Return To Nuke ‘Em High Vol.1 (2013)

Posted: by Findlay

Return To Nuke ‘Em High Vol.1 (2013); Directed by Lloyd Kaufman

In One Sentence: Weird shit goes down in a high school where kids are being mutated by nuclear tacos.

Why you should watch: Troma films, man.

Founded on an ethos of bad taste, bizarre humour and low-budget shlock, Troma studios are the absolute definition of “cult” with their biggest hit being the incredible Toxic Avenger films. Fans love them; critics haven’t got a fucking clue how to react to them. Perfect.

RNEH is regarded as a sequel to the original Nuke ‘Em High film from 1986, completely disregarding its awful sequels. Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol.1 is everything that Troma stands for and more.

Now before I go into the meat of the film, I should point out that the full RNEH movie is split into 2 volumes, Vol.1 and Vol.2 which is set to be released anytime from now.

The plot is basic enough. Once a nuclear power plant stood right next to a high school and mutated the students, this has since been demolished and had an “organic” food factory build atop it, making the food toxic. To go anymore into the plot or its weird nuances would seriously not give you the joy of seeing it all unfold infront of you.

From the offset RNEH is so well shot and directed that you’d be completely forgiven for not associating it with the crude amateurism of most Troma films. But this just works. Visual gags are fantastic, sets and equipment used are so oddly….professional that I can see it being a great entry point for people regularly put off by how crummy these films usually look.

Lloyd Kaufman, founder of Troma and madman genius, directs and you can tell this film is a total labour of love for him. Everything is so well rounded and stupid and zany and fun. There are an abundance of cameos and in-jokes for fans of previous Troma films but the writing and characters are written so accessibly that anyone can watch and have a blast.

I have to give huge praise to the cast who are all mainly young unknowns but, by god, you can tell they had a crazy amount of fun making this film. Melting teens, huge prosthetic dicks, and wayward ducks are just a snippet of the fucked up universe of Tromaville is. There’s also an amazing portion of the film dedicated to the mutated glee club which is worth rental price ALONE.

Now. The theme song. The original Nuke ‘Em High theme song is the easiest 10/10 I could ever give. A super catchy synth song by Ethan and the Coup and it will make your life a bit better. My friends and I totally, wholeheartedly love this song and I am so fucking glad to say it’s back untouched. Pure. Like putting on your favourite jeans.

The film kind of ends abruptly without any real conclusion or reason, but yet again, this is due to the 2nd volume coming out soon.

So yeah, if you’re into completely mad shit that doesn’t take itself seriously and want to see some banging gore and toxic shocks, Return to Nuke’ Em High is for you. It might even inspire you to dig deeper into Troma.

Favourite Line: “Hey I’ve mutated! And my wheelchair has illogically mutated also!”

Rating: 8/10 – Say No 2 Taco Tuesday
– Findlay

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