Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Class of Nuke 'em High (blu-ray review)

Release Date: June 1st, 2010
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, 1080p
Runtime: 1hr 28min
Discs: 1

The Package: Troma has finally released Class of Nuke 'em High on blu-ray (after a month delay) and the package is a mixed bag. Coming to us in a standard blue blu-ray case, the cover art is very attractive, using the same art as the theatrical art. The back is, however, very plain looking. I'm not one to complain about back art, but it just looks a little to sloppy.

The Picture: Troma has delivered a surprisingly good transfer. Framed at 1.85:1 (I was scared that they were going to use a full frame transfer) and presented in 1080p, this transfer is good considering the source material. Colors are bright and vibrant. The print seems to be untouched, meaning that Troma didn't clean it up. I like that they didn't do this, as it adds a film like quality to the transfer. There is no evidence of DNR and the grain level is high. Troma has done a very good job with this transfer.

The Sound: Troma gives us a lossy 2.0 Dolby Digital track. Like the transfer, this track just adds to the Troma experience. Dialogue is clear and the effects are well done. Even though this is not a lossless track, it still is pretty good.

The Goodies: This is the first release that Troma has put out that doesn't contain a wealth of special features. I was kind of disappointed until I realized that quality of the special features makes up for the lack of quantity.

-Audio Commentary: Troma founder Lloyd Kauffman is on hand to guide us through the behind the scenes of Class of Nuke 'em High. Kauffman is always and engaging commentator and this is no different. Kauffman talks about his co-director and gives many stories about the shooting of this movie.

We also get 5 deleted scenes that are not really worth the time other than a scene in which a character has a meltdown after smoking some weed.

Nest up is an interview with two of the co-stars of the movie who feel in love and got married. This interview runs about five minutes and is only mildly interesting.

Rounding out the special features is a pointless two minute interview with the cameraman, a two minute segment of a girl taking her top off, and the usual assortment of Troma trailers

All in all, the special features are a little lacking (save for the outstanding commentary). I was hoping for a little more, being that this is one of Troma's more famous movies, but I can live with it.

The Film: Troma's output in the eighties was staggering, considering how many movies they are able to make now. Troma put out a lot of movies during the eighties and each one of them a different beast.

They started out the decade releasing comedies, but soon they were releasing horror comedies. Their first one, The Toxic Avenger, was a monster hit (pun intended) and with their next release, Class of Nuke 'em High, they took the concept of the horror comedy to a whole new level.

I was very entertained by this movie. I had not seen it in a while and it is just as good as I remember it being. Troma has a way of making things funny that shouldn't be. There is a kind of love in every one of their movies.

Troma is kind of like Pixar, in a way. Like Pixar, Troma makes movies that they want to make and they don't care if the movie flops, they just know that they made a good movie. But unlike Pixar, Troma has yet to sell out. Troma has been around for almost forty years and they make the movies that they want to, instead of just making movies for the hell of it.

Class of Nuke 'em High was followed by two sequels. While they are not as good as the original, they are better than most of the crap that Hollywood puts out. Troma is a true original and I hope they stay that way.

The Scores

The Picture: ***1/2
The Sound ***
The Goodies ***1/2
The Film ***1/2

Overall Score ***1/2 (not an average)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have been away for a while, but within the next few weeks, I will be back.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Seven Coming to Blu-ray This Fall

John Doe is coming to invade your house this September.

Dexter: Season Four is Coming This August

Everyone's favorite serial killer is coming to dvd and blu-ray this August.

