Class of 1984

Class of 1984

4.0 1
Director: Mark L. Lester

Cast: Mark L. Lester, Perry King, Timothy Van Patten, Merrie Lynn Ross

     
 

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A music teacher (Perry King) at a tough Los Angeles high school reaches out to his students with the gift of music -- only to find a gang of sadistic punk rockers is actively dissuading new members from joining the orchestra. Not only are the punkers sadistic; they are also led by the nefarious Timothy Van Patten (sporting Willie Aames-style blow-dried hair). The

Overview

A music teacher (Perry King) at a tough Los Angeles high school reaches out to his students with the gift of music -- only to find a gang of sadistic punk rockers is actively dissuading new members from joining the orchestra. Not only are the punkers sadistic; they are also led by the nefarious Timothy Van Patten (sporting Willie Aames-style blow-dried hair). The plot development: Van Patten is a musical prodigy, as he proves by banging out some angry classical tunes on the school Baldwin in front of the teacher's startled class. King tries to befriend the lad, but he rejects the offer with scorn. When King attempts to settle for a truce with the gang leader in order to end his students' harassment, he finds himself targeted for a slowly-escalating campaign of terror, culminating in a deadly game of hide-and-seek in the high school after hours. One by one, King faces the murderous gang; one by one, teenagers die in a succession of increasingly violent fashions as the already-exploitive film degenerates into a Death Wish clone. As a feature film, Class of 1984 seems more like it was made for television. The plot is completely contrived; the characters are unbelievable (especially the punks, who seem to be the sort of punks that exist only in the imaginations of "B"-grade Hollywood film directors), and the production values are poor. Yet Class of 1984 has a certain charm, a certain earnestness that makes it watchable, if unintentionally amusing. The film includes a soundtrack by Alice Cooper which includes the stirring anthem "I Am the Future." Another point of interest: this may be the only film including a scene in which Michael J. Fox is stabbed during a prison-style cafeteria riot.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Class of 1984 is a classic example of exploitation film: In other words, it compensates for its lack of star power and a high budget by exploiting a sensitive topic (violence in schools) and wallowing in all the racy and violent content it can muster in the space of an hour and a half. Whether this is offensive or intriguing depends on a viewer's taste but it is worth noting that Class of 1984 is both skillfully made and pretty compelling for an exploitation film. The script works in some surprisingly effective dramatic moments to balance out its high action quotient as well as the occasional moment of black humor -- the best example of the latter category is a scene where Corrigan, pushed to the brink by a vicious prank, pulls a pistol on his class and quizzes them at gunpoint. Class of 1984 further benefits from inspired performances by a well-chosen cast of familiar faces: Perry King invests Norris with a likability and warmth that makes him easy to root for, Vincent Van Patten throws out all the method actor fireworks needed to make his villainous role memorable, and Roddy McDowall steals every scene he is in as Norris' sarcastic, burnt-out colleague. However, the best element of Class of 1984 is Mark Lester's energetic direction, which brings a gritty, comic-book style to the film and adds a visceral punch to the action (especially during the bravura revenge finale, which must be seen to be believed). All in all, Class of 1984 manages to rise above the exploitation film tag thanks to its high levels of style and craftsmanship and is well worth a look to the adventurous cult movie fan.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/04/2008
UPC:
0013131579499
Original Release:
1981
Rating:
NR
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:38:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Widescreen presentation 1.77:1 enhanced for 16 x 9 tvs; Blood and Blackboards: An all-new featurette containing interviews with director Mark Lester and actors Perry King and Merrue Lynn Ross; Audio commentary with director Mark Lester; Trailer; 2 tv spots; Poster & still gallery; Mark Lester bio; Screenplay (dvd-rom)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Perry King Andy Norris
Timothy Van Patten Peter Stegman
Merrie Lynn Ross Diane Norris
Roddy McDowall Terry Corrigan
Al Waxman Detective Stewiski
Lisa Langlois Patsy
David Gardner Morganthau
Stefan Arngrim Drugstore
Keith Knight Barnyard
Neil Clifford Fallon
Erin Flannery Deneen Bowden
Michael Fox Arthur
Robert Reece Leroy
Joseph Kelly Jimmy
Elva Mai Hoover Ellen
Claude Rae Doctor
Roy Anderson Student

Technical Credits
Mark L. Lester Director,Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Albert J. Dunk Cinematographer
Tom Holland Original Story,Screenwriter
Arthur Kent Producer
Howard Kunin Editor
Merrie Lynn Ross Executive Producer
John Saxton Screenwriter
Lalo Schifrin Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Class of 1984
1. The New Teacher (Main Titles) [3:16]
2. Trouble Makers [7:12]
3. No Room for Dealers [4:11]
4. After School Mayhem [8:34]
5. A Chance to Play [3:53]
6. Caught in the Act? [8:35]
7. Confrontation [4:16]
8. Revenge [8:57]
9. Talking Is Not an Option [4:16]
10. Squealers [6:03]
11. Learning At Gunpoint [7:53]
12. A Time to Tell [4:37]
13. Life Is Pain [6:07]
14. The Message [5:20]
15. One Final Lesson [11:24]
16. End Credits [3:02]

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Class of 1984 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
sadie_leona More than 1 year ago
So, no, it's not the greatest movie ever. The acting isn't exactly superior - the plot a little scattered, but you can easily get the jist. If you like cult classics - this is for you.

A music teacher moves to a new district - one that is well known for the violence that encompasses it. The story tells his struggle with a certain group - and their wish to destory him.

The ending was unexpected for me - but now, as I look back on it, one can cannot that the director would not dissapoint with a uniform end. The one thing I didn't like is the nudity - it really wasn't essential - it didn't explain anything that wasn't already there.