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Class of 1984

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This movie blew my mind when I first saw it, it showcases the violence and debauchery of modern highschools. Ironically, when it came out, the movies vision of lawless highschools where gangs run the hallways and there are gun detectors at the entrance seemed like overdone fiction...

Sadly, the filmmakers even suspected that their shocking images were going to be prophetic...

"Very few films are as prophetic as ‘Class of 1984,’" said director Mark L. Lester.

The film opens with the kind of school violence statistics that seem to be hopeless fabrication, but "It was all true" according to Lester... "I was shocked myself. The numbers may have been exaggerated a bit but that was the reality, and this is twenty years ago, years away from stuff like the Columbine massacre. It was bad back then, people just didn’t notice."

From an initial desire to shock, Lester found himself "...reading up on the incredible violence that was going on in high schools."

Lester went back to his own high school as part of his research and was horrified to go back to his own high school and see the same kinds of stuff that he'd been fabricating in his mind. "...it was shocking to see" says Lester. "One of the things I found out was that a lot of high school punks would go after the teachers. That gave me some of the inspiration. I thought about the students against the teachers. The teachers in real life, they’re kind of defenseless, because it’s their word against the students and what can they do?"

The movie features the punk look and image, popular during the 80's and is a definite must for 80's cult film fans.

The movie is about a music teacher (Perry King) who comes to a new highschool in which he is pitted against the leader of a punk gang (Timothy Van Patten). The gang leader and his gang, murder, desecrate, and destroy, even getting a young Michael J. Fox High in the process.

The violence and intimidation towards the teacher increase with every scene all the way up to the gang raping the teacher's wife (which fortunately, the viewer is spared seeing).

The movie is a cult classic for it's campy, and sometimes (unintentional?) hilarity. Like when the gang kills the rabbits in the science lab, the science teacher (played by Roddy MacDowall), snaps from the violence against the rabbits, and proceeds to "make the kids learn" by pointing a loaded gun at their heads and asking them questions from the textbook.

A definite must for the hardcore thriller afficionado. A must-see for anyone into the punk rocker scene, too!

Verdict?

I saw this movie in 1984 and don't remember anything being bad about it. I just remember being freaked out and glad at the end. I highly recommend this movie and it is definitely a good example of 80's camp.

Notice any mistakes? Review

Strengths: Shows the clash of the degenerate 80s punkers against the conservative norm.

Weaknesses? A bit unbelievable in it's severity (and thank God!)

Our rating: 9 out of 10


Review Written by Steve:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Steve
Class of 1984