Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1 Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Asta Paredes, Catherine Corcoran, Vito Trigo, Clay von Carlowitz, Zac Amico
  • Director: Lloyd Kaufman
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • Release Date: March 18, 2014
  • Run Time: 85 minutes


            I don’t think anyone was asking for another film in the Class of Nuke ‘Em High franchise, much less two of them. Regardless, we have been thrust back into the sub-culture of Troma with another release from filmmaker of prolific bad-taste, Llloyd Kaufman. Upon the suggestion of grindhouse cinema connoisseur Quentin Tarantino, Kaufman has split his campy piece of trash cinema into two parts. Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1 contains the first half of this slimy satire, which has enough exploitation for the entire franchise.


            Comparisons have been made between this latest Troma addition and the French lesbian drama, Blue is the Warmest Color, and it does seem as though this is somewhat intentional despite a regular use of lesbian content in recent Kaufman releases. The plot hinges on the lesbian relationship between two girls at Troma High, alongside a toxic outbreak caused by a local organic food company replacing the nuclear power plant from previous films. As newcomer Lauren (Catherine Corcoran) begins a secret love affair with bad girl Chrissy (Asta Paredes), the school becomes infected with violent mutated members of the student body.


            I am almost hesitant to point out the extreme levels of bad taste that Kaufman is willing to subject his audience to in his narrative, but this is all that Return to Nuke ‘Em High has to offer. The sloppy filmmaking is intentional, making for a lazy and bad film with only the goal of offending people as a marker for its success. There is plenty of gore and obscene nudity with no point or purpose beyond offense. Despite the fact that this film was premiered at the Troma film festival for free, I would not be surprised to find a majority of the audience left with the feeling that they overpaid.


            The Blu-ray release does a spectacular job of showing the poor quality of basic filmmaking elements in horrifying high definition. The special features include many special features, from a trailer of the second-half of the film to making-of featurettes that cover everything from the effects to the casting choices. Many of the main cast members are also present for one of the two commentary tracks. The second commentary features Kaufman along with writer Travis Campbell and producers Justin A. Martell, Matt Manjourides and Regina Katz.


    Entertainment Value: 5.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 1/10

    Historical Significance: 2/10

    Special Features: 7.5/10


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