Class of Nuke ’Em High (1986)

class of nuke em high poster 1986 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 7/10

Actually a cool creature

Intentionally trashy goofiness style of Troma is a special niche

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Class of Nuke ’Em High

Studio:   Troma Entertainment

Genre(s):   Horror/Comedy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):   December 12, 1986

MPAA Rating:  R

class of nuke em high punks troma

So 1986-edgy

Tromaville High School has a few problems.  When a leak at the nearby nuclear power plant is released in the water system, strange things begin to happen in the school…but that is the least of the students’ problems.  When Chrissy (Janelle Brady) and Warren (Gil Brenton) are given weed tainted by nuclear waste, they find taking their relationship to the next level could prove deadly…plus, a group of former honor students are taking the school hostage.  Things at “Nuke ’Em” High are about to explode!

Directed by Richard W. Haines and Lloyd Kaufman (under the name of Samuel Weil), Class of Nuke ’Em High is a horror-comedy B-Movie.  Produced by Troma Entertainment, the movie has gained a cult following over the years.

All of Troma Entertainment’s shows have a strange tone to them.  Like a John Waters movie, the films revel in their trashiness.  Class of Nuke ’Em High is no different.  It combines this B-Movie nature with comedy and horror and it works if you are a fan of the genre.

class of nuke em high punks principal

The Principle of school is that the Principal is you PAL

The movie really doesn’t have much of a story.  If the nuclear waste leak at the beginning spawned everything, that would make more sense, but you have weed (not part of the spill) and characters already tainted by the waste.  The movie could be about the punks and their transformation, or it could be about the monster, but instead it feels like it is caught in between everything.  It is goofy, disorganized, and totally Troma.

Like most Troma movies, the acting is pretty poor, but some of this is intentional.  The acting style of the movie is over-the-top to match the plot and by encouraging this “trash” aspect of the Troma movies, the acting falls in line with it…but you have to love the totally ’80s punks (and the perception of what was “punk” at the time).

class of nuke em high monster

Say what you will…this creature is actually pretty cool

Visually, the Class of Nuke ’Em High is also cheap looking with one exception.  The movie has to keep the style with the tone and acting so it is understandably low-key and often B-Movie quality in its visuals with cheap sets and props.  The exception would be the monster of the film which actually has a really cool design (and I even this the little tadpole baby is creepy as well).

If you don’t like Troma films, you probably won’t like Class of Nuke ’Em High, but if you like what the studio has to offer, the film is one of their better entries.  It is gross, goofy, and pushes everything past the limit of class and taste…and savors in it.  Class of Nuke ’Em High was followed by Class of Nuke ’Em High 2:  Subhumanoid Meltdown in 1991.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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