ReturnNukeHighV1Return to Nuke ‘Em High, Volume 1 (Troma, Blu-ray, DVD), the first feature directed by Troma founder and spokesman Lloyd Kaufman in almost a decade, revives the mutant high school series he launched in 1986. He builds this new chapter quite literally on the ruins of the previous films, with an organic food factory resting on the bulldozed remains of the old nuclear power plant. In the words of guest narrator Stan Lee, “What could go wrong?”

This being a Troma film, you get plenty of gratuitous sex, exposed boobs, radioactive waste, mutant creatures, melting bodies, spontaneous combustion, non-stop fart gags (you can’t get out of a scene without the soundtrack slipping into flatulence), rampant bullying and a student body without the common sense not to eat the glowing green tacos in the school cafeteria. Kaufman has always had an affection for nerds, misfits, and outcast heroes but his romantic heroes this time around are two girls in love and they are easily the most well-adjusted protagonists in his canon. Lauren (Catherine Corcoran), the dizzy rich girl with a runaway pet duck, and social activist blogger Chrissy (Asta Paredes) are opposites whose antagonism quickly heats up into lust, numerous topless scenes, and a mutant rampage that just seems like a bad dream to them.

There really isn’t much of a story here, just a succession of mutant outbreaks and dumb gags that escalate with the spread of the green slime (which, it turns out, is transmitted just effectively through sex as it is through cafeteria food). Kaufman has a fondness for old-style slapstick, the sloppier and stupider the better, and for grotesquely over-the-top effects more gooey than gory. Return to Nuke ‘Em High, Volume 1 is sloppy even by Kaufman’s standards, though, perhaps because he stretched his story out for two separate features instead of cutting it down into a single rapid-fire feature (Quentin Tarantino reportedly advised him to go the two-part route a la Kill Bill, or maybe Kaufman is just tossing out another pop culture riff to justify himself). The finale isn’t so much a cliffhanger as a promise of even more outrageous complications and affronts to good taste to come. But it will satisfy Troma junkies hungry for another Kaufman buffet of bad taste, worse puns, and sticky splatter gags.

With two commentary tracks (one by actors, the other by Kaufman and the production team), three featurettes, and a trailer for Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 2, coming sometime in 2014 to a home video format near you.

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