Return to Nuke 'Em High: Volume 1 (2013)
Directed by Lloyd Kaufman
Troma fans rejoice! Director Lloyd Kaufman is back and hitting Troma filmgoers with pangs of nostalgia and equal amounts of disgusting green slime with his latest and long overdue installment to the infamous Class of Nuke 'Em High franchise.
Following in the footsteps of Evil Dead 2 and Scream 4, Return to Nuke 'Em High: Volume 1 is a quasi-pseudo sequel/remake to the beloved series long time horrorhounds have held close to their deviant hearts worldwide. Returning to the director’s chair (after being absent for the inferior sequels Class of Nuke ‘Em High Part 2: Subhumanoid and Class of Nuke ‘Em High 3: The Good, the Bad and the Subhumanoid), Kaufman delivers yet another obscene, gory slapstick horror that will make mainstream film buffs run for the hills while having the Troma crowd cheering for more with the first installment of Return to Nuke 'Em High.
After being destroyed years ago, the heavily radiated Tromaville High School has been reconstructed and is still populated with horny teenagers, inappropriate teachers and cafeteria food that one should only eat based off a dare. The nuclear power that affected the student body in the original trilogy has now been substituted with a shady food company that is supplying the high school with questionable tacos. As one can expect, the students start to transform into a repugnant mutant race, and it’s up to environmental blogger Chrissy (Paredes) and her rich, lesbian lover Lauren (Corcoran) to take care of the absurd and violent chaos that has taken over their school. Duck rape, melting naked bodies and gratuitous lesbian trysts ensue.
It’s difficult to review any of Lloyd Kaufman’s films on a serious scale, and after years of experience watching previous Troma releases, this reviewer knows that the closer his films test gag reflexes, the better the review will be; and fortunately Return to Nuke 'Em High delivers plenty of near vomit-inducing moments. Fans familiar with the franchise will be delighted to see an obligatory cameo from Kaufman, a stellar opening voiceover from Stan Lee recapping the previous films and many references to the original film—most notably the resurgence of the psychotic “Cretins."
However, Return to Nuke 'Em High is not without its flaws, and they stem mainly from the obvious intentions of reaching out to a younger crowd. For every nostalgic moment, there is a pop culture reference that will make most people over twenty roll their eyes. From “Glee” spoofs to moments of excessive texting and mentions of social media sites, the film attempts to bring in younger audience members, even though its core viewership will be those who grew up with the films. A good idea in theory (if the franchise was more well-known), but sadly it will most likely only reach younger audiences who treasured last year’s release of Detention. Also, after the lacklustre ending that is supposed to serve as a cliffhanger for Return to Nuke 'Em High: Volume 2, it may make many fans wonder why the film was split into two parts in the first place.
In spite of its flaws, Return to 'Nuke Em High: Volume 1 won’t disappoint those who are long time followers of Kaufman’s slapstick humor, and if watching scenes full of fart and squishy sex noises, penis humor and ridiculous masturbation sequences do it for you, then Return to Nuke 'Em High: Volume 1 is the film for you.
3 out of 5