Monday, May 25, 2015

Devilman/ Boah

Devil Man /Boah (1987/1989) Directed by Umanosuke lida and Yokoyama Hiroyuki

There are a bunch of Anime titles in the DR catalog that I've sort of avoided, but lately i've been watching a lot of dopey shit from Japan like Johnny Sokko (look for my article in an upcoming issue of Tim Paxton's Monster!) and some Gatchaman and digging it like a madman, so the time is right for me to evaluate an Asian cartoon.

Bunnies and bikechains, not a good mix

Devilman starts off with a bunch of dick head gangsters who pummel Fudoh Akira, a softhearted kid for crying over the death of his adorable rabbits. They whip him with bike chains as he protects his pet (the one that didn't get killed) from harm. His sister Miki-Chan bails him out and they walk around the park. Ryou, Akira's sexist blonde friend pulls a knife on the girl then drives him around in his beat up car. He's not only hates women but he seems to be transgendered. In a flashback they show how Ryou's father was a mad scientist (or archeologist) who chopped off his dog's head and almost stabbed him to death in his sleep. They discover a giant devil mask and once it's on Fudoh's dome, he is transported to the demonic spirit world and it's super fucking trippy, we're talking naked butterflies that spew ectoplasm on dinosaurs and all types of ill shit (to coin a phrase from Don't Be A Menace To Society, While Drinking your Juice in the Hood).

Trip out on this, Boobs with teeth!

They reference Dante's Divine comedy and the myth of Satan trapped under ice, waiting to break out and re-emerge again. Ryou believes his father entered the world of the demons and learned their ways. Next octopus and spider demons show up and attach themselves to his car as snazzy jazz plays (the music is wildly inappropriate-- it sort of reminded me of Woody Allen's Sleeper). In order to fight demons Akira must turn into one, makes sense right? 

They both seem ecstatic about the harsh decision to leave their humanity to rot and then hit a disco to try and possess humans, above all a demon's motto is "abandon all reason, act only on instinct".

A fake Ratt band plays as both humans shred their inhibitions and give into ultra-violence by slicing faces open with a broken bottle (for some reason tons of girls are topless) and toward the end they all burst into giant monsters, ejecting spittle everywhere. One girl's breasts sprout fangs and do the air chomp! Akira transforms into DEMON MAN, which means he had wings on his head and a tail. Even Ryou is nervous that he's created a monster as the Devil creature saws through opposing monsters like wet tissue paper. In the catalog these came without sub titles, which I'd imagine would've been boring as fuck and it's unclear whether more than one episode or if the original cartoon from the 70's was included instead, Danzig is apparently a big fan of the original show (who cares).

Monsters love coke and Disco it's a fact!

This 87 version is a more hardcore violent remake of a 70s Manga, I watched the first original episode and it's very demented for children, but certainly not Deep Red fare. On the tape it comes with the Anime Boah, which I've included in keeping with the spirit of the original intent of the videotape.

Selsun Blue, gives you laser beam hair follicles 

BOAH, 1989 Directed by Yokoyama Hiroyuki
This one starts off like Akira crossbred with Plague Dogs (which sounds better than it is). An adorable girl with a creature perched on her shoulder has telekinetic powers and is stuck on an experimental train.I cant tell what kind of pet she has, it looks like a rabbit/squirrel. Boah is a giant dude with flowing hair in S&M gear similar to Lord Humungous from The Road Warrior. Next he's in plain clothes and gets stabbed by a Rambo style knife, but it doesn't effect him or interrupt his lunch. Things become Boah, which I gather is a genetic tag given to each mutant the evil scientist operates on. It's frightening power happens when it gets mutilated, they show a tiny dog savagely attacked by a lion, don't worry though it gets revenge. Everytime somebody says look out it's a BOAH, I chuckle because it sounds like "Bowel"!

S&M Lion-O

When an assassin stabs Ikiru, it slithers out of his body after he mutates and than the creature dissolves his flesh like melted butter. It turns out Boah is a parasitic worm that feeds off the host, giving it inhuman powers, but it's weakness is that it must be burned to a crisp.

