The film is pretty stupid in an apparently good way. The whole thing is made up of stupid characters who are stupidly unaware of the happenings around them. An example of this would be how no one realized for months that the school's honours society went from being respectable citizens to the drug-dealing gang The Cretins when the power plant started up. Or, how the garden that grows weed really fast is surrounded by toxic waste. Or how when the nuclear plant workers begin dropping like flies, their co-workers ignore them and go about their own business. Throw in some other juvenile and politically incorrect humour, and the film becomes one of 'those' things you're to laugh at.
The other laugh factor comes in the form of the cheap gore. A few minutes after establishing what plot there is at the start of the film, we get the first cheap gore courtesy of a nerd spewing and squirting green gunk, jumping out of a window and having his head melt. Then there's the punching down someone's throat and into their chest, punching through someone's head, a head twisted off and other questionably-executed effects. They aren't all cheap, I have to admit. The monster effects are actually pretty well done from the glimpses we get of the critter, but I think that's where most of the budget went.
I tried to avoid being biased in this review, but in spite of that, there are some things I can't let go. The film screams the 80s, and is so badly dated that it's embarrassing. The editing is pretty choppy, too. One minute we're in an alley fight, the next we get an over-the-shoulder view of one of The Cretins' members riding on his bike in a junkyard. Of course, the lack of a plot, crappy acting and crappy effects with that trademark Troma humour won't appeal to everyone, either. As I said before, it's like the film's trying too hard to be funny. Maybe I'm just not in the mood. Maybe I have no sense of humour. I don't know, but I didn't laugh once.
Once everything went to hell, CLASS OF NUKE 'EM HIGH isn't one I'd see again, nor has it changed my view on Troma films in general. The film has a sense of humour reminiscent of a South Park/Beavis & Butt-head mashup (which limits the audience already, and yes, I'm a fan of the latter) and a look that's horribly trapped in the 80s. That said, if you're a fan of Lloyd Kaufman and his Troma troupe, then it doesn't matter what I say. If you haven't seen anything Troma-related before, I'd be reluctant to recommend seeing the fim, but you might, might, get a kick or two out of seeing it. Just beware the automatic weapons and cow bone.
Audio: The only sound option included is a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix, which sounds thin in spots and isn't much for channel movement (plus the audio noise is pretty apparent in spots), but the dialogue is clear. Subtitles would've been a nice addition, in this case.
A lot of the extras from the old DVD have been ported over, starting with the audio commentary by co-director Lloyd Kaufman. Strangely, main director Richard W. Haines is nowhere to be found, but can you blame him? Kaufman is entertaining and informative as a solo commentator, and doesn't shy away from saying that Haines was 'over his head' with the project. Still, Kaufman goes over a wide array of topics, including the idea behind the film's story (Three Mile Island), shooting locations, information on many of the folks involved in the film, the effects work and more.
Next up are seven Deleted Scenes in 480p full frame. Nothing really surprising, other than the fact that the quality is almost as good as the film's transfer. A nice inclusion, for sure.
Class Of Nuke 'Em High Sweethearts is a five minute piece with Jennifer and Robert Prichard who worked on the film. The two met while auditioning for and shooting THE TOXIC AVENGER, and wound up working on this film as well. They eventually married, and the rest is history.
The Man Who Made The Nuclear Power Plant is an interview with the camera man (really FX artist Theo Pingarelli), albeit a brief one that doesn't go into much detail about anything.
Following that are a couple of 'Tromatic Extras', starting with a PSA starring everyone's marble-mouthed metal singer, Lemmy from Motorhead talking about hermaphrodite discrimination, intercut with your typical PSA skit by two 'hermaphrodites' (played by Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park fame). Funny, in a weird way (if only because it's Lemmy doing the PSA).
Vintage Troma is a handheld fifteen minute interview with Kaufman shot in an office where Kaufman watches an uncovered tape of a Troma employee taking a whiz on-camera on company property, and commenting on whether the whole thing is real or staged. A head scratcher.
Radiation March is a minute-long piece involving dancers in spandex and shades doing a 'march' involving kids in yellow spandex. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be poking fun at something or not, but it's dumb.
Troma T&A has a Tromette of the week stumbling through lines about philosophical matter, while split-screen footage plays of her playing with her boobs. Eventually, she takes her top off and does the same boob-playing. She's cute, but not my type.
Finally, there's the film's fullframe theatrical trailer, as well as bonus trailers for SURF NAZIS MUST DIE, THE TOXIC AVENGER, COMBAT SHOCK, TROMEO & JULIET, THE LAST HORROR FILM and SGT. KABUKIMAN NYPD. Overall, aside from the commentary, there's really nothing incredibly informative regarding the film, nor is there input from director Richard W. Haines.
One thing that really annoyed me about the extras: after each one finished, it went back to the main menu, but only after playing the 10-second intro to the main menu each time.