13) Return To Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1
Starting off my list is a film from 2013 that I was able to screen at the NYC Horror Film Festival, as the night quickly spiraled into insanity after Troma took over Tribeca cinemas. Hitting upon the very essence of what makes B-Movies such a treat, Return To Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1 is everything we love about Troma’s insane style, but there’s also a sense of gritty nostalgia as we return to Nuke ‘Em High for another Cretin-filled adventure. There’s blood, guts, goo, gigantic phallic symbols – like I said, everything you’d expect from Troma.
The real surprise is how satirically funny and gleefully well-acted Lloyd Kaufman’s latest disasterpiece plays, because even though a few lines are a tad forceful in their absurdity, Return To Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1 feels MUCH larger than expected.
Catherine Corcoran and Asta Paredes play a fiery pair of heroines who we genuinely care about, while a goofier performance from Clay von Carlowitz ensures that comedy isn’t lost amidst every crazy kill sequence. Mix in a bunch of reputable cameos and squeamish practical effects that have become a famous Troma staple, and you’ve got one of the year’s most unexpectedly successful genre exploitations.
Nudity, bodily fluids, destruction, musical numbers – Return To Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1 has it all. In my original review, I concluded the following:
Kaufman’s newest high school romp is some of Troma’s best work, right on par with a personal favorite of mine called Poultrygeist: Night Of The Chicken Dead.
12) The ABCs Of Death 2
The ABCs Of Death is a brilliant concept that was met with a mixed-bag result come the first collection of bloody alphabet blocks, but the ride was fun enough and provided ample variety to keep horror fans guessing between each letter. Don’t get me wrong, some letters were absolute duds, and the final twenty six entries were a split 50/50 of highs and lows – a ratio that The ABCs Of Death 2 improves on greatly.
Starting things off is E.L. Katz with “A is for Assassination,” quite possibly my favorite letter next to the original’s “D is for Dogfight.” That’s not to say everything is all downhill from the get-go, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more enjoyable short that mixes pitch-black humor with a gross, relentless death sequence embodying everything Tim League and Ant Timpson want The ABCs Of Death to be.
Other notable shout-outs go to the Soska Sisters, Alejandro Brugués, Marvin Kren, Jerome Sable, and Chris Nash, but compared to the original, there are a TON more winners this time around – so much so that you can focus on only talking about the positive.