Starring Asta Paredes, Catherine Corcoran, Clay von Carlowitz, Zac Amico, Stefan Dezil, Gabriela Fuhr, Vito Trigo, Mark Quinnette, Mike Baez, Reiki Tsuno, Tara E. Miller, Jim Sheppard, Debbie Rochon, Babette Bombshell, William Dreyer, Ron Mackay, Adam P. Murphy, Brenda Rickert, Lloyd Kaufman, Lemmy, Stan Lee
Directed by Lloyd Kaufman
Expectations: Super high! It’s the new Troma film!
Lloyd Kaufman’s films are all about excess in the name of fun, with moments of grossout gore, nudity and juvenile humor all amped up to levels that would make a nun’s black habit turn white. Return to Nuke ‘Em High is no different, so Troma fans can rest assured that this new film from Uncle Lloyd is the real deal. I absolutely loved it, and while I did have a couple of issues with it overall, it’s a great film that showcases everything you either love or hate about Troma. There’s never a middle ground with a Troma film, and this commitment to a truly independent vision of cinema is what keeps the fans loyal and hungry for more tromatic thrills.
Return to Nuke ‘Em High is kind of a remake of the original Class of Nuke ‘Em High (one of my favorite Troma films), but it’s also kind of a sequel too. It also goes the Citizen Toxie route and kind of brushes off whatever happened in the previous sequels to make things easier for the writing team. This is all lovingly and wonderfully rendered during the opening sequence of the film, which recaps the first film and introduces us to the current circumstances afflicting good ol’ Tromaville High School. I should also mention that calling Return to Nuke ‘Em High a remake of Class of Nuke ‘Em High doesn’t do justice to what Troma has created here. Return to Nuke ‘Em High is very much its own thing with a wealth of fresh, hilarious creativity, while also incorporating and re-inventing elements that existed in the original film.
This may very well be Troma’s funniest movie yet, as I was laughing pretty hard and consistently throughout. Either that or I was simply overwhelmed with my giddiness over finally basking in the glory of a new Lloyd Kaufman film. Either way, Return to Nuke ‘Em High is hilarious and a blast to watch. I’m at a loss to explain why I found it so funny, but fans of Troma will not be disappointed. Newcomers will probably find a lot to laugh at as well, as long as their sense of humor is both juvenile and fucked up.
My main issue with the film is related to the two-volume structure. The decision to cut the film in two is a great idea in that it allows for fans to receive two new Lloyd Kaufman films in back-to-back years, but by doing this it also feels like they needed to keep everything they shot in the film to make it hit a runtime needed to do this. It also leaves Vol. 1 lacking a bit in the gore department, as a good portion of the mayhem is reserved for Vol. 2. Vol. 1 is satisfying and great in its own way, but I can’t help but be frustrated that I have to wait some undetermined time to see the conclusion to the film.
But leaving the audience wanting more is hardly a negative aspect, so I suppose Lloyd has done his job well. Besides, Troma films are meant to entertain and entertain it definitely did. My expectations were definitely too high going in, as it doesn’t quite reach the levels of Poultrygeist awesome I was hoping for. Regardless of this, Return to Nuke ‘Em High is a total blast and Troma fans will definitely want to give it a spin.
Bring on Volume 2! I can’t wait!