Ikiru's friend is 10 years old and she is also a mutant that assists him in figuring out when the assailants are about to strike and she has an unhealthy fixation on him (their age difference is a major problem).
I'm just as confused as you are

Ikiru looks kind of like Nightcrawler with more purple festive hair and a giant red orb in the middle of his forehead. His little friend is abducted and used as bait by the creeps who injected him with the Boah in the first place. Everytime they think they've bested him, he becomes insanely more powerful. during the last 10 minutes a beefy Indian named Walken battles Boah and is beaten to a bloody husk. The cheesy celebration music sounds kind of like Turn The Beat Around by Vicki Sue Robinson.

Cybernetic Navajo Joe

Anime is a weird genre, it's either too soft, too porny or good and gory (which is obviously the best kind). There's endless amounts of it (just wade through Huluplus for an hour and nearly scratch the surface of what to watch). I saw this on Youtube and the super graphic stuff is not that easy to find, Boah falls somewhere in the middle of cutesy and explicit and it's pretty entertaining. No anime can ever match the impact of Akira in my mind though, that's still my all time favorite. Devilman is pretty great though, I highly recommend Gatchaman and Fist of the North Star as an anime novice. The Wandering Kid (or Urotsukidoji) otherwise known as the Citizen Kane of tentacle rape cartoons is also featured in the catalog (I'm not so sure if we'll get to that one, it's possible). Leave a message in the comment section if you think we should give it the GUTS treatment.

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Neon Maniacs Directed By Joseph Mangine, Starring Clyde Hayes (1986).
--Reviewed By Goat Scrote--

    I hold the USA Up All Night show partially responsible for turning me into the freak that I am today, by exposing me to so many wonderfully low-grade horror films side by side with witty underground gems and brain-dead sex comedies. Neon Maniacs falls into the first category, schlocky horror, but it's way too silly to be frightening.

Archer's hobby is stamp collecting.
Juice is the cutest maniac and he knows it.

   The most horrifying aspect for me is the lite jazz-rock in the soundtrack. The movie demonstrates a level of plotlessness usually found only in Italian horror, but with none of the shock value or stylistic sophistication. In other words, it’s a really dumb movie. I chose Neon Maniacs not because it is one of the best movies they showed, but simply because I have such a vivid memory of watching it as a child on USA Up All Night and laughing my butt off at what I thought had to be the worst movie ever made. (How wrong I was.)

Neon Maniac Samurai has a scorching STD
     It is San Francisco in the middle of the 1980s and there are hideous monsters living under the Golden Gate bridge. Imagine if the Village People were homicidal mutants and you’ve pretty much got the essence of Neon Maniacs. There are something like a dozen of them, each with their own personal theme and unique murder method. They also have their own trading cards for some reason, which go from “near mint” to “blood-soaked” when an early-rising fisherman stumbles across the lair of the maniacs in the opening scene.

live action version of Garbage Pail Kid's New Wave Dave.

     A roster of maniacs is given in the end credits, which is helpful because there are just so goddamned many of them. It’s like trying to keep track of those fucking dwarves in “The Hobbit”. There’s Ape, Archer, Axe, Decapitator, Doc, Hangman, Juice, Mohawk, Punk Biker, Samurai, Slasher, Soldier, and a creature they named Scavenger. Personally I prefer the name Tiny Reptile Cyclops, it’s much more descriptive.

Punk Biker is the moody, misunderstood rebel of the group.
    The maniacs come out at night and kill everyone they find. Having sex in Golden Gate Park is hazardous at the best of times, but with these things on the loose, herpes drops several notches on the worry scale. A large group of teens is slaughtered. A lone survivor tells her story to the police. The whole “skeptical police” subplot takes up a lot of screen time but ends up having pretty much no effect on the story.

I know monster spunk when I see it. Call the Special Victims Unit.

     A plucky young tomboy with TV-reporter ambitions investigates the incident. She discovers the lair of the maniacs and their weakness: They are water-soluble. A well-timed rainstorm helps her escape, but her footage of the monsters is ruined and she has no proof.

Ape is just looking for the right lady to settle down with.

     Several of the maniacs take cover in the subway, where they hunt the survivor of the first attack and her boyfriend. They also track the plucky tomboy back to her home, but she knows their weakness and uses the power of tap water to destroy her attacker. The three survivors get together and plot a way to stop the killings.

We're white and outta sight.

     The final half hour of the movie takes place at a battle of the bands at the local high school. They linger on this awesomely 80s musical competition, featuring preppy soft-rockers versus poofy-haired, spandex-clad hard-rockers. After a really unnecessarily long time, all that noise draws in the maniacs.

He's a neon maniac, maniac on the floor...

