Horror Movie Review: Class of Nuke ‘Em High (1986)

One of the most famous of the Troma Entertainment library (along with the Toxic Avenger), The Class of Nuke ‘em High is a horror comedy with buckets of slapstick gore.

An accident at a nuclear power plant sees radiation seep into the water supply for a local high school which is situated nearby. The plant is a poorly run & dangerous place to work but the leak is covered up by the plant owner who has golden lines such as “I couldn’t give a wet fart”.

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The leak causes a nerdy student to react violently to his class mates before dying in gruesome fashion. Elsewhere a violent gang known as ‘The Cretins’ stalk the corridors of the school attacking anyone & everyone they see. They also deal drugs to students & start passing off radioactive marijuana grown near to the nuclear plant.

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The drug is smoked by Warren & Chrissy, a young couple at a party who end up having wild sex afterwards. That night they have disturbing dreams about being mutated & Chrissy ends up spitting up a monster baby into the school toilet. She flushes it down the toilet where it gets into more radioactive waste & mutates into a bigger monster intent on killing everything within the building.

Meanwhile Warren attacks the Cretins while in a radio-active rage killing a few of them. The surviving Cretins are expelled from the school but wanting revenge take the principal hostage, evacuate the building & trick Warren into coming to rescue Chrissy.

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Amazingly the story with Nuke ‘Em High has a hell of a lot going on, it’s not just a horror movie about a radioactive mutant. In fact it only comes into play in the final moments of the movie with the rest being made up of the goings-on of Warren/Chrissy, the Cretins & reactions to the radio-active joint. It can be a bit slow in places & you’ll really have to suspend all sense of disbelief if you’re to go along with this group of social outcast’s even bothering going to school let alone being allowed past the front door.

The group are the highlight of the movie though with unique looks, funny behaviour & a growing sense that all they need is a firm hug & a clip around the ear to sort them out. They have many great scenes with the Star – Spangled Banner recital being a particular high point.

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That being said they are also some of the cheesiest actors in the entire movie with lines & delivery that will have you groaning out loud. That’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable though, the entire movie is one big cheese-fest so poorly written & acted characters just fit in perfectly, it’s not something you’ll really even notice anymore by the end.

Visually Nuke ‘Em High looks its age, very rough but with effects & gore that still impress. Initially I was concerned that the slapstick nature of the film might see the gore toned down but that passed once the first death occurred. This film doesn’t shy away from flinging blood around.

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The radioactive monster at end is a bit of a let-down but that’s mainly because we only get close-ups of it (This is apparently was because a full suit wasn’t made). It gets to slash & rip through much of the cast but the ending is predictable & a bit disappointing.

One of the better Troma movies I’ve seen, there is a lot to enjoy here provided you can overlook its age & the general silliness.

“I couldn’t give a dry fart”.

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  • Carl Fisher

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Class of Nuke 'Em High
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