Ok, so how do I talk about Return to Nuke’em High? Well the first thing that needs to be addressed is that its a Troma movie. If you’re not familiar with Troma’s body of work, which I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. Troma is a low budget Z-Movie Production house founded in 1974. Return to Nuke’em High is a 2013 is a Sci-fi/Comedy/Horror directed and produced by Tromas king Lloyd Kaufman. But calling any movie released by Troma horror is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. Another is that this isn’t a complete story, but rather the first half. Kaufman cut the film into two parts after it was suggested to him by none other the Quentin Tarantino himself. As the original run would of been over three hours long Kaufman took the advice.
Troma’s main call to fame was with The Toxic Avenger back in 1984 which due to its success it has been Tromas flagship for last three decades since its release. Troma has its own special blend of bad that you need to expect going into it. Troma is less about storytelling and more about tits, being as politically incorrect as possible and stuffed with so much self aware humor it can get kind of mind boggling. Troma knows exactly what it is and rather than aspire to being better it takes the path of having fun with it.
So that being said Return to Nuke’em High takes place in Tromaville at Nuke’em High and while its a sequel to Class of Nuke’em High it’s more in the spiritual sense as the first film has very little to do with this one. Nuke’em High is next to the Tromaorganic Foodstuffs Conglomerate which is built on the site of bulldozed nuclear power plant from the first film. Needless to say the foodstuffs are not only contaminated, but are also gross. They’re so bad in fact, that Tromaorganic is selling the to high schools because nowhere else will take it. The glee club ends up eating the tainted food stuff along with a number of other students, but its mainly the Glee Club that suffers the effects by transforming into The Cretins. With new found punk/gang mentality of not giving a fuck and a mindless need to be douche bags they set to terrorizing the town. This forces the heroes of this film Chrissy Goldberg (Asta Paredes) a blogger trying to expose the corruption in both her school and the evils of Tromaorganic and Lauren (Catherine Corcoran) the rich new girl who has a pet duck.
Now I want to have more issues with this film. It’s a bad film full of bad sex jokes raunchy sex/death scenes, a duck rape (not it’s not what it sounds like, but just as awful) and the acting is beyond dreadful. But it still works very well to the point of making all of its flaws into strengths. Sure the film likes to get distracted and forgets the story it wants to tell in exchange for cheap jokes. Actually after watching this film I can’t tell if this film is trying to tell any kind of story at all.
Now gore is another point I want to bring up. Every Troma movie I have ever seen which in all honesty is that many, maybe around five or so has been gory and I love it. The gore is done so well with the use of practical effects. God damn does Kaufman know what he’s doing. The first three minutes of the film set the whole tone for what you’re about to see. Two students I guess are having sex in the janitor’s closet/house when a dick monster comes out of the pipes penetrates the man burrows through him, severing his genitals while toxic goo drips on them from the pipe causing the man to flee bleeding out and the girl dissolves into a bloody skeleton. It’s a huge WTF moment that’s hard to describe. When the janitor see’s the corpse he just shrugs and then refuses to give a single fuck. Which is how you have to take this film. It’s random, pointless but entertaining as long as you care just as little as that janitor.
But what’s my final thoughts on this film? Well I really like it now I’m not going to call it a modern masterpiece because it’s not one. But it is entertaining, even if the “horror” of this film is so understated its non existent. At the end of any day that’s the main reason to watch a movie at least in my opinion. So while lacking in fright I still give Return to Nuke’em High Vol. 1 a 8/10. Also, it has Stan Lee doing the voice over at the beginning of the film! Excelsior!