Repo Men Announced for DVD and Blu-ray

Repo Men, the movie that shares way too many similarities with Repo! The Genetic Opera, has been announced for dvd and blu-ray. Read more about this release after the jump.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Psycho Hitting Blu-ray in Time for Halloween

Universal has announced Psycho, as a 50th Anniversary Edition, for release on blu-ray on Oct. 19th, 2010. Featuring a 1.85:1 1080p transfer and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack (the original mono is included as well), this release is shaping up to be one hell of a release. The special features include:

-Feature-length audio commentary with Stephen Rebello (Author of Alfred Hitchcock and the making of Psycho)
-The Making of Psycho: A feature-length documentary on Hitchcock's most shocking film
-In the Master's Shadow – Hitchcock's Legacy: Some of Hollywood's top filmmakers discuss Hitchcock's influence and why his movies continue to thrill audiences.
-Hitchcock/Truffaut Interviews: Excerpts from a 1962 audio interview with Alfred Hitchcock.
-Newsreel Footage: The Release of Psycho: Vintage newsreel on the unique policy Alfred Hitchcock insisted upon for the release of the film.
-The Shower Scene: A look at the impact of music on the infamous "shower scene."
-The Shower Scene: Storyboards by Saul Bass: Original storyboard design.
-Production Notes: Read an essay on the making of the film.
-The Psycho Archives: See the gallery of on-set photo stills from the film's production.
-Posters and Psycho Ads: See a gallery of original posters and ads from the theatrical campaign.
-Lobby Cards: View a gallery of promotional lobby cards from the film's theatrical campaign.
-Behind-The-Scenes Photographs: View rare photos showing the cast and crew at work.
-Psycho Sound: A never-before-seen piece that looks at the re-mastering process required to create a 5.1 mix from the original mono elements using Audionamix technology.
-Theatrical Trailer: Watch the original promotional trailer from the film's theatrical campaign.
-Re-Release Trailers: Watch the promotional trailer created for the re-release of the film.

The only thing missing from this release is the Psycho Legacy documentary. As it stands, I fear that we will never see that documentary. Other than that, I am very excited about this release.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

More Corman Coming

Our friends over at The Digital Bits have given me word that Shout! Factory has announced two more Roger Corman movies to be released on dvd and blu-ray on 7/20. I am very excited about these releases and expect them to be the usual bang up job that Shout! Factory is known for.

The Forbidden World: 2-Disc Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray (SRP $19.93 & $26.97) will include a new anamorphic widescreen transfer of the film from the original interpositives (1.85:1, full HD on Blu-ray), the never-before-seen unrated Director's Cut version (1.33:1, in SD), audio commentary by director Allan Holzman, a new interview with producer Roger Corman, interviews with the cast and crew (including Holzman, composer Susan Justin and actor Jesse Vint), a look at the film's special effects (with John Carl Buechler, Robert Skotak, Tony Randal and R. Christopher Biggs), a gallery of stills and poster artwork, the original theatrical trailer and additional New World trailers. On the Blu-ray version, everything will be included on the BD disc except the Director's Cut and audio commentary, which will be on the included DVD disc. 

The Galaxy of Terror: Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray (SRP $19.93 & $26.97) will include a new audio commentary with the cast and crew, 7 featurettes - New World (producer Roger Corman, screenwriter Marc Siegler and director Bruce D. Clark discuss the origins of the film), The Crew of the Quest (actors Robert Englund, Sid Haig, Taaffe O'Connell and Grace Zabriskie discuss their experiences), Planet of Horrors (a detailed look into the creation of the film's memorable sets and alien landscapes), Future King (the cast and crew recall working with then co-production designer James Cameron), Old School (a journey into the complicated mechanical and makeup effects with artists Allan A. Apone, Douglas J. White, Alec Gillis and others) and Launch Sequence (co-editor R.J. Kizer walks us through postproduction and a profile on composer Barry Schrader), the film's theatrical trailer (with commentary from writer/director Joel Olsen, courtesy of, additional theatrical trailers, extensive photo galleries including posters, production sketches and designs and the film's original screenplay. 

 In addition to all that, Shout! Factory has announced that future installments of its Corman line will include Attack of the Crab Monsters, the original Not of This Earth (1957), Piranha (directed by Joe Dante), Humanoids from the Deep (starring Doug McClure and Vic Morrow), Deathsport (starring David Carradine and Claudia Jennings), Battle Truck (released in the U.S. as Warlords of the 21st Century) and more.