Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
on 25 December 2013
This movie opens with a shot of Manhattan Island and then never features New York for the rest of the running time. Much like this paragraph.
Nuke 'em High is a Tromaville hellhole populated by a diverse range of characters, some annoying, some funny. The Cretins (a punk gang in the vein of Griff Tannen's gang from BTTF Part II) have a deal with the neighboring nuclear power plant to deal toxic weed grown on the grounds. The sludge from the plant has already infected the school's water supply and is having a terrifying effect on the students. But the toxic weed causes horny feelings, speedy demon pregnancy, and sporadic superhuman powers (other students being completely unaffected by it is one of an infinity of logic errors).
Wholesome couple Chrissy and Warren, affected by the contamination and toxic weed, battle with the Cretins in a stupendously disjointed and senseless plot, but that's missing the point. Anyone watching a Troma film for serious art will no doubt be disappointed and confused. These movies barely hang together and were made by amateurs that make Ed Wood look like Orson Welles. The cinematography is wobbly and uncertain, the acting just about passable, the sound is barely audible, and for some reason generic 80s rock music plays in the distance during every single scene.
But it entertains. Class of Nuke 'em High may be trash of the lowest order, but it has a lot of energy, a lot of ideas (no matter how underdeveloped or misunderstood), crazy and interesting characters, is frequently intentionally funny, has mediocre-to-decent gore effects, has a gorgeous female lead in Janelle Brady (a sort of 80s Katherine Heigl, who has sadly massively deteriorated since then - missing and presumed dead in Las Vegas), and is never once boring.
If that is all the movie sets out to do then does that make it a huge success? It led to a sequel and a spin-off - so yes?
The 1.85:1 1080p is no doubt the best the movie has ever looked since 1986, but it still looks bad thanks to the poor photography, certainly passable as a Blu-ray product though. The LPCM 2.0 soundtrack fares no better as it is so poorly recorded that words struggle to be heard correctly (the letter S has particular trouble registering clearly). Extras are fun, but hardly groundbreaking.