If Class of 1984 is any indication of what kids are like nowadays, I will castrate myself right now. Man, the gang of unruly kids in this movie are a-holes, through and through. They have no redeeming qualities whatsoever and they deserve every piece of violence thrown at them. That my friends is why I loved Class of 1984. I was rooting with the teacher to get those kids and kick them in the ass, or in once case, saw off a freaking arm! This movie was a warning of a potential future and it’s scary to think how right they were…
DISCS: 1 RUN-TIME: 98 min ASPECT RATIO: 1.78:1 RESOLUTION: 1080p AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix LANGUAGE: English SUBTITLES: English REGION: A RATING: R PRODUCTION DATE: 1982
The teachers at Lincoln High have a very dangerous problem… their students!
Andrew Norris (Perry King, Lipstick, Mandingo), an idealistic and naive music teacher, has moved into a new community with his pregnant wife, Diane (Merrie Lynn Ross, General Hospital), only to find his new job is an academic abyss. Appalled by the crime-infested school, Norris soon crosses paths with its teenage kingpin, the shrewd and sadistic Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten, Catacombs, Zone Troopers). With Norris setting his sights on reforming Stegman and the young punk declaring war on his teacher, the duo is on a collision course for a fateful showdown.
Directed and co-written by Mark L. Lester (Class of 1999, Commando, Firestarter), Class of 1984 is one of the seminal cult movies of the early 1980s. While its vision of a decaying, violence-plagued inner city school seemed over the top in 1982, it sadly prophesied the future of American education. With an original story and screenplay co-written by genre veteran Tom Holland (Fright Night, Child’s Play, Psycho II, The Beast Within), the film is also notable for its great cast, which includes Lisa Langlois (Deadly Eyes, The Nest), Roddy McDowall, Stefan Arngrim (Fear No Evil) and Michael J. Fox in an early role.
Class of 1984 is all about a future of unmanaged brats and the rules they don’t care about. The local gang of Lincoln High runs the place and no one can stop them. They traffic drugs, prostitution and they wouldn’t give two shits to murder you if it means increasing their profit margin. Things are fine and dandy until Andrew Norris (Perry King,Lipstick, Mandingo) shows up to teach music. He’s a passionate man, who believes in the kids and won’t take crap from anyone. He can’t understand why the school is the way it is. How can teachers and the principle let these brats get away with this stuff, he keeps asking. Well, he soon finds out that these kids are way more worse than just a bunch of pranksters. No, they will beat, kill, rape and torture whoever gets in their way. Unfortunately for the kids though, one too many incidents happen: murder, a fellow teacher gone mad, Michael J Fox getting hurt (no one and I mean no one hurts Michael J Fox) and a final, awful straw that breaks the camels back (which I won’t spoil, although the trailer below will probably do that for you), Andrew has had enough and he will teach this kids that they messed with the wrong damn music teacher.
That my fellow readers is what makes a good movie. We hate these kids so much and I want to applaud all of them. Timothy Van Patten, who plays Peter Stegman is phenomenal as the leader, who if he only buckled down and studied, would be brilliant. Instead, he is in it for the power and power as we all know, can be too consuming. Another wonderful addition to this gang is Patsy (Lisa Langlois, Deadly Eyes, The Nest) the only girl of the group. She is crude, rude and just mean, oh so mean. I’m loving and hating her all at once. Finally, I can’t forget to mention Roddy McDowall (Fright Night,) who plays the drunk biology teacher, who eventually just cracks. His brilliant scene involves an interesting method of teaching and I couldn’t help but laugh.
Class of 1984 takes its time to make you hate these kids and once the end rolls around, you are all for violence against them and that my folks is what you’ll get. I mean, it’s probably not the ideal way of fixing things, but sometimes a sledgehammer works better than a hug.
Scream Factory has gone all out with this Collector’s Edition. You have a commentary carried over from the Anchor Bay DVD, which features Director Mark Lester and moderated by Anchor Bay’s Perry Martin. You also have a bunch of interviews with cast and crew, the longest of them being a 47 minute sit down with actor Perry King. They were even gracious enough to carry over the Anchor Bay Featurette titled Blood And Blackboards, which runs roughly 35 minutes. There is a lot of information to gather here and it’s all fantastic.
As for the video and audio side of things, the movie is looking nice and clear. Grain is left intact and I didn’t notice any sort of compression issues. Mind you, I’m don’t seek these things out, but in my eyes, the movie looks great. The audio is also sounding wonderful, although the beginning seemed slightly out of the sync, but I have a feeling that was just the movie. You have two choices to choose from, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix. Word of warning, the 5.1 mix isn’t overly active in the rear channels.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
New High-Definition Transfer Of The Film From The Interpositive
New Interviews With Director Mark Lester, Actors Lisa Langlois And Erin Noble And Composer Lalo Schifrin
New Career Retrospective Interview With Perry King
Audio Commentary With Mark Lester
Blood And Blackboards Featurette – Featuring Interviews With Director Mark Lester, Actors Perry King And Merrie Lynn Ross
Original Theatrical Trailer
Reverse Cover Art
Class of 1984, directed by Mark L. Lester, is a fantastic foray into a future that is all too familiar nowadays. The movie does a fine job of getting you to hate these bastard kids and once the final act roles around and we get the violence happening, we can’t help but cheer for the good guy. Combine that with a wonderful release from Scream Factory and you have yourself a class you’ll want to enroll in right away. A’s all around!
*Don’t forget to check out my review of the sequel, Class of 1999*