Tromaville High School's lovely school enviroment descends to hell after the school junkies start getting their weed from the nuclear power plant behind the school and pass it around. Warren and Chrissy, a young couple, end up personally affected by this drug, and the punk gang known as the Cretins drag them further into the madness. Meanwhile something is mutating in the basement of the school...
"Class of Nuke 'Em High" was my first time experiencing Troma on screen at the age of 12 or 13, and it became a favorite all through my teens. While the number of Troma titles watched grew, and many great ones were discovered, "Class of Nuke 'Em High" remained one of the best Troma (in-house) produced titles. The sequels were never that great, albeit entertaining in a retarded way, but that's to be expected since even "The Toxic Avenger" series went a similar route with its second and third installment. I haven't watched "Class of Nuke 'Em High" much since the VHS days, not because I haven't wanted to, but with DVD and the internet I also discovered a whole universe of new movies, so some old favorites are bound to be left alone for a bit. But I've been craving "Class of Nuke 'Em High" for a long time so it's very appropriate that Njutafilms picked it up (along with "Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1", "Troma's War" and more).
The Tromaville High School is built right next to a nuclear power plant. Conveniently for the drug users of the school, that's also where the punk gang the Cretins get their weed from. Warren, a jock, suspects something is up when one day the class nerd goes crazy and throws himself out of a window, and afterwards starts melting. When they go to a beach themed party, Warren and his girlfriend Chrissy (who have not had sex yet) are forced to smoke the weed and the night ends with steamy sex. And a monster cock and pregnant mutation belly. Yes, that's what happens when you smoke nuclear weed! While the monster cock and belly go away, Chrissy does indeed give birth to... something. A radioactive eel that she pukes out into the school toilet. The eel then goes through the pipeline down to the basement, where it drops into a barrel of radioactive waste and begins to grow. The monster is just about fully grown when the Cretins trick the students to evacuate so that they can run havoc in the halls of Tromaville High School. Or rather, Nuke 'Em High, which it's appropriately called after the early incidents.
Is the movie as good when I am 25 as it was around 12? It actually kinda is. I wouldn't ever say that Troma movies have deep meanings, but we all know Lloyd Kaufman often deals with certain social issues in his work, notably nuclear power, outcasts, sex and farts. So on that level, I can't say that it has matured in my eyes, it's still a Troma movie with a somewhat social commentary backdrop, but they never really say anything of much worth beyond that. However I certainly get many more jokes now. That added some value to it for me, and makes me appreciate the dimwitted characters more than I did back then.
I always thought "Class of Nuke 'Em High" had pretty sweet effects, especially the monster effects later on (when it's fully grown, not when it's an eel). That always made me sad back then, because it could have been an amazingly cool monster movie but the monster simply isn't shown enough. It takes two thirds of the movie until it really gets relevant! That said, there is much else to enjoy with this one, as with most Troma titles with Lloyd Kaufman's fingers dealing the cards.
If you enjoy "The Toxic Avenger" but for some reason have missed out on "Class of Nuke 'Em High" then you should get that fixed. Those two movies are certainly their own kind, and this is the only movie that has managed to feel like it fits perfectly next to "The Toxic Avenger". It's the trashy brother, if you will. It's just a fun movie, but a Tromatic sense of humor is required for it. As this is an 80's Troma flick, it's not quite as over-the-top as say "Terror Firmer" or "Poultrygeist", but it has all the charm, wit, effects, sex, eccentric characters and entertaining cheese that you have come to expect. This is still one of the best movies Troma ever produced themselves.