Nearly 20 years on from the last film in the series (1994’s Class Of Nuke ‘Em High 3: The Good, the Bad And The Subhumanoid), and Toxic Avenger director Lloyd Kaufman is returning to the world he created with 1986’s cult horror comedy Class Of Nuke ‘Em High.
“I’m directing it, yeah,” says Lloyd Kaufman. “What makes it unique is all the remakes you’ve been reading about, or at least all the remakes I’ve been reading about, are these hundred million dollar, big budget remakes of movies that cost half a million dollars – like the Toxic Avenger, they’re remaking the Toxic Avenger in Hollywood and they’re gonna spend a 100 million bucks on it and they’ve got an Oscar winning producer and all that kind of stuff. The remake of Class Of Nuke ‘Em High will be the very first remake where the remake will cost less than the original movie.”
The original Class Of Nuke ‘Em High, written and co-directed by Richard Haines, is being re-released on DVD and Blu-ray in August by Arrow films, and tells the story of viginial couple Warren and Chrissy whose High School is contaminated by a toxic leak, turning kids into feral gangs, and unleashing mutations on a ludicrious scale. This version, though, is part remake, part sequel – seemingly riffing on the original set-up, but not repeating it.
“It will be a Return To The Class Of Nuke ‘Em High,” Kaufman continues, “so it’s not really a remake – it’s a revisiting. Warren and Chrissy were the protagonists in the original Class Of Nuke ‘Em High, and this new version it’ll be Lauren and Chrissy – the two Gyno-Americans – who will be the protagonists – what you would call girls.
“It’ll be a romantic teenage movie between two girls – we say Gyno-American, because that’s politically correct. Girl in this country is a bad word, woman has the word ‘man’ in it. The political police are trying to get us to use the word ‘gyno’. If they were British they’d be Gyno-British, or Gyno-Brits perhaps. So that will be a major change, and then the themes – I always have political themes in my movies – so the theme will be food/fuel that’s been contaminated rather than nuclear industry.
“I’ve been making movies for over 30 years, since the Sixties, and I’m still scared shitless about Return To Nuke ‘Em High – you’d think after all this time, having been successful at least in completing a lot of movies – we’ve produced over 100 – you’d think I’d be able to say in my head, ‘This movie’s gonna get made, we’re gonna get it done’. But I’m totally freaked out – I couldn’t sleep last night with just the monumental cost of making the kind of movies we make for such a small budget – ‘Aw crud, we have to have a Bollywood dance in this movie, and a trained duck, and New York laws say you can’t have ducks in your house’. You’d think I’d be able to be more professional and more relaxed, but I’m totally just as freaked out now – or maybe even more so – than I was in late Sixties!”