As part of our anticipation towards The Calgary Horror Con we’re looking back at the films of the Class Of Nuke ‘Em High series in preparation for the screening of the latest in the franchise, Return to Nuke ‘Em High and panel Q & A with director Lloyd Kaufman after. The first part of these, a look at the original Class of Nuke ‘Em High is available HERE, and you can watch it and The Class of Nuke ‘Em High Part II: Subhumanoid Meltdown along with many other movies in Troma Entertainment’s extensive library for free at their official YouTube Account, so go have some fun when you’re done here!
“I think if our stuff can open some doors to which…you know, Quentin Tarantino is a big Troma fan. He’s obviously influenced by the Hong Kong flicks, lots of different stuff. The Toxic Avenger movies were definitely one of, something he very much enjoyed. He definitely, the influence is there. That’s a good thing. If we can open some doors that people can go through, that’s great. What’s frustrating is movies that imitate and copy us that aren’t even any good.” Lloyd Kaufman, 2002
Co-directors of the first installment, Lloyd Kaufman and Richard W. Haines, hand the reigns of this installment to a pair of new directors. Eric Louzil, who’s worked on several Troma productions in various roles, including directing Lust for Freedom and producing Sizzle Beach USA in Kevin Costner’s debut role. Co-Director Donald G. Jackson is quite an Iconic figure in the B-movie world himself, responsible for the Roddy Piper star vehicle Hell Comes to Frogtown and the sequels, as well as the Roller Blade and El Chupacabra franchises. Donald G. Jackson was also one of pioneers of the controversial Zen Filmmaking style along with Scott Shaw, so on the surface there’s certainly nothing wrong with the pedigree of this film as a sequel to the first Nuke ‘Em High. Of course, you do have to be wary of any film that has 7 writing credits, but perhaps that’s why this film has even more pure craziness going on than the original, including…
The Toxic Avenger making a cameo because he wanders onto the wrong movie set.
A tiny floating green subhumanoid creature that in reality looks like a massive talking booger.
Genetically modified people with a second set of lips where their belly buttons should be.
Seemingly hundreds of bald women who walk around topless apparently just to satisfy the nudity quotient for the film.
Sure the film is called Class of Nuke ‘Em HIGH 2 but it actually takes place at a college, the Tromaville Institute of Technology, or T.I.T.
Genetically modified mutant hybrid creatures rendered in gloriously awful stop motion animation.
The first appearance of Tromie, the radioactive squirrel, portrayed by a man in a rubber suit wrecking buildings Godzilla style.
“We may not have the best bedside manner, but on the other hand, the young people—they don’t know what they don’t know. That’s what’s exciting about young people. It’s fresh. The movies have an injection of youth. They always have.” Lloyd Kaufman, 2012 I
know what you’re thinking… This sounds awesome! Epically awesome! And in the hands of Lloyd Kaufman I think it would have been, but unfortunately I still just don’t think Mr. Louzil or Mr. Jackson are as talented directors as Uncle Lloydie. They’re just trying too hard to make a classic Troma film, and many of the scenes and jokes feel forced or fall flat, and the pacing is all off.
This isn’t to say it’s not enjoyable in its own way, as once you get into the spirit of what they’re attempting there is fun to be had. Much of the success of the film has to be attributed to former professional wrestler Brick Bronsky as the lead character, Roger Smith. While not the best actor he’s a likeable and charismatic lead who’s often at ease in front of the camera. Considering he’s such a well built, good looking, All-American kind of guy the fact that he properly gets across what a dork his character is to people is well done. And the female romantic lead, Victoria, is played by Leesa Rowland who is smoking hot.
The effects are largely quite terrible, but the second set of lips where the belly button should be is actually very good. They manage to look cool and yet uncomfortably disturbing at the same time. Seriously, I dare you to see two belly button lips swapping spit and not get grossed out.
Ultimately, if you go into this one with somewhat lowered expectations you’ll likely come out with a passably enjoyable 90 minutes if you’re a Troma fan or a fan of this type of film, but if you are on the fence and decide to skip it that’s fine too… Me, I’m glad I watched it. And make sure to stick around for the crazy end credits, some of the best jokes in the film for sure!