Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986)


My fellow citizens, I bid thee welcome once again! Once more we shall hold hands and skip merrily along down that well-trodden, but oh-so-sublime path to Tromaville. The very air is turgid with excitement! I feel you quiver as a small moan escapes your cracked lips. Fear not! The genius that is Troma welcomes you into its loving embrace with a new Blu-Ray (or Brown-Ray?) release. Oh sure, there might be some toxic waste strewn along the pathway. There might be mutants around every turn. But think of the rewards!

Friends, the Duke of DVD does not mince. Nor does he dice, but that’s another discussion. One can be well-assured that if I like something, and I mean truly worship something, then you can be confident in the fact that this thing, be it a movie or a disused phallus in the shape of a religious icon, is worthy of your attention. Such are Troma movies. They excite, they titillate; they inspire conversation and sometimes retching. They always, however, entertain.

Let us explore, shall we?

Class of Nuke ‘Em High begins, as most all movies should, within the confines of Tromaville, that city unlike any other. It seems the corpulent manager of the local Tromaville nuclear power plant has been lax in keeping up with necessary regulations. This has led to so many gallons of toxic waste seeping into the local environs around the plant that even Haliburton would be ashamed to be associated with it. Then again, perhaps not!

"Mornin' Bob." "I'm not Bob, Harry!" "I'm not Harry!"

Of course, instead of an endless sprawl of warehouses or a grassy plain, right next door to the nuclear plant is a high school! Tromaville High, no less, filled with a veritable menagerie of nerds, spazes, twerps, geeks, punks, sluts, jocks, wasteoids, potheads, dumbasses, fuckups, and my personal favorite, a Mad-Maxian gang of cretins called The Cretins. In other words, your typical high school. Unfortunately, toxic waste somehow very quickly gets into the water supply, whereupon a geek (or perhaps a nerd?) drinks from it, not noticing the water has turned from clear to green.

Though a smashing success, the Recycled Water Program still had its detractors.

Very quickly the nerd starts having such a fit that one would think he was either in the throes of an exorcism, or having his testicles attached to a golf cart battery. He quickly turns violent, choking a passerby before finally running through the classroom to leap to his death from a window. Many bystanders (including Troma great Michael Herz in his only on-screen performance ever, thank you very much IMDB) watch on with horror as the nerd’s flesh melts from his bones.

"Established" might be stretching it a bit.

Soon the media gets wind of this and descends upon the area, harassing the rotund nuclear plant manager, who insists his plant is safe. “I don’t give a wet fart what you think!” he exclaims, much to our delight. You can’t pay for writing like that, folks! (Seriously, I doubt the person who wrote that got paid.) I would be remiss if I didn’t pay fealty to the opening credits, where one can listen with wonder at the awesome Nuke ‘Em High-theme song! I was guffawing mightily!

Back at the school, an enterprising douche has talked his girlfriend into making out whilst at school, in the most logical place possible: the fallout shelter! Due in most part, I’m sure, to the rampant nuclear scare of the 1950s, Nuke ‘Em High has itself a full-blown fallout shelter down in the basement. A more perfect during-school makeout spot I’ve not heard of! He scarcely gets his hand up her shirt before toxic sludge drips down on both of them. She thinks it’s something else--from his pants--and, screaming “EWWWW!”, runs off.

"Don't judge me."

Meanwhile, we have The Cretins. Looking like post-apocalyptic rejects, and with an attitude to boot, they roam the halls, hardly attending classes, and instead run a small extortion effort in-between selling pot. Pot that is grown next door. At the nuclear plant. See where this is going? Before you can stutter out “Hey, who laced my pot with sludge!” The Cretins are selling tainted green. The first fun-stick goes to one of our group of spazoids, who wastes no time in using it as leverage to get all his horny friends to attend a frat party at nearby Troma U.

The ol' high heel to the groin shot. A Troma favorite.

Now, friends, I’ve been to my share of frat shindigs, hootenannys, and par-tays, but I’ve never seen a frat party like this. It’s a veritable Roman bacchanal! The theme seems to be a beach-esque variant, so everyone is wearing swim suits, or trying to. Several gratuitous titty shots are doled out here from the master’s table, for which we are very thankful. As any devotee of Bacchus knows, nothing makes a party like a little Vitamin M. No sooner has the first top dropped than our intrepid dude pulls out his toxic-laced weed.

"I totally love your hairless chest! In a non-gay way, I might add."

It is now time that we should meet the two who are most central to our story: Warren and Chrissy. It seems they’ve been dating, but so far haven’t “sealed the deal,” so to speak. Each one confesses to their friends that they don’t want to rush the other. Inevitably, they are on a collision course. A sexual collision course, fueled by weed. It seems marijuana laced with toxic water produces an aphrodisiac effect not unlike the Duke himself disrobing in front of you. Trust me, it would drive any person of either sex wild with unquenchable lust.

