Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1 is a 2013 horror comedy film co-written, produced, & directed by Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger franchise, Terror Firmer, Class of Nuke ‘Em High, Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D., Troma’s War, Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, & Tromeo and Juliet). It’s the 4th film from the Nuke Em High franchise which includes 1986’s Class of Nuke ‘Em High, 1991’s Class of Nuke ‘Em High Part II: Subhumanoid Meltdown, & 1994’s Class of Nuke ‘Em High Part 3: The Good, the Bad and the Subhumanoid. It was written by Travis Campbell (Direct Your Own Damn Movie!, Slaughter Daughter, Mr. Bricks: A Heavy Metal Murder Musical, & Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2) & Derek Dressler (Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2, Mickey Mouse, Get Blake!, Johnny Test, & WWE Slam City). It was produced by Michael Herz (Father’s Day, Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D., Def by Temptation, Blood Hook, & Mother’s Day), Justin A. Martell (The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, Castle Freak, Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2, & Alcoholist), & Matt Manjourides (The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, Castle Freak, Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2, & Mutant Blast). Quentin Tarantino was the one who suggested to split Return to Nuke Em High into two parts. Class of Nuke ‘Em High Part IV was being considered at the same time by a Spanish film company but ended up cancelled because of this project. The Cretins leader Robert Prichard from the original Class of Nuke ‘Em High has a cameo in this. It was followed up by 2017’s Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2!!!!
At Tromaville High School, the glee club has mutated into a vicious gang called The Cretins which includes Leonardo (played by: Vito Trigo from Assassinaut, Pig Pen, Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2, & My Bloody Banjo), Donatello (played by: Mike Baez from Bite School, It Wants Blood!, Catch of the Day 2: You Die at Dawn!, & Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2), Michelangelo (played by: Mark Quinnette from Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2, Battle, Gotham, & Impractical Jokers ), Rachel Ruysch (played by: Tara E. Miller from Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2 & Cool as Hell), & others after a dreadful Taco Tuesday experience. The outcast in town who doesn’t really like her boyfriend Eugene ‘The Machine’ (played by: Clay von Carlowitz from Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2, Cut Shoot Kill, Pig Pen, & Thor), Lauren (played by: Catherine Corcoran from Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 2, Terrifier, Chuck, & Amityville: Vanishing Point) is forced to team up with her rival Chrissy (played by: Asta Paredes from Sociopathia, Mummy Cop, Orange Is the New Black, & Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2) who also is a local blogger that has been causing problems for the community.
The greedy Tromorganic Foodstuffs Conglomerate ran by the evil Lee Harvey Herzkauf (played by: Lloyd Kaufman from Slither, Rocky, Orgazmo, The Final Countdown, Hatchet II, Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens , & Crank: High Voltage) is trying to stop the girls from spreading the horrible truth to the public. Lauren & Chrissy start to bond over this dangerous fight against powerful company. They try to save their school but they are betrayed & blackmailed by the treacherous Zack (played by: Zac Amico from Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2, Shakespeare’s Sh*tstorm , Amityville: Vanishing Point, & Kabukiman vs Dracula ) who is trying his best to become the newest member of The Cretins. Can these ambitious women fight off the cretins, mutants, monsters, & Tromorganic Foodstuffs Conglomerate at the same time????
Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1 is still the best Troma production since 2011’s Father’s Day. It’s narrated by the icon Stan Lee (Marvel Comics creator). It’s exactly what you would hope for & want from Tromaville when it comes to cinema. It reminded me of their old movies when direct to video was very popular & doing great business for the home video market. The special fx, nudity, & music are all great for this low budget feature. It had the right amount of horror & comedy, there’s never a dull moment in this. Lloyd Kaufman proves once again if given the proper material, he can deliver an underground & independent gem. Return to Nuke ‘Em High holds nothing back, they go for all the taboo subjects & they are actually hoping to offend you with their outlandish script. Asta Paredes & Catherine Corcoran were actually solid leads in this, they both had good performances plus their chemistry was great. The rest of the cast is your typical Tromatic over the top & wild portrayals that you kinda expect when it comes to the label. It also has cameos from Troma regulars like Lemmy (Tromeo and Juliet), Debbie Rochon (Terror Firmer), Leesa Rowland (Class of Nuke ‘Em High 2/3), Rick Collins (The Toxic Avenger franchise), Dan Snow (The Toxic Avenger franchise) & comedian Judah Friedlander (30 Rock). I will say that the continuous introductions with the same music got annoying real quick & should have been cut down but that’s my only complaint for this. It’s beyond entertaining & very fun flick. It was cool to see Troma get a bigger push for Nuke Em High with the help of Anchor Bay for this release. It holds up against the other Class of Nuke ‘Em High films, I would love to see Troma resurrect some of their older classics like this in the future. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Troma & Anchor Bay! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer is fantastic, it’s one of the best looking Troma Entertainment productions. It’s full of interesting locations & the cinematography boosts the impressive special fx for this indie feature. The English: Dolby Digital 2.0 track was solid. The dialogue was crystal clear, the lunacy was elevated, & the music had a boost to it. I love that theme song, it always gets stuck in my head for days after viewing one of these movies. It also has English SDH & Spanish subtitles. This is what independent film making is all about, it’s awesome to see something like this on Blu Ray!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Troma & Anchor Bay! “Audio Commentary” # 1 with actors Zac Amico, Clay von Carlowitz, Catherine Corcoran, Stuart Kiczek, & Asta Paredes. It’s more of a fun track than a technical one. They all joke around & have a blast revisiting this with each other. They share some stories & behind the scenes info. “Audio Commentary” # 2 with director Lloyd Kaufman, producer Justin A. Martell, executive producer Matt Manjourides, associate producer Regina Katz, & writer Travis Campbell. This is a great companion piece to the other commentary because it’s very different. This one is more serious & technical when it comes to the production. They cover as much as they can about Return to Nuke Em High. They go over the shoot. They chat about the script plus the creative parts of the films like the designs & the overall look of it. They even bring up their issues & mistakes for it. It’s a well informed track. If you want to know something about Nuke Em High, it’s probably discussed on here. “Casting Conundrum” is a little over 7 minutes. Director Lloyd Kaufman goes over the casting process & the struggles from it. It shows a variety of audtions including several actors that made the cut for the final film. It features all kinds of nudity. Asta Paredes is definitely not shy here. “Pre-Production Hell with Mein-Kauf(Man)” is almost 10 minutes. It shows the cast & crew doing rehearsals in a funeral home for the production. They are all working hard to prep this independent feature. Lack of sleep & trouble finalizing locations makes this an interesting watch from behind the scenes. “Special (Ed) Effects” is a little over 7 minutes. It’s a inside look into the special fx & production design for Return to Nuke Em High. They try to make their schedule work & get whatever they can done with their limited time. Everything from creating some gruesome entertainment to buying a last minute dildo for the movie. “Cell-U-Lloyd Kaufman: 40 Years of Tromatising the World” is a little over 2 minutes. They pay tribute to the legendary film maker with various clips, photos, & quotes. Architects of Fear “Edison Device” music video. It has a “Teaser Trailer” for “Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Volume 2”. It has a few “Trailers” for some Anchor Bay releases. I love the artwork for this blu ray, it has a green case which is really cool. You can stream it on Troma Now also. It’s still available everywhere, CHECK IT OUT!!!!