By Robert Abele
2:15 PM PST, January 16, 2014
The gurgling caldron of Z-grade schlock that has always been outlier film company Troma's point of pride is on full display in the vigorously offensive comedy "Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1."
Part sequel, part update and, well, part part — Volume 2 is to come — this movie revisits the environmental satire of Troma's 1986 "Class of Nuke 'Em High," but replaces that era's nuclear hazard riffing with modern-day fears about contaminated food.
In this case, it's conglomerate Tromorganic Foodstuffs' less-than-safe contributions to the school's cafeteria supply that inspires this story's mutation freakout. But while it takes one unfortunate Taco Tuesday to transform the glee club into homicidal cretins, the movie itself has been a twitching, pawing, braying and gleefully sick creature from the beginning.
Troma fans surely wouldn't want it any other way, which is a way of saying trashmeister director and co-writer Lloyd Kaufman delivers, if your order includes cracks about Jerry Sandusky and high school shootings along with Troma in-jokes and countless movie references.
Elsewhere, there's a semi-sweet lesbian romance between a muckraking blogger (Asta Paredes) and a rich girl (Catherine Corcoran) with a pet duck, and a plot twist that involves sprayable toxic breast milk. At Troma, puke-green is the warmest color.
"Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes. At Laemmle NoHo 7.
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