-1980s, a new kind of hero oozed his way into the cult film scene, and with him, a new star was born. Robert Prichard, the towering figure from Regensburg, Germany, became a name synonymous with the gritty, over-the-top world of Troma Entertainment. But as the years passed and the toxic waste settled, many fans have found themselves wondering: whatever happened to the actor who played the muscle-bound mop-wielder in “The Toxic Avenger”?
The Toxic Avenger
“The Toxic Avenger” emerged in 1984 as a beacon of cult cinema, a film that would define the genre for years to come. It was here, amidst the radioactive waste of Tromaville, that Robert Prichard would make his indelible mark on the world of cult film.
In this movie, Prichard played the role of Slug, a quintessential bad boy whose antics set the stage for the transformation of the film’s protagonist into the titular Toxic Avenger. Prichard’s portrayal of Slug was filled with the kind of over-the-top villainy that fans of Troma Entertainment had come to love and expect, contributing significantly to the film’s blend of horror, comedy, and B-movie charm.
“The Toxic Avenger” was not just a turning point in Prichard’s career but also in his personal life. On the set, Prichard met Jennifer Babtist, an encounter that would blossom into a real-life romance and the two married shortly after filming concluded.
Life After Tromaville
Following his role as Slug in “The Toxic Avenger” in 1984, Robert Prichard continued to embrace the unconventional and the bizarre in his acting career. He reprised his role as Spike in “Class of Nuke ‘Em High” (1986), another Troma cult classic that played to his strengths as a character actor in the realm of horror-comedy.
In 1989, Prichard took on the role of Rex in “Alien Space Avenger,” blending science fiction with the campy, over-the-top style that had become his calling card. As the 1990s rolled in, Prichard didn’t shy away from the odd and outrageous, appearing in “Alien Sex Phone Psycho” (1994) as TV Sex Line Hump Skag, and in the same year, he played a character named Pritch in “Cracking Up,” a nod perhaps to his own persona.
After a hiatus, he would return to the Troma universe in “Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1” (2013), where he played Cop #1, a testament to his enduring relationship with the production company.
In 2017, Prichard’s role as the Liquor Store Owner in “Werewolf Bitches from Outer Space” added another quirky title to his filmography.
Beyond his on-screen work, Prichard is also celebrated for his significant contributions to the New York City avant-garde theater scene, particularly through his co-founding of SURF REALITY, a Lower East Side performance space that became a hub for alternative and experimental theater.
SURF REALITY was more than just a venue; it was a movement that embraced the unconventional and the avant-garde, fostering a community of artists dedicated to pushing the boundaries of performance art.
Under Prichard’s guidance, the space became known for its “anything goes” philosophy, hosting a wide array of events from theater to comedy, poetry slams, and beyond. It was a crucible for raw and innovative talent, a place where performers could take risks and audiences could experience the cutting edge of the underground arts scene. Prichard’s vision for SURF REALITY encapsulated the essence of creative freedom, making it a landmark in the cultural tapestry of New York City.
Where Is Robert Prichard Now?
Robert Prichard has since transitioned into the world of radio. Currently, he is a producer, host, and DJ at Radio Free Brooklyn, where he has been steering the weekly show “Bushwick Garage” since June 2015. The program, which airs for over eight years now, is known for its eclectic mix of psychedelic, post-rock, and post-punk tunes, offering listeners a unique auditory experience.
In addition to his role at “Bushwick Garage,” Prichard has played a pivotal role in the foundation and operation of Radio Free Brooklyn itself. Serving as the Co-Founder and President of the Board of Directors from 2018 to 2021, he has been instrumental in shaping the station’s identity as a hub for community freeform internet radio. Radio Free Brooklyn broadcasts a diverse array of shows, including “Radio Curious,” which Prichard hosts live on Wednesdays at 11:30 am, covering a vast range of topics from politics to culture, and music to humor.