"Your puffy nips are harshin' my buzz."

Before you can say “My GOD, those are puffy nipples!”, the two are going at it like shorn monks, upstairs on the bed used to hold people’s coats. Did I mention “puffy nipples”? Chrissy has teats that look like they’ve been hooked up to a milking machine which ran on full blast for a week. Very off-putting, but that’s the Duke’s personal tastes. Ahem, where was I? Oh yes, rutting youngsters! Their friends happen upon them during coitus, but all they do is watch, instead of joining in like any sane people. We get a hilarious sight-gag here, though, as one of the nerds pulls out some binoculars to watch the festivities, binoculars complete with bugged-out eyes attached to them. If that isn’t funny, then why did I chortle?

Hangover from the Black Lagoon.

The two love birds head home, to their respective beds, whereupon they have terrible, toxic-wasted-fueled dreams! Warren sees his dong grow to gargantuan proportions, and Chrissy sees her belly swell as if with child. Sadly, each was only a dream. Meanwhile, The Cretins are busy once again. The lead Cretin seduces the German teacher in a hilarious scene, and she quickly joins the group, which consists of a dude with his face painted gray and two teeth protectors in his mouth at all times, another dude who dresses like a preppie except for black lipstick and somehow also has perky breasts (this is never explained, but it doesn’t have to be, it’s awesome!), and several women in various states of Cyndi-Lauper-esque dress.

"Ok, so, crisis averted. Who's hungry?"

The Cretin leader and one of his lackeys hatch a devious plan to steal an old lady’s purse. Instead of simply snatching it, or holding her up at knife-point, they use a brilliant scheme in which one of them ingests Alka-Seltzer to make himself foam at the mouth, which his friend claims is an epileptic seizure. He asks the old lady to quickly give her pocketbook over to put in his friend’s mouth so he don’t bite his own tongue off. GENIUS! She hands over her whole purse, and the punk runs off laughing with it. Not to be outdone, the other stands up and repeatedly punches the old lady, so much so that his friend has to return and pull him off her. Why didn’t they just do this to begin with? That wasn’t in the plan, that’s why!

"And I say I'm angstier than you!"

Not soon thereafter, Warren shows up in the alley where the Cretins are hanging, and basically Hulks-out on them, throwing them around like rag dolls, for his is in the grips of the toxic poisoning. Meanwhile, Chrissy is having her own side effects, namely pregnancy. Only, instead of a “normal” birth, she pukes up a toxic sperm out of her mouth, into the toilet at school! Still feeling sick, she is rushed to the hospital, where her mother arrives. The doctor informs Chrissy’s mother that she has miscarried. Her mother screams, causing a doctor walking behind them to jump, tossing a full bottle of urine sample into the face of another doctor nearby!

"Excuse me while I pop this pimple... there it goes!"

Warren finally gets Chrissy while the monster rampages through the school, killing Cretins left and right, including the leader. It isn’t done with Warren and Chrissy, however, and corners them in the school chemistry lab. Lucky for them, the lab is equipped with a high-powered laser! Warren picks up the laser and shoots the monster with it, causing it to become unstable somehow. The pair leap free of the building as the monster explodes, detonating the entire school in a huge explosion!

"Face the wrath of a frickin' las-er, monster!"

Warren and Chrissy are safe, but as the camera slowly pans over the wreckage of the school, another sludge toxic sperm baby leaps up! The End!

Friends, this movie was a blast from start to finish. It was hilarious, with the typical aplomb of a Lloyd Kaufman movie. It seems that Richard W. Haines, a longtime Troma editor, was supposed to direct this himself, and indeed he is credited for it, but the job proved too much for him and the man we all know and love as Troma’s brainiac, Lloyd Kaufman, was brought in to finish the work, and it really shows. The humor throughout is expertly written and the effects, while minor, work very well.

The blu-ray edition is a gem. The picture quality is quite impressive for a movie from 1986, and the disc is loaded with extra features as well. Throw in a kick ass menu screen designed to look like a scientific measuring device, and you got a swell package. I give this movie a well-deserved 3 Thumbs Up. If you enjoy good movies, and are in any way a fan of toxic sperm babies, then you owe it to yourself to pick this one up!

"Th-th-th-that's all, Fuckers!"


1 comment:

The Film Connoisseur said...

Im adding this one, like right now! Ill be reviewing Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity soon as well, I love cheesy movies like these, and it seems I haven't seen them all! Thanks for that awesome review Duke!

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