Friday, March 7, 2014

Return to NUKE 'EM HIGH Vol.1 (Troma/Anchor Bay Blu-ray) - Reconfiguring the Radioactive

I suppose if you're going to retell a Troma story, you might as well have Troma do it. That's what you get in Return to Nuke 'Em High Vol. 1. An updated remake of the original Class of Nuke 'Em High with some brutal updates, new casting and plot divergence as well as an effort to make it more timely. The first thing you'll notice about Return is that it wants you to know that it knows that it "sold out". It makes no pretense about being a remake or retelling/reimagining; it's pretty clear that the new world isn't nearly as afraid of nuclear power plants and now, we're afraid of food. The thing that is good for you may disfigure you. It may make you sick. It just. Might. Kill you! From there it's just a radiation scarred monster movie with everything you love about Troma movies. Everything.

Synopsis from Troma:

Welcome to Tromaville High School. Your typical high school populated with your basic football jocks, wannabe prom queens and glee club hopefuls. Did I say “typical?” After all, this is Tromaville High, where the glee club has mutated into the hideous Cretins after eating tainted tacos courtesy of the Tromorganic Foodstuffs Conglomerate. Chrissy and Lauren, two innocent lovers/bloggers, must not only fight the adolescent beasts and freaks, they must also defeat the evil Conglomerate.

The comparison game begins the minute you that you're watching a remake. No it won't have that same 80's feel, but it certainly has that Troma spirit. I enjoyed the original Class of Nuke 'Em High quite a bit, so it would be hard to compare Return to it without having a strong nostalgia play guide my opinion. I suppose I'm making too much a of a deal of it being labeled a remake or at least an update. It certainly isn't a continuation of the series, but Lloyd Kaufman's in the director's chair (if Troma is allowed to have chairs on their budget). The best thing to realize is that this is an all out Troma movie and those who love Troma releases whether distributed or made in house will enjoy this feature as well.

Never forget that Troma supplies plenty of moral lessons hidden behind strong, exploitative content. It's like filth propaganda that excites while trying to make you a better citizen. Toxie would be proud.

Let's run it down...

The Players: Tromettes and Tromeos filled with overacting. Not bad acting, but these fellas and femmes bring it ALL to the table. Casting is always solid in a Troma movie because they get exactly what they want... Cheap.

The Scare: Not scary. Disgusting. Lesbian sex that includes a girl vomiting into another girls mouth with great big gooey green shit is... an artistic vision, but it won't scare you. Bring your Pepto. Find the toilet. Avoid eating.

The B(lood) & G(ore): There are some perfect scenes of melting flesh that are completely over the top, unrealistic and entertaining. Giant cocks. Pregnant stomach explosions. Killer penis monsters. Um... it's a Troma movie. You've been warned (and welcomed)

The Ta’s: Where Troma succeeds like no other is getting young ladies and gents to remove their clothes. The boobs flow like flapjacks at a firehouse breakfast in this feature. The only different? The caliber of naked people on screen is exceptionally high. We're talking about some class A hot lesbian action. If you can watch Return with a hand down your pants or someone else's hand down your pants I strongly recommend it.

The Family Plot: It's Nuke 'Em High get radioactive. The class gets crazy and turns into a bunch of strange mutants rebels with a battle that is left unresolved in part (this is a volume one after all). To be continued.

The Finish: To be continued and you'll want to continue to see how they might outdo this picture thought not from a plot perspective. You'll demand more violence and sex and gore and green shit. That's what you'll want from volume 2. I'm excited. I'm a Troma fan.

The Art: My favorite goddamn cover art of this year/last year and maybe longer. I love this strange nudie femme meets mondo disaster with excellent fonts/logo work. The green case is perfect.

The Tech and Extras: It's filled to the brim. That's what Troma does. Well done guys.

· Audio Commentary with Actors Zac Amico, Clay von Carlowitz, Catherine Corcoran, Stuart Kiczek and Asta Parades;

· Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer/Director Lloyd Kaufman, Producer Justin A. Martell, Executive Producer Matt Manjourides, Associate Producer Regina Katz and Writer Travis Campbell;

· Casting Conundrum;

· Pre-Production Hell with Mein-Kauf (Man);

· Special (Ed) Effects;

· Cell-U-Lloyd Kaufman: 40 Years of TROMAtising The World;

· “Architects of Fear – Edison Device” Music Video

· Return To Nuke ‘Em High, Vol. 2 trailer

Overall this is a fine entry into the Nuke 'Em High tradition and canon. It's includes the movie elements that made the original entries in the series great while offering some new concepts to hook the Troma-virgins. Laugh it up because that's why we watch Troma movies. Get aroused, get lucky, vomit on each other and pick up a really get release. Let's face it. I'm a reviewer from New Jersey and the damn movie takes place in the Garden State. How am I not going to love this movie? The original came out when I was 6 years old, and I would have loved both Class of and Return to just the same if I watched them in '86 or 2014. 

-Doc Terror

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