I knew about it, but seriously how did I manage to go through the 80’s without seeing this bonkers film. Class Of 1984 plays out like the classic Pink Floyd tune but in reverse!
Hey! Kids! Leave those Teachers alone!
Opening credits information – “Last year there were 280,000 incidents of violence by students against teachers and their classmates in American high schools. .. Unfortunately, this film is based on true events…. Fortunately, very few schools are like Lincoln High…. yet!”
This is a fun film but man does it go off on a ridiculously shocking violent streak. One minute its super cheesy then a flick of a switch it twists in a dark edge, smashing you over the head with a baseball bat filled of real nasty.
Now add a mega cheesy soundtrack by Alice Cooper “When does a dream become a nightmare?”. Then some bad b-movie acting, 80’s punk outfits and a school covered top to tail in graffiti. Then you will realise that there is just one thing you need to bring to the mix, what could that something be?….. the legend himself, Roddy McDowall! Now you have yourself a cult film.
Roddy McDowall plays Terry Corrigan, the sweet natured biology teacher who suffers with a touch of PTSD from all the torment of his class. So he’s sneaks in a few swifty glasses of spirits to keep his stress at bay. In his trusty teaching bag he has his safety blanket, a revolver, just in case. Much to the shock of the newbee at the school Andrew Norris (Perry King).
Terry to Andrew – “Do you know any moves? Jiu Jitsu, Kung Fu, Karate?”
Andrew Norris is a mild-mannered music teacher who is full of enthusiasm to teach and enjoy his newly posted class of young musicians. Unfortunately standing in his way is a rag tag bunch of outrageous over the top juvenile delinquents who all look much older than anyone else in the room. This bunch of lunatics are lead by Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten) a rich kid, possibly genius but for sure a deranged psychotic messed up mind during the day, mummies boy at night.
He and his gang love nothing more than intimidating the teachers and the small bunch of pupils who wish to learn. Dealing drugs and doing the 3 R’s, robbing, raping and racketeering with maybe even some pimping thrown in for good measure.
The other four gang members go by Barnyard, the muscle, (Keith Knight) who looks like Russell Crowe after way too many hot dogs and meatballs. Then there’s Barry Lockridge from Land Of The Giants who’s gone completely off the rails and gone all spiky hair, shades and pocket full of dime bags, changing his name to Drugstore (Stefan Arngrim). There’s Fallon (Neil Clifford) who’s looks lost from the set of Grease with his slick back hair and leathers. Which brings us to the loopy lesbian, crazy Patsy (Lisa Langlois). They all have their quirks and follow Peter Stegman like a cult leader. Even the police are powerless against this gang who know all the tricks to play the system.
Tagline – We are the future!… and nothing can stop us…
Amongst all the good kids in the music class is Arthur, a familiar face, he’s a bit chubbier, has a big bowler hair cut and missing the J from his acting name, it’s the soon to be pushed into mega stardom, Michael J Fox.
Can these downtrodden teachers stand up against these young thugs or are they going to be pushed to their utter most limits?
Peter Stegman – “Teacher Teacher I Am The Future”
Be warned this is pretty harsh in places but a worthy addition to your cult movie check off list. I’m not rushing into it but there is a sequel of sorts with Class Of 1999. A science fiction version with robots and Malcolm McDowell, actually saying that, it really sounds like an essential watch!
Keep watching those screens… Thanks for reading… Mikey Wolfie