As cinematic practitioners of bad taste go, Lloyd Kaufman, one of the founders of the microbudget quasi-studio Troma, is no John Waters. He lacks that director’s Wilde-at-the-grindhouse verbal wit, and in place of Waters’s queer iconoclasm, Kaufman imbues his films with a species of heteronormative New-York-wisenheimer leering.
That said, in “Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High A.K.A. Vol. 2,” a rough-hewed sort-of sequel to 2014’s “Return to Nuke ‘Em High,” Kaufman really does bring the bad taste. Buckets and buckets of it. The opening scene pays homage to the 1976 horror film “Carrie” by … well, you don’t want to know.
The “Nuke ‘Em High” films, like those in the “Toxic Avenger” series, are set in the fictional, and oft-traumatized New Jersey town Tromaville. The byzantine, trivial plot here features high-school lovers Chrissy and Lauren (Asta Paredes and Catherine Corcoran) trying to keep on the down-low, despite the prying of unappealing male internet trolls and radioactive monsters.
There are other issues. “I didn’t think giving birth to a duck would be such an aphrodisiac,” Lauren confesses at one point.
Kaufman plays a local magnate/mad scientist. The picture offers a relentless barrage of toilet humor, haphazard film parodies (the sight of the director naked, channeling a “Silence of the Lambs” character, is unfortunate indeed) and gore effects that are no less repellent for being unconvincing.
This putrid but at times oddly amiable exercise raised questions of an esoteric nature to this reviewer’s mind, such as “Why do all the female extras look as if they’ve been kidnapped from the post-punk club Coney Island High, since that club closed over 20 years ago?” If you too are apt to be diverted by such concerns, you might be amused by this.