Class Of 1984

"Very Good"

Class Of 1984 Review


Although Class of 1984 is dated -- literally -- it remains one of the most fun and most gleefully trashy high-school-is-hell flicks of all time. Foul language, gratuitous violence, and tight leather pants abound, and with a nice big splash of bloody revenge for a climax, the movie is ultimately irresistible. This is more than a blackboard jungle. It's a blackboard war zone.

New music teacher Andrew has arrived at a very dangerous inner-city high school with hopes of inspiring students to new heights of excellence. Fat chance in a school that's under constant threat from a small but wonderfully stylish and truly threatening gang led by the charismatic Stegman (Timothy Van Patten). It just so happens that he's a talented musician, but he's also a psychopath, and that side of his personality is the dominant one. Van Patten is extremely effective and really scary as Stegman. The fact that the movie has a cult following to this day is due mainly to his performance.

Andrew tries to make nice with Stegman and his cronies, but his advances are met with derision and later violence. Even Andrew's pregnant wife Diane (Merrie Lynn Ross), supposedly safe at home, will know the gang's wrath before this horror show ends.

Also meeting an ugly fate is a very young and pleasantly plump Michael J. Fox, a nerdy school band member named Arthur (natch) who gets a knife in the gut when Stegman tries to reassert his authority in the hallways. This cinematic Trivial Pursuit moment is well worth the price of a rental. Take that, you chubby nerd!

The movie's other truly memorable moment involves the late, great Roddy McDowell as Mr. Corrigan, the biology teacher. The horrors of this high school have done a number on Corrigan; as the movie progresses he goes perfectly berserk. In a climactic scene he decides to teach his science class while pointing a loaded pistol at his students. The punishment for a wrong answer: Blammo! Personal aside: When I saw this movie on the big screen as a teen back in 1982, I thought this was just about the coolest -- and funniest -- scene ever, and in the years since I've mentioned it to many teacher friends of mine. "I wish," is their usual response.

Of course, the years since 1982 have shown us that leather-clad punks are the least of our worries when it comes to high school violence. The Columbine killers could have and probably would have taken out Stegman just as easily as Arthur. It's sad, really, that a movie deemed horrific enough to be banned in several countries 25 years ago seems almost naïve by today's standards. Alice Cooper penned the movie's theme song, "I Am the Future," but the future has turned out to be a lot more dangerous than his power chords and Stegman's knife.

The DVD includes a featurette with the obvious title of "Blood and Blackboards" and commentary from director Mark Lester.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th August 1982

Budget: $4.3M

Distributed by: United Film Distribution

Production compaines: Guerilla High Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Arthur Kent

Starring: as Andrew Norris, Merrie Lynn Ross as Diane Norris, Tim Van Patten as Peter Stegman, Michael J. Fox as Arthur, as Terry Corrigan, Stefan Arngrim as Drugstore, Keith Knight as Barnyard, Lisa Langlois as Patsy, Neil Clifford as Fallon, as Detective Stewiski, Erin Noble as Deneen, David Gardner as Principal Morganthau, Steve Pernie as Rejack, Robert Reece as Leroy, Joseph Kelly as Jimmy

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.