Camp classic or total cheese-fest? You decide. Class of Nuke 'Em High is one of those films that you either love or hate. This low budget, poorly acted film is considered to be one of the best offerings from Troma Entertainment whose crowning achievement was The Toxic Avenger (1985). I must confess that I'm not a big Troma fan so here is how I see it:
1) The target audience for this film is definitely adolescent boys. It's a mix of boob shots, gore and bad jokes which is a total home run with this demographic. I tend to like my humor a little more sophisticated so this formula really doesn't work for me [unless it's taken to its absurd conclusion such as Porky's or Revenge of the Nerds from the same era.]
2) The acting is intentionally God-awful. This only works if the movie has a sense of camp about it. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978) is a good example of how to pull this off successfully. I don't think it works as well here. The bad acting in Nuke 'Em High is more annoying that humorous.
3) Special effects can make or break a movie. This is where Class of Nuke 'Em High actually succeeds. It's goal is to totally gross out the audience. All I can say is mission accomplished. For me, its horror sequences are the funniest and most enjoyable scenes in the movie. They feel more like a Road Runner cartoon with a hyper-exaggerated sensibility to them. Nicely done.
So, in conclusion, this high school reprobates meets nuclear power plant saga misses more than it hits. That's not to say that Nuke 'Em High doesn't have a devoted fan base. It's just not my kind of humor.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.