Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986)
By: Devon B. on August 3, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Stomp Visual (Australia). All Regions, NTSC. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 83 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Directors: Richard W. Haines and Lloyd Kaufman
Starring: Janelle Brady, Gilbert Brenton, Robert Prichard, R.L. Ryan, James Nugent Vernon, Brad Dunker, Gary Schneider, Theo Cohan
Screenplay: Richard W. haines, Mark Rudnitsky, Lloyd Kaufman, Stuart Strutin
Country: USA
Class of Nuke 'Em High is an absolute Troma classic, from back when some money was still being spent on their projects.

Radioactive contamination causes some personality changes at Tromaville High School, most noticeably in the Honour Society, which has morphed into the worst high school gang ever, The Cretins. The Cretins are buying pot grown at the nearby nuclear plant (because it grows quicker there), and selling it at school. Our two heroes aren't fully straight edge, but they aren't into drugs, yet still end up taking a toke. The tainted weed has some disastrous, and messy, side effects, but what else would you expect from Troma?

Class of Nuke 'Em High's story is a bit all over the place, in part due to choppy editing, and some story elements just kind of stop, creating loose ends. A few minor points of clarification turn up in the deleted scenes, but this is often one to just enjoy on a scene by scene basis.

While there is some similarity story wise to Troma's prior hit The Toxic Avenger, as both films focus on mutation, Class of Nuke 'Em High actually has a climax (though that also has an air of familiarity to Toxic Avenger fans in the form of R.L. Ryan). It isn't as excessive as Toxic Avenger, even in this director's cut, but it's still one of Troma's best. The film features MANY familiar faces from the classic Troma staple, even though some of them are obscured by the wild styles of the high schoolers, and is very entertaining.
Video
Class of Nuke 'Em High is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The film has specks, grain, dirt, a lack of clarity in blacks, a slightly soft image, and a few digital glitches. In short, it's of the expected quality of an older Troma movie.
Audio
The audio track is a two-channel mix, which is decent and presumably the original audio. The dialogue remains clear throughout, except for Gonzo's, of course.
Extra Features
Firstly, I have to say the DVD's menus often lack a back feature, so I constantly had to use the title button on my remote to navigate the disc.

The disc has quite a few of the standard Troma extras: an ad for a book by Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma and creator of the Toxic Avenger; the Aroma du Troma clip; public service announcement number one; an ad for the website; and the Troma tour. Missing from the original US pressing of the DVD are the Troma trailers and the T.I.T. Unfortunately not missing from the original pressing is the Radiation March short.

Class of Nuke 'Em High specific extras include a photo gallery; deleted/extended scenes; a five and half minute interview with stars Robert and Jennifer Prichard; a 39 (!) second commentary by Theo Pingarelli, who worked with Troma for many years and designed the models seen in Class of Nuke 'Em High; a clip from Tromaville Café introducing the film; and a commentary by Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma and creator of the Toxic Avenger.

The brief interview with the Prichards is listed as a 'picture commentary' on the slick, but it's not really; it's an interview. Regardless, it is surprisingly good, as they also starred in Toxic Avenger, so had several amusing Troma anecdotes. The 39 (!) second commentary is also listed on the slick, which I think is just misleading. The main extra is, of course, the commentary by co-director Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma and creator of the Toxic Avenger. Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma and creator of the Toxic Avenger, seemed less talkative than usual, but it's still a good track, and it's very interesting to hear his take on the death of indie theatres in the 80s and the rise of Blockbuster video.
The Verdict
Nudity, gore, oozing monsters, and utter zaniness? It must be Troma! While it wouldn't be until the sequel that we got everyone's favourite mutated squirrel, Tromie, this is still a lot of fun, and a must have DVD for Troma fans.
Movie Score
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