Written by: George Pacheco on July 7th, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: USA, April 12th,1991
Director: Eric Louzil
Writer: Lloyd Kaufman, Carl Morano, Matt Unger, Eric Louzil, Mark Rolling, Jeffrey Sass
Cast: Lisa Gaye, Brick Bronsky, Leesa Rowland
BluRay released: April 14th, 2015
Approximate running times: 95 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: Troma Entertainment
Region Coding: Region Free / NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Gasmasks! Goop! Giant mutant squirrels! This first sequel to the Tromatic classic Class of Nuke ‘Em High possesses all of the elements expected from this flagship of the Troma universe, one of the most popular and enduring franchises for the venerable NYC trash institution.
This sequel wastes no time in recapping the events of the first film, bringing viewers up to speed with what’s going on in Tromaville, as Subhumanoid Meltdown introduces a college campus erected on the nuclear fallout ruins of the original high school. The college science professor-played with camp by Lisa Gaye, who also turns in a commentary track here-is playing around with gene splicing amongst the student body, creating a secret army of “subhumanoids,” to infiltrate and replace their human counterparts.
Don’t try and follow the plot too much here with Subhumanoid Meltdown, however, for this sequel runs fast and loose with narrative cohesion, instead delivering a script full of violence, nudity and in jokes which are guaranteed to please the Troma faithful. Instead, just enjoy the chaos for what it is, as director Eric Louzil and crew tie together tons of fun with an obviously limited budget. The production design here on the film is great, and it’s easy to miss just how many inventive, crazy costumes were created with some very simple materials, glue and determination.
The acting is obviously in the ridiculous style most associated with Troma Films, but it’s nowhere near approaching the dip in quality seen in many of the company’s later films, and Subhumanoid Meltdown falls in line quite nicely with the selections most obviously associated with the Troma legacy, such as The Toxic Avenger, Mother’s Day and Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D. Of course, if you’re not a fan of the Troma reputation for over-the-top grossness and excess, then this Nuke ‘Em sequel will probably leave you cold, but for fans who hold a special place in their hearts for president Lloyd Kaufman’s iconic brand of all American trash, then this Blu-Ray will serve as a solid gold treasure.
Troma’s Blu-Ray of Class of Nuke ‘Em High Part 2: Subhumanoid Meltdown greatly improves upon the presentation last seen from the company’s high def vaults, namely their disc of Rabid Grannies. The anamorphic widescreen picture is bright, colorful and detailed with only very minor instances of print damage popping up at times. The sound quality is also top notch, as the film’s booming punk and metal soundtrack is nicely balanced behind the scenes of mutant carnage.
Extras are up to Troma’s usual high standard, featuring the aforementioned commentary track with Lisa Gaye, who is funny with tons of information and tidbits about the film’s production. There’s also footage of Troma at the Museum of Modern Art, a “40 Years of Troma” celebration from American Cinematheque, as well as an interview with Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, who first got his start over at Troma directing the studio’s Tromeo and Juliet.
All in all, this is a great disc and a worthy upgrade to the fullframe DVD released by Troma a number of years back. Highly recommended!