Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Class of 1984

Class of 1984 (1982)
Dir:Mark Lester (Firestarter/Commando/Showdown in Little Tokyo/Class of 1999)

Andrew Norris , A music teacher transfers to Lincoln High School where the students run the asylum. Right away Mr. Norris finds things are a bit different than he is used to when on his first day he see's the kids patted down for weapons before entering the building. He meets fellow teacher Mr. Corrigan who has become used to the troubles of the campus and he provides Norris with a tour and the low down. In Mr.Norris' first class he finds he has some troubling students in Peter Stegman and his gang of trusty followers.In the Halls Stegman  and his goons come across some problems when a rival gang is moving in on their drug sales and a fight breaks out. Upon leaving work for the first day, Norris finds his car vandalized by Stegman's gang. He returns home and shares his stories of the rough campus with his pregnant wife. Elsewhere Stegman's gang run the streets and fight Leroy's gang over the drug trade.After the brawl Stegman and crew show up at norris' house to put a scare in him and his wife before going to a punk rock club where Stegman's gang conduct their business  Selling drugs and recruiting young kids for their gang.

During Norris' second day on the job he has another run in with Stegman, as he tries to lave his class. When Norris tries to keep him put Stegman displays a glimpse of brilliance as he plays the piano wonderfully before leaving to return to his daily routine of scarring the faculty and dealing drugs. A young man named Arthur (Michael J. Fox) , who is a good student is in the bathroom with his friend who wants to score some coke to help him stay up to study. Mr. Norris catches the gang in the act but they manage to get off due to lack of a willing eye witness.Outside of the school Arthur's friend does not react well to the drugs and climbs the flagpole, while the kids are let out of school , he falls to his death in front of the entire crowd. Norris wants to nail Stegman for the death but Arthur is too scarred to testify. Later Stegman's gang chase down Arthur thinking that he had in fact ratted them out. Norris and Mr.Corrigan just happen to see one of Stegman's goons acting suspicious and Norris decides to find out what is happening. Norris heads into the alley to find Arthur being bullied