Written by: Travis Campbell & Lloyd Kaufman
Directed by: Lloyd Kaufman
The year was 1986 and the world witnessed the horrors of Tromaville High courtesy of Class of Nuke ‘Em High, a film that would spawn two sequels (that nobody remembers). Now, fast forward to 2014 where director and head of the cult classic B-movie production company Troma Entertainment, Lloyd Kaufman, has decided to embark on a trip back to Tromaville in a sort of sequel to the film, entitled Return to Nuke ‘Em High. So in other words, Nuke ‘Em High now has its Citizen Toxie (Toxic Avenger 4) of its series. I suppose this iteration of Nuke ‘Em High is the sequel that Kaufman always wanted to make. The crazy thing about this Troma film however, is that it’s distributed by Starz Media and actually has a budget. I had to do a double take when I saw this during the film’s opening. This looked like a legitimate film, something that is odd for Troma releases. However, as the movie progresses and the crude jokes start appearing, fans will notice the same old Troma style of disgust, repulse, shock and a few laughs sprinkled in along the way.
So, welcome back to Tromaville High School, which now all of a sudden is located in the state of New Jersey. I guess that makes sense. Things have been going well in Tromaville until an evil company moves in named Tromorganic Foodstuffs Conglomerate (Clever name, don’t you think?). This Tromorganic company is run by Lloyd Kaufman (who plays himself) and they start distributing their toxic food to Tromaville High School. Shortly after, menacing things start happening to the students. If you have a weak stomach, well, you might want to watch a different movie. Everybody in the school is at risk, including the glee club who were once experts at getting the crap kicked out of them until, thanks to the toxic food, they are mutated into a super group called the Cretins. This group is hell bent on getting revenge on just about everybody. So, who will step up and save Tromaville? It comes down to the unlikely pairing of two hot bloggers, Chrissy (Asta Paredes), a rich girl, and Lauren (Catherine Corcoran), a total badass. The two girls despise each other at first, but eventually put their differences aside and team up to represent the only chance Tromaville High has left for survival.
That essentially sums up what happens in this installment of Return to Nuke ‘Em High. After all, this is only Volume 1, although the next installment is already available to view on Youtube. The films were always supposed to be just one movie, which would have made total sense, but Quentin Tarantino of all people inspired Kaufman to release the film in two separate volumes, just like his own Kill Bill. I don’t really understand the logic behind this decision, but I suppose Kaufman thinks separating Nuke ‘Em High in two volumes is a genius move. After all, Kill Bill was a success, and maybe one day Return to Nuke ‘Em High will garner the respect of film buffs everywhere as a cinematic masterpiece.
After watching Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1, I have to say that fans of the cult-classic Troma movies will love this film. It has everything that made Troma what it is today, including topless hotties, disgusting kills, gorific mayhem, political references, pop-culture jokes (I even thought there would be a Hobby Lobby joke) and to top it all off, special effects that would make any Troma fan howl. After all, what would you expect from a movie that was originally supposed to be released in 1996 under the working title of Class of Nuke ‘Em High IV: Battle of the Bikini Subhumanoids. 18 years later, Kaufman has finally realized his vision. Prepare to be offended!
- Introduction by Stan Lee – That’s right, what better way to start a movie than to have it introduced by the legendary creator of Spider-man. This is definitely a high point for Lloyd Kaufman’s career, just to have the former president and chairmen of Marvel Comics introducing his film.
- President Lemmy – Perhaps the best scene in the film occurs when we are introduced to President Barack Obama, portrayed by Lemmy Kilmister. He even has a first lady named Michelle. I personally want to live in a world where the founder of Motorhead is the leader of the free world. It was truly a genius move by Kaufman to cast Lemmy in this role. We can only dream of such a thing!
- Great Female Leads – Catherine Corcoran and Asta Paredes are two names that I won’t soon forget. These girls do a great job as the film’s main protagonists. Asta is a girl who is fond of her pet duck (seriously some funny scenes there) and Catherine is a scene stealer, especially when you see her grow a huge penis that she ends up using like a sledgehammer (great Troma action unfolds).
- Troma Branded Excess – If you are a fan of Troma, you will love this movie. If you have no idea what Troma is and have yet to see a Troma film, I would be surprised if you make it through the first 5 minutes. This film will disgust, repulse and ultimately leave a non-Troma fan in the room chanting, “Boring!”.
- Dated Jokes – While it’s fun watching it now, many of the jokes referenced in the film are already dated. For example: “Hey! Let’s go shoot up a movie theater!” And that’s just one of numerous jokes that will leave many offended. There is actually a scene in the movie with this joke: “It’s just another school shooting! CNN doesn’t even cover them anymore!”
- No Ending – This film goes on for 80 minutes and then the dreaded words “To Be Continued” appear on-screen. This was a huge mistake in my estimation because even as a big Troma fan, Volume 1 felt a little too long itself. Now I have to sit through another volume for another 80 minutes that are most likely equipped with the same jokes, gore and effects. You may have to wait awhile for a review of Volume 2 to show up on MorbidlyAmusing.com as I decompress from Volume 1. Keep a look out though, because Dr. Morbid would have it no other way.