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

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

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.