     The audience has been provided with squirt guns. This would be a great plan except that everyone panics and runs instead of spraying the bad guys. There’s a good old-fashioned soccer-mob trample which probably kills more people than the monsters themselves.

A very motley crew.

     The tomboy saves the day when she grabs a firehose and starts decapitating maniacs with it. There’s another big chase through the halls of the school, and then the survivor girl and her boyfriend start making out in the chem lab and the evil mutants just leave. Okey dokey, whatever.

Mohawk gave up a career as an investment banker to fulfill his dream of becoming a neon maniac.
     The police and fire department finally intervene and search the evil lair, but the surviving maniacs are nowhere to be found. The head police detective stays behind alone and gets munched because the searchers were a bunch of incompetent twits, or maybe the maniacs are just really good at hiding.

But... I never got to see... Mount Rushmore... *gurgle*
     I am left with many unanswered questions. What’s the difference between a regular maniac and a neon maniac, anyway? Why does each one have a sex-dungeon cosplay theme? What motivates them to kill? Why would creatures like this even exist? Furthermore, why would they live a few feet away from the Pacific Ocean in a very rainy part of the world when they have the same weakness as the Wicked Witch of the West?

I'm melting! Dorothy, you bitch!

     The only explanation provided by the film comes in the form of one sentence intoned like an ancient prophecy before the credits: “When the world is ruled by violence, and the soul of mankind fades, the children’s paths shall be darkened by the shadows of the neon maniacs.” What the fuck is this, open mic poetry night at the coffee shop? It seems like there really should be more backstory than that. Maybe they were saving it for a sequel. Alas, the true origin of the Neon Maniacs will forever remain an enigma!

Stop hitting on my girlfriend, Toto.

Saturday, May 9, 2015


Dr. Alien (I Was A Teenage Sex Maniac) Starring Billy Jacoby, Directed by David DeCoteau (1989).

Judy Landers, the never nude, apparently gets naked in this USA UP ALL NIGHT and cutout bin favorite, well not exactly (stick around and we'll discuss this a little bit later). There's more celebs crammed into this floating space turd than a very special episode of Hollywood Squares!

SHEESH, It sure was a gas!

Billy Jacoby (or now Billy Jayne for some unknown reason) has been in almost every magical 80's film or TV show, just check out his resume on IMDB. Here, I'll name two that would have the most impact on anyone who grew up during that time period, Beastmaster and "The Bishop of Battle" segment of Nightmares, seriously that's all you need and he was also famously in Just One of the Guys!

OOps, my brain wiener came out and I pooped my pants

Jacoby plays Wesley, a total fucking dweeb. At the breakfast table as his family talks about his grades in College, there's a cereal box that spoofs this director's notorious dud Creep'o Zoids, actually I thought this was a clever joke! I'm not sure why I've waited this long to see this movie, I think the stupid cover box scared me off (and sadly I never got to see it on the USA channel). Wesley has a cool dude Stiles from Teenwolf type buddy who tries to convince him to get it on already and date some babes! Coincidentally, Stuart Fratkin as Marvin in this film, actually played Stiles in Teen Wolf Too-- talk about perfect casting!

Shasta, the only soda that makes werewolves choose you as their wingman

Judy Landers plays one sexy biology teacher named Mrs. Xenophobia, which could be taken two ways, had this been a Stand and Deliver type teacher in the ghetto situation, her name literally means "Fear of Immigrants" which would take on an entirely hilarious connotation, but thankfully she is an actual alien, so I guess she must be afraid of herself.

I'm filled with seething hatred for my own kind

She prattles on and on about ejaculation (I guess it's time these 40 year old teens learn about sex ed, am I right)? On the Mr. Skin site, they classify this as sexual (no actual nudity, but apparently she shows one single boob in Armed And Dangerous, if anyone cares).

Wait, does this count as nude, taking off my face?

Wes meets Drax (Raymond O' Connor), Mrs. Xeno's lab assist who looks kind of like Otho from Beetlejuice, only more pint sized and bug eyed. The geeky teen shows up after class because he has the hots for the teacher and wants extra credit. Landers pulls out a Herbert West style neon green syringe and stabs him in the butt. I've heard cases of teachers giving blowjobs to their underage students or getting impregnated by them in the news lately, but this is crossing the line! The shot actually causes Wes to sprout a dick out of the top of his head! 

If you're up there, where are my balls?

Soon after Mrs. X, fully dressed by the way, proceeds to hump her guinea pig student. If you've read my review for Hellhole, then you might remember how Judy Landers suffers from the same condition that befell Tobias Funke from Arrested Development. I like how when he becomes a cool guy, Wes says to his parents, "Sorry I gotta run, no time to eat", does that mean Bulimia is cool, not funny movie! 
Wait, I can't hear you, I forgot how to turn off that scrambler

The cute United Fruitcake Outlet girl from Repo Man played by Olivia Barash is Leaanne, Wes' love interest. He tries to impress her with his new open chested popped white collared shirt look. He gets into a drag race with a jock, both of them have the totally wrong vehicle to be involved in a car chase. The incidental music sounds like if Freddy Mercury went solo and tried to imitate Bobby McFerrin.

As Wes and Leanne go to make out spot, Mrs. Xeno and her assistant hide in the next car wearing hipster shades (the kind Mr. Shoop from Summer School convinced his students to order). The brain boner seems to make girls horny because Leaanne forces herself on him. You'd think the pineal gland in From Beyond would have the same effect, but that deformity only makes you want to suck brains out of eye sockets.

Where we're going we don't need roads or pants

When we do get to see actual nudity it's in the form of awful breast implants (Sorry Julie Grey, I hope you've gotten them fixed since). Linnea Quigley and Ginger Lynn also show their boobs too (but haven't we seen enough of them)? 

You mean you replaced Herbert West's secret formula with Anti-Freeze? Uh oh!

The brain penis finally reveals himself to its owner (why it waited half the movie is anyone's guess). This strangely enough was the least believable part for me, among an ocean of ludicrous scenarios, because whenever the head dick pops out he never noticed it before--I'm not buying it, but I guess it's too late and it doesn't matter anyway. 

Ello Gov', Wink Wink, Say No More!

The highest masturbatory fantasy that's been in almost every straight male's subconscious happens when Wes shows up in the girl's locker room and they all get topless and try to bone him. See all you gotta do is grow a brain penis and all your dreams will come true!
This dude doesn't care about the locker fuck fest though, all he wants to do is impress one girl, Leanne of course. How can he land an honest girl, when all he does is cheat?

His radical buddy comes up with the "genius" plan to have him start a cool rock band to impress her with a rag tag bunch of rockers (one is named Slash, but doesn't wear a top hat). The name of their band is The Sex Mutants (I guess because Alien Sex Fiend was taken). For some reasons the way Billy Jacoby's hair is feathered, it reminded me of the cheeseball look of T.S.O.L.'s lead singer Jack Grisham (which is a band I like by the way).


One of my favorite lines in Dr. Alien when Leanne finds her stupid boyfriend surrounded by groupies is "What happened, Did you start taking asshole pills"? 

Mrs. Xenophobe finally reveals her true face (which is on the box cover, SPOILER ALERT, JEEZ)!
I actually enjoyed this movie, why it's not helmed as a fun 80's classic over the flavorless Earth Girls Are Easy is beyond me!

This flick is available on an overpriced VHS tape on Ebay, or you can join Charles Band's streaming site and see it over there. 


Friday, May 8, 2015

USA UP ALL NIGHT WEEK: Nightmare Beach

Nightmare Beach, Starring Nicolas De Toth, Directed by Umberto Lenzi (as Harry Kirkpatrick) (1988).

When I saw that Umberto Lenzi directed this film, which was shown in the mid 80's on cable TV, I was flabbergasted! Finally Italian Horror and Beach Party movies were united, possibly the perfect link between the DR catalog and the Gottfried/ Shear connection! Lenzi of course is second banana to Deodato on the Cannibal throne, (he never made a movie set on the beach, but he did make a total shit bomb slasher set in the wilderness called Body Count). We've extensively covered Lenzi's work before with Nightmare City, Eyeball, Doomed to Die (or Eaten Alive), Black Demons (or Demons 3) and the mother of all Jungle tragedy flicks, Cannibal Ferox (which we've yet to review oddly enough)! Both Skunkape and I saw it before Cannibal Holocaust, fell head over heels and became infatuated with Giovanni Lombardo Radice (aka John Morghen) and the Italian cannibal genre of the 70's and 80's. Morghen and Lenzi famously hated each other (listen to him trash Umberto in our interview on Youtube for more chuckles). 

John Saxon, who acted opposite John Morghen in the total classic Cannibal Apocalypse is even in Nightmare Beach! So strap on your motorcycle helmet and lets hit the fucking waves!!!

The first thing I noticed about Beach is how the sound drops off when they flick the switch of the electric chair (maybe they forgot to pay the sound guy)? There's an awful, putrid opening song by some joker named "Kirsten" that plays over the credit montage. Later on, there's dumptruck loads of glam rock (featuring one song written by Dio), also Claudio Simonetti (who ToG readers are very familiar with) did the incidental music which ended up on Evil Tracks along with his other Miami-Sploitation score for Primal Rage. Another exploitation character actor I'm fond of besides the always reliable Saxon, is Michael Parks who's appeared brilliantly in everything lately (he was just in TUSK). Parks was in almost all the recent Tarantino flicks, but one of my favorite roles was as the scumbag garment dealer in Death Wish 5.

Parks and Saxon, a buddy cop drama coming soon to the El-Rey network

His character in this one has a great line about Spring Break being the "annual migration of the idiot". This disgruntled morgue worker is pissed off because he's the mortician who has to sew up all the dead "Breakers".

Skunkape and I also grew up in South Florida and this flick has some primo 80's Spring Break footage that almost rivals Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise. All the kids wear acid washed denim (not as much as Flesheater of course, no movie on the planet can top that)!

Don't scuff my motorscooter bro!

A cute hitchhiker gets burnt up on the back of a motor-scooter--we're talking Kentucky Fried, as the driver pushes a button and BLAMMO, her face totally melts!

Set the bike fryer to extra crispy

The cops are tailing Satanic gangs who defile graves and J. Saxon stares down a greaseball gang called The Demons. The soundtrack is all Y&T, Sammi Hagar sounding clones, can this movie be anymore entertaining?

Good times just get better with the tepid flavor of Miller High life

The two main dudes are named Skip and Ronnie, they're famous football players out on vacation. Ron (Rawley Valverde) is a total party animal, but Skip (Nicolas De Toth) seems like a complete square, he refuses condoms, passes on beer and might be gay (it's too early to tell).

Brighten up that smile with new Colgate electrolysis

This one surfer dude robs a couple of babes after they freak out over a shark attack (which turns out to be a guy holding a plastic fin underwater). That scene reminded me of the Simpsons episode when Homer gets scared by Bart, yelling "Ahhhh Shark boy!" If you're looking for gratuitous 80's Ft. Lauderdale wet T-shirt contests, then look no further than this flick! There's tons of Florida-sploitations that we've covered, but this one might be just as good as Plankton (one of my favorites)! 


Ronnie prowls the streets looking to as he puts it "Bump short hairs", while his boring pal Skip, shakes his head at all the debauchery. The Demons end up beating on Ronnie, but the serial killer (who's unrelated to the gang) involuntarily finishes the job for them, detonating him to a cinder.

This movie makes it seem like Spring Breakers are constantly getting robbed, while they over indulge (which seems accurate). There's this one "GATORS" dud who constantly yells just that (later on he gets arrested for being too rowdy). Skip continues to hang out at more wet T-shirt contests, but this time looking for his buddy, I guess you just cant avoid the sin of the Sunshine State. Oh yeah I should probably mention the pig faced motel owner who drills a peep hole and spies on hookers and their johns, one client is the ginormous fat guy featured in Aladdin and Miami Cops, who I couldn't find a screen credit for, you'll know him when you see him.

It's Rick Ocasek's cousin Griff Ocasek!

The look of the biker maniac reminds me of the killer in Night School, which is a Warner Archives "Video Nasty" that I'm sorry to say should've stayed buried. This film however is a laugh riot and should be available on a Criterion style DVD with extras! Shout Factory, pick this one up now!

I don't know what you've heard, The Buxton's are not thieves!

Skip hooks up with a pretty bartender played by Sarah Buxton, who even invites him in for coffee, but he refuses (and he doesn't even bite his hand ala- Lenny and Squiggy over it, like he should--I mean this girl is super hot)!

Both Parks and Saxon's characters are totally corrupt and don't even care about the murders, they even leave Ronnie's corpse in a ditch and prevent Skip from solving the crime. It's hard to believe that Umberto Lenzi made this film and even wrote it, it's one of his most coherent films (with his others there's this suspension of logic that you use to make it through, here there's no need it actually makes sense)! I was shocked at how accurate the Florida stereotypes were and inside jokes, well done sir! 

The fire effects and choice of videogame music (most likely by Simonetti) while gruesome deaths happen, make it pretty hilarious. There's this weird Reverend character played by Lance LeGault (A-Team, Stripes), who lurks in the background--he seems a likely suspect. They show what kind of weirdo Saxon's police character is when the teens sneak into his house and find his S&M gear and murder evidence photos in his dresser drawer. 

Shitty Florida classic rock station Zeta 94.9 sponsors a terrible hair band, there's some prime FL eye candy for people who grew up in that swampy climate though and can relate to the ridiculousness. I like how one character goes to consistently extreme lengths to pull a prank (stabbing his fake hand at a bar, putting on zombie makeup and playing dead) until he finally ends up "real" dead!

The ending isn't that big of a surprise, but it did remind of how Italian Horror auteurs like Fulci have goofed on Jason Voorhees, saying he's a Fanatical religious villain trying to rid the world of sex drugs and rocknroll! I highly recommend this film, it's so much fun, the only flaw I could see was the question of Skip's sexuality, because him and Gail never actually get it on and every time an opportunity arrives, he kind of dodges the situation. Other than that, everything was perfect, loved every minute of this trash fest!



Thursday, May 7, 2015

USA UP ALL NIGHT WEEK: Dr. Terror's Nukem High Retrospective!

Class of Nukem High 1,2 and Return (1986,91,2014) Directed by Lloyd Kaufman/ Richard Haines, Donald G. Jackson and Kaufman again.
Crank here with a little intro, Doc Terror was nice enough to pitch in this article that really shows the influence or mind tendrils that infected late night cable viewers in the mid 80's, before the internet decimated it all and here with a site like this we get to rehash all the memories all over again (conveniently). I hope you've enjoyed this week of trash and make sure you read his blog and Thanks again and take it away Dr. T!

A confluence of influences have brought me to the strange place where I feel compelled to discuss Class of Nuke ‘Em High as it was show on USA Up All Night. About a year ago Shawn Savage of The Liberal Dead asked me if I wanted to take part in a retrospective series featuring films shown by our favorite horror hosts of yesteryear. I went Commander USA. He went Up All Night and in the end we didn’t do a goddamn thing with the idea because we simply got too busy (read that lazy).


Enter a week ago when I stood in the same room as Gilbert Gottfried at Chiller Theater in New Jersey. I looked over at his line, and thought to myself, “I wish that were Rhonda. I’d be on that line. I’d have her sign my boobs”. I enjoy Gilbert, but the thought of hearing his voice in person actually inverted my Rhonda-derived boner. I laughed quietly to myself, realized everyone was staring at me and then preceded to watch William Katt discuss Naked Obsession (reviewed here) to comedic and uncomfortable intent. Combine all that with just having received Class of Nuke ‘Em High 2 in the mail to review, and some kind of strange synchronicity must be at work. I suppose living in New Jersey should force me to discuss Tromaville daily, but since it hasn’t and since I have only seen one nuclear plant in my tenor in Jerz, I can only assume that’s where the subhumanoids live.  

Don't drink the water!

You’d think that I would want to discuss Class of Nuke ‘Em High 2. I have to review it anyway, and Up All Night showed it the very same night they showed the original. Truth is that I feel a strong connection to the original and not to the sequel (or third installment). Furthermore, Up All Night showed them in reverse order in 1992 and it feels like an injustice was met upon a film that should be staple programming if you live in the garden state.  Rhonda and co. were at the American Film Market and interviewed select members of the Troma team from licensing exec to Tromette, everyone gets a shot at Shear. The witty banter and classic punny humor that ensues is perfect for Troma who plies themselves as the good natured underdog of the independent film world. They love boobs. They love merchandising and really selling a product that is unique; products that are Troma and not the thing of Hollywood leftovers or imitation. That should make it ironic that we are discussing a movie that pulls together some of the stereotypes used in Hollywood filmmaking in the 1980’s, many invented in the sex comedies that gave Lloyd Kaufman his start.

We're The Youth of Today!

Let’s enter Nuke ‘Em High, a typical 80’s high school filled with the usual cast of characters. From pre-Zach Morris preppy to mondo bizzaro mega nerd, from gang o’ hoodlums pierced in anti-MRI protest to sickly sweet teachers that crumble up No Doz and drip it in their eyeballs between periods. This is a school of stereotypes taken straight out of your favorite sex comedy. Kaufman having directed Squeeze Play early on in his career new how to take this formula and modify it to his gross, Alka Seltzer driven vomitory purposes. You can take any sex comedy from the 70’s or 80’s and you’ll find perfect similarities to early Troma horror features. That’s why they resonate so well with an audience. The anti-sex, oversexed and mutually assured gore that can only be seen in unregulated, independent cinema must get the in eyeballs to be believed. Simply by putting a familiar group in front of the lens, we don’t need characters developed. We can watch the movie for important reasons like tits and oversized cocks.

The basic gist is that a nuclear power plant next to Tromavilla High School has a reactor leak that goes uncontrolled for an extended period of time. The leak gets into the water supply and oozes up from under the high school causing strange mutations in both the changing, hormonal bodies of the students and their bodily fluids. The battle for Nuke ‘Em High is for student safety, freedom from toxic contamination and a creature feature battle that has hallmarks of Deadly Spawn. What you end up with is part monster movie, part enviro-horror, part body horror to rival any Cronenberg classic (at least in ideology and not in prowess of filmmaking), part teen coming of age story and all Troma. Clearly this pales in comparison to the one note, found footage, exorcismatic, possession fests of today, but back in the day we need storylines within our storylines to get through even a minute of techno-colored, Aquanet trash.

From film cans modified into Uranium containers, painted yellow and orange to an overuse of warning signs and pro-nuclear sentiment signage, the point of the movie is to make you think just long enough to get you not thinking about just how silly the premise is. By the time you’ve watched a suicide attempt in front of the student body, you’re too busy watching green foam emit from all points of entry and exit on a student’s body, the site of which is pure prankster but very effective (unless you’ve watched Street Trash). Let’s take all the students that we’ve come to fit into nice, familiar boxes and then do crazy shit with them like put them in a bikini frat party wearing an overabundance of Nike apparel, drinking sun tan lotion. Let’s get them to fuck after getting an “atomic high” on pot laced with toxic waste. You’ll never guess what happens when our “hero” gets morning wood the next morning during a wet dream.  Hint: that atomic cock puts John Holmes to shame. 
It gets the ladies real hot!

Class of Nuke ‘Em High has some low budget effects that make the film feel perfectly cheeseball. You’re expected to laugh at Nuke ‘Em High and all Troma films. They aren’t meant to scare you. They are meant to be entertaining flicks filled with the naughty bits your mom and dad warned you about or told you to confess to when you made your first communion. You’re able to ignore a neck flap of latex jumping around on an actor’s neck as he writhes about because you are meant to laugh.  Yes, that’s facial hair growing out of the tip of that guy’s nose. Yes it looks ridiculous, but at least you remember it for being ridiculous. Don’t try this at home kids. Plot does not sell movies. Green ooze sells movies.  Nuke ‘Em High received a remake by Troma in 2013 called Return to Nuke ‘Em High. So aware of the disdain for remakes Troma was, that they made fun of themselves for updating the movie for a more modern audience who needed sex with their hip diet trend. Rather than set up Return for a sequel, they simply subdivided the movie into two parts, saving themselves from the shame of creating another shitty sequel as they did with the first picture. 

The music is fantastic and was recently released on vinyl via Ship To Shore Phonography Co. It’s a colorful release that features original artwork based on the film. The main theme of the movie is sure to stick out as classic “horror song with the horror movie’s title” fare, a particular weakness of mine.
For this discussion I reviewed the Arrow Video Blu-ray. 

The version you would have seen in 1992 on Up All Night would have been cut to ribbons as would have been necessary. I remember when this aired though not much sticks out from my original viewing of these movies save for a few Toxic Crusaders toys in the Troma suite at the American Film Market and the post-coital wakeup wood sequence, but in revisiting the movie and Up All Night segments I am reminded of the educational importance of a displaying movie with a horror host. You need context. You need to understand the industry or players behind the scenes to appreciate a picture. Before there were DVD extras, we had charismatic hosts with boobs to guide us through the libraries of shit and shinola. And yeah, maybe I cranked a few out to Rhonda while I was waiting for the movie to start again, but that’s better than cranking one out to infomercials for spray-grass at 2am. 

You can enjoy the original Up All Night featuring Class of Nuke ‘Em High 1 and 2 here: (LINK)
The aforementioned vinyl release of the soundtrack is here (though it is sold out): (RECORD LINK)

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