March 15, 2014

Filthy Review - 'Return to Nuke 'Em High Vol.1'

Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Vol. 1 (2013)

Review by Jude Felton

You have to admire Lloyd Kaufman and Troma. You might not like either, but there’s no denying that they are an ongoing force to be reckoned with, within independent cinema. I grew up renting the likes of The Toxic Avenger, Surf Nazi’s Must Die and Class of Nuke ‘Em High, back in my youth. And, whilst I loved some, I totally loathed others. Regardless, these were movies with outrageous titles, even more outrageous content and whether they were produced in-house or were acquisitions, they weren’t easily forgotten.

Head honcho, Lloyd Kaufman, is back this year with a true Troma title, which he himself directed, and that is the continuation of the Nuke ‘Em High saga. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of it. Would it be an unmitigated disaster? Or, as it ended up being, quite possibly Troma’s masterpiece? Yes folks, Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1 is an absolute blast of a movie, from start to finish. I could happily end the review here, but I won’t.

As with many Troma flicks, they throw as much as possible at the screen, and then hope at least some of it sticks. In the case of this movie, they throw an absolute ton; it’s Troma to a tee, and it is done so damned well. You get tons of great looking gore and grue, lesbian sex, mutants, ducks, duck rape, a fair share of penis, sweat, pizza, hot chicks, splat-stick humor and much, much more. Sounds like it could be a mess, although thankfully it isn’t.

In terms of plot, we get much the same as before, although this time around the nuclear plant has gone, only to be replaced by a supposedly organic food processing factory. Before you can shout “ugly fucking mutants!” the glee club have turned into The Cretins, and they begin to wreak havoc on Tromaville. This leaves pretty rich kid, and duck lover, Lauren (the wonderful Catherine Corcaran) and her bully/nemesis Chrissy, to try and sort things out. Shit, you don’t need to know the plot, just strap yourself in for a riotously good ride!

The first thing I noticed about Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1 was how well that Kaufman, who also pops up in quite a substantial role, has managed to retain that Troma look and feel to the movie. It’s not just a case of slapping the name Troma on it; it genuinely feels like it was made in their heyday.

The second thing I noticed was how damned “good” the film looked. Now, I know what you’re thinking; how could it look and feel like a Troma flick, yet also be this well-made? Good freaking question, my filthy friends, but don’t you just know it, Lloyd managed it. We’re not talking super slick Hollywood mega budget-looking filmmaking here, it’s just a damned good looking flick. Hell, if anyone can stretch a dime, it’s Kaufman.

I can honestly say that I’ve not had this much fun watching a movie since I saw Father’s Day, which itself was a Troma acquisition. I loved this movie, for all it’s gleefully demented onscreen mayhem. As is often the case, the plot remains relevant, without ramming it down your throat (plenty of other things do get rammed down throats though), and the action is relentless.

Cast and crew combine wonderfully here, to create a film that reminded me that sometimes movies just need to be fun. Sure, you can throw a message in here and there, but what we really want, whether you like it or not, are knob and tit jokes. And buckets of blood, guts and practical gore!

The fact that I’ll probably have to wait far too long to see Vol. 2 is the only negative thing I can say. I want it now, as I’ve found a new best friend in Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1. Kaufman, you’ve made a beauty!

Oh, and Lemmy's in it!

Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1 is released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 18th by Anchor Bay.

No comments: