Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Class of Nuke 'Em High Part 2: Subhumanoid Meltdown (1991, Eric Louzil)

Class of Nuke 'Em High Part 2: Subhumanoid Meltdown (1991, directed by Eric Louzil)

Version reviewed: the R-Rated (only) cut on Region 1 Troma Team Video DVD as part of the "Class of Nuke 'Em High: Parts 1, 2, 3 The Complete Spill-ogy" boxset)

Well, it's got a good theme song, I'll give it that. Better than the one in Part 1, at least. Any song that manages to work a title like "Class of Nuke 'Em High Part 2: Subhumanoid Meltdown" into it's lyrics and still sound better than the theme song to the first "Class of Nuke 'Em High" has my esteem.
Also, the footage of part 1 shown in the first few moments here (with a new soundtrack) with the cheesy Troma narrator over the top looks a lot better than the version of part 1 that's out now on DVD.

Other than those two aspects, there's really not much positive I can say about this. Even the footage from part 1, which is nice, is kind of spoiled by the sequels flippant attitude toward the first film - "[radiation] caused them to dance badly", etc. It's just that the first movie was so funny by playing it totally straight, and this non-stop WACKY right out of the gate is tiresome instantly. Plus, it's topped by horrible, horrible music (until the theme song kicks in).

Okay, the plot is something like this. After "...Nuke 'Em High", the Nukamama Corperation (who?) responsible for the shoddy plant melting down next door to the titular high school built a Tromaville Institute of Technology (TIT, geddit?) in the middle of their power plant! So not only is the title a cheat, since this is a college, it also makes so little sense. Buff Brick Bronsky plays a stinky journalist for a campus newspaper, who's convinced something or other is wrong with Nukamama and it's involvement in the school.

The dialogue is pun heavy, and there are lots of silly voices. It's pretty annoying. It does suffer in one way similarly to the other, Kaufman-helmed in-house Troma productions of the time - it seems padded out with editing. I always wondered if "Class of Nuke 'Em High" parts 2 and 3 were filmed back to back - more or less same cast and crew and stupid feel. Another reason it feels similar is due to all the god damn narration. See, that's the big problem here and with "The Toxic Avenger Part 2"...The originals in these series had big special effects sequences and gags around those. In their sequels, the events are shown in brief clips, while the hero talks over it. There was no effort to make a driving narrative through it. There's lots of great looking stuff in the opening credits of this movie, but they're totally ruined by all the talking. It'd be a lot better without the narration.

The sense of humour is retarded. Some scenes, people just get covered in funny coloured goo. They don't melt, they're just having it drip on them. Tonally, it's a total alien to "Class of Nuke 'Em High".

The film definetely looks more polished that 99 % of Troma in-house productions and the model power plant looks convincing most of the time. At the end, the effects become a joke when the man inside the Tromie the Nuclear Squirrel costume picks up people (G.I. Joes). See, this is done as a joke, a while after "Children of the Corn III" actually ended a film, properly, seriously, with a stop motion monster picking up G.I. Joes.
The DVD is one of the best looking Troma has ever released. The print is impeccable and looks better and more expensive than the company's later "Tromeo and Juliet", for example.

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