Class of Nuke ‘Em High throwback review by Bobby Blakey
For over 40 years iconic independent filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman and his Tromaverse has been bringing some of the most outrageous films to the masses including their flagship character The Toxic Avenger and Poultrygeist. In 2013 they returned to the world of their 1986 classic Class of Nuke ‘Em High, but instead of a remake they continued the story with the release of Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Volume 1. Now as we prepare for the release of the highly anticipated Volume 2 let’s take a look back at the classic film that started it all.
Class of Nuke ‘Em High follows the events that unfold at Tromaville High School in New Jersey, which is conveniently located next to a nuclear power plant. An accident at the nuclear plant is covered up by plant owner, Mr. Paley, who does not want the facility shut down by the safety commission. The accident causes a radioactive water leak which ends up gruesomely killing a student at the school after the tainted water reaches the drinking fountain. The gang of the school, called "The Cretins," who were originally part of the honor society, torments the school, and it's implied that they have been turned into violent psychopaths by the runoff from the plant.
I forgot how ridiculously fun this silly movie is. It’s great on so many levels, but more than anything just the absurdity of it all. One the biggest reason Lloyd
Kaufman and Troma has had such staying power is that they know their audience and never shy away from doing whatever they want. This film fully lives up to the zany fun of Troma, but it was also released at a time where I think their films had a bit different tone. I’m not sure if it was the budget or distribution at the time during the 80s, but it actually feels like a bigger budgeted film than the new films in a good way. This isn’t meant to knock the new ones, but the old days of Troma just felt bigger to me. They still bring the insane fun, but seem like there was more of an attempt to make something mainstream than nowadays.
I loved revisiting this wacked out film and brought back the nostalgia of seeing this poster hanging in the local video store when I was a kid. No matter how you feel about these older ones in comparison to the new ones there is no denying that they all fit right into the Tromaverse like only they can.
You can grab your copy of Class of Nuke’ Em High available now on Blu-ray over at www.tromadirect.com