Class of 1984

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I am convinced Tom Holland is a genius. Before he directed Child’s Play, before he directed Fright Night, before he was coined a “Master of Horror” he wrote a little film called “Class of 1984”, and oh baby, this movie rules.

Perry “Chinstrap” King is Mr. Norris, the new music teacher at an inner city high school full of “gangbangers” and “punks” who after meeting the insanely paranoid Mr. Corrigan (Roddy McDowall) is instructed that he is “no longer in Nebraska” and that his free time is supposed to be spent monitoring the halls…. apparently all the kids smoke dope, have sex, and kick the shit out of each other all over the school campus. Sweet, eh? The main “bad dude” is a punk (and I use that word loosely) named Peter Stegman, (Timothy Van Patten-who oddly enough went on to direct episodes of Sex in the City!?), and who is not only the leader of all the gangbangers but is also the local drug dealer, school pimp, racist motherfucker, and all around badass. After an early confrontation with Stegman, Mr. Norris finds his car vandalized and heads home to his cute pregnant wife; Diane (Merrie Lynn Ross) looking for his idyllic white picket fence lifestyle and Stegman’s crew show up at his house to fuck with him a bit, then head out to a Teenage Head concert where they get fucked up and trade drugs for sex with the local punks.

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After several more blowouts with Norris & Stegman, (including a busted drug deal between Stegman, Michael J. Fox and some kid who falls off the flag pole while he’s tripping), the shit hits the fan as Norris attempts to put the kids in their place and maintain some sort of sense of authority, however when neither the principal (David Gardner) nor the local police wont step up to the kids, Norris (accompanied by Corrigan) take on the crew themselves.

You can imagine what happens next…
I wont spoil it for you but let’s just say things spiral out of control…fast.

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This movie is fucking awesome. Until Anchor Bay’s recent DVD release I thought that this movie was a dream I had when I was younger. I had been scouring mom & pop video stores for a decade trying to track down a copy of the movie I saw when I was much too young to watch movies like this. Luckily it was gloriously restored a few years ago and released uncut and in it’s entirety.

Class of 1984 falls into the same category as Bad Boys (Sean Penn) and The Warriors-you know “THE AWESOME CATEGORY”, where the inner cities of the 1980’s were full of dirty punk kids, dirty cops who don’t give a shit, and dirty, DIRTY piss filled streets.

Perry King has never been cooler or MORE badass than his vigilante Norris character, McDowall is awesome in all his wigged out glory and Van Patten (while he is a little too good looking for this “bad guy” role) is creepy as fuck. The soundtrack includes a theme song by Alice Cooper called “I am the future”, Fear and as I mentioned earlier Teenage Head-fucking cool man, fucking cool.

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This movie succeeds on so many levels…While it IS a basic “good guys vs. bad guys” story cloaked in a “the good teacher who tries to reform the bad students” typical story line – it could easily fall into the after school special territory but it NEVER does. Thankfully, Class of 1984 is more “1990:Bronx Warriors” than “Wonder Years” (not that there isn’t a time & place for Kevin Arnold, it’s just this aint it).

Followed by something called “Class of 1999” where it appears the story revolves around robot teachers placed in schools to make kids behave (?!), Class of 1984 is widely available in a 2005 Anchor Bay DVD fully uncut (as I mentioned earlier) and is ready for YOU to buy.

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So make it happen sucka.

Charlie “Life is pain” Brown

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~ by exploitnation on March 11, 2008.

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