Director – Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger, Terror Firmer)
Starring – Asta Paredes (The Shadow Scarf, Mummy Cop the Series), Catherine Corcoran (Terrifier, Caeser and Otto’s Paranormal Halloween), and Zac Amico (Amityville: Vanishing Point, Science Team)
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “Readin’…writin’…RADIATION…Again!…Again!”
When I was in high school I dug up the films of Lloyd Kaufman and Troma. It started with The Toxic Avenger and soon was I was in Class of Nuke ‘Em High and other films. My obsession with Troma is what got me started on indie horror. In a weird way, Troma is what shaped my taste in movies. Several years back I reviewed Kaufman’s Return to Nuke ‘Em High and I really enjoyed myself. I couldn’t wait for the sequel but days turned into weeks. Weeks then cycled into months and before long it was a few years since the first film was released.
One day I went to the post office to check the mail when I was surprised to find a copy of Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High aka Vol. 2 waiting for me. I was too excited and tossed it in that very day to check out. Thank you Troma for sending this one my way!
**Spoiler Alert**The film continues to follow lesbian couple Lauren and Chrissy, along with their duck Kevin and their duck/human baby hybrid. They have to stop the evil Lee Harvey Herzkauf and Tromorganic Foodstuffs from poisoning the people of Tromaville. However, it will not be as easy as it sounds with the evil glee club harassing them. **Spoiler alert**
I wanted to love this installment but it just didn’t match the quality as the first film. The first story had me laughing so hard I had to pause the movie to catch my breath. It was absurd and highly enjoyable. Sadly, volume 2 just feels like the remaining film hashed together with various segments and scenes that result in a movie that feels half finished.
The acting in this one is what you would expect from Troma. The characters are unforgettable and the performances are highly entertaining. The entire cast is firing on all cylinders which results in some fun and comical scenes along with some very over the top characters. Classic Troma is alive and well with the characters here.
The story for this one is my biggest hang up. The first film worked because we were expecting a feature length follow up film to give us some closure. We knew there was to be a part 2 sometime later but the part 2 we do get is the remainder of the film split with various segments involving Kaufman breaking the fourth wall and the shitty breaking news segments. I absolutely love Troma but this just did not work. It made the movie feel half assed and incomplete.
Finally, if you want some blood and gore you will damn sure find it here. We get some outstanding practical effects mixed with some visual effects. The practical effects are all stand out but the visuals are inconsistent. Some work while others come off as embarrassing. Overall, Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High aka Volume 2 shouldn’t exist. I would have preferred a longer than normal feature film with the first over this tossed together release. It was mostly fun but it would have been better with the first film without all the added scenes and segments. Troma fans will want this one for their collections but don’t expect the same quality of film as the first Return to Nuke ‘Em High.