Class of Nuke 'Em High

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Class of Nuke 'Em High
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard W. Haines
Michael Herz
Lloyd Kaufman (as Samuel Weil)
Produced by Michael Herz
Lloyd Kaufman
James Treadwell
Written by Lloyd Kaufman
Richard W. Haines
Mark Rudnitsky
Stuart Strutin
Starring Janelle Brady
Gil Brenton
Robert Prichard
Pat Ryan
Music by Ethan Hurt
Cinematography Michael Mayers
Edited by Richard W. Haines
Distributed by Troma Entertainment
Release dates
  • December 12, 1986 (1986-12-12)
Running time
85 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million

Class of Nuke 'Em High, also known as Atomic High School, is a 1986 American science fiction comedy horror film made by cult classic B-movie production group Troma Entertainment. It was directed by Richard W. Haines and Lloyd Kaufman under the pseudonym Samuel Weil. New York holographer Jason Sapan created the laser effects.


The film follows the events that unfold at Tromaville High School in New Jersey, which is conveniently located next to a nuclear power plant. An accident at the nuclear plant is covered up by plant owner Mr Paley who doesn't want the facility shut down by the safety commission. The accident causes a radioactive water leak which ends up gruesomely killing a student at the school after the tainted water reaches the drinking fountain. The gang of the school, called "The Cretins", who were originally part of the honor society, torments the school, and its implied that they have been turned into violent psychopaths by the runoff from the plant. They pick leaves from a radioactive marijuana plant located in the yard of the nuclear plant and sell it to Eddie for $10. At his "indoor bikini beach party" that night, Eddie pressures his friend Warren and Warren's girlfriend Chrissy into smoking the radioactive joint, but it is accidentally ruined by the dancers before anyone else can try it. The mutated drug shows itself to have potent aphrodisiac effects, leading to Warren and Chrissy having sex in Eddie's loft. However, that same night, both of them have disturbing nightmares about hideously mutating, though these effects are seemingly gone by morning. Some time later, Chrissy discovers that she is pregnant, and spits a little monster into a nearby toilet. The creature travels through the water pipes and lands in a barrel filled with radioactive waste, and mutates into a bigger creature. Meanwhile, Warren, tired of the Cretins constant harassment, ends up going on a radiation-fueled rampage, killing two of them, with no memory of the event once he comes to his senses. The Cretins, expelled from the school and cut off from their customer base, assaults the principal and forces him to use the schools Radiation Alarm to cause an evacuation, letting the Cretins bar the building and occupy it. Capturing Chrissy as bait for Warren, the leader of the gang holds her hostage in the basement and plans to kill her in front of Warren, only to be interrupted by the now adult monster.

Warren goes into the school to save her, and he discovers the adult monster, who kills every one of The Cretins. Warren finally zaps the beast with a laser in the physics laboratory, he and Chrissy flee from the school, right after the monster explodes along with the school, also killing Mr. Paley inside. The students celebrate victory as over the loudspeakers that the school will be shut down for remodeling. While reconstruction is taking place, one of the monster "babies" appears squirming through the remains of the destroyed school. The screen freeze frames on the creature as the screen inverts, shortly before fading out and the credits roll


  • Janelle Brady as Chrissy
  • Gil Brenton as Warren
  • Robert Prichard as Spike
  • James Nugent Vernon as Eddie
  • Pat Ryan Jr. as Mr. Paley
  • Brad Dunker as Gonzo
  • Gary Schneider as Pete
  • Theo Cohan as Muffey
  • Rick Howard as Spud
  • Gary Rosenblatt as Greg
  • Mary Taylor as Judy
  • Lauren Heather McMahon as Taru


The film spawned two unsuccessful sequels, 1991's Class of Nuke 'Em High 2: Subhumanoid Meltdown and 1994's Class of Nuke 'Em High 3: The Good, the Bad and the Subhumanoid. A fourth movie was announced in 2000, but it never got past the pre-production stage. The sequels were not directed by either Lloyd Kaufman or Michael Herz, but were produced by them. They were more comedic than violent and had good production values despite the low budget. The sequels marked the first appearance by Tromie the radioactive squirrel. It was announced that Lloyd Kaufman would direct the fourth installment of the series called Return to Class of Nuke 'Em High Vol.1 and Vol.2. On September 27, 2012 a trailer for Return to the Class of Nuke 'em High was released. The film was released on April 7, 2013.


On April 7, 2010, Kaufman announced that he has been contacted about remaking Class of Nuke 'Em High. Kaufman has already confirmed that other '80s Troma classics such The Toxic Avenger, which will have a PG-13 rating and Mother's Day would also receive remakes by other studios.[2] As of 2013, the Toxic Avenger remake has yet to be produced, but a Mother's Day remake was released by Anchor Bay Films in 2011.


Class of Nuke 'Em High has received generally negative reviews, with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 20%.[3]


  1. ^ "CLASS OF NUKE 'EM HIGH (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 1986-08-07. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  2. ^ 'The Toxic Avenger' Remake Confirmed' 2010
  3. ^ "Class of Nuke 'Em High - Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 11 February 2013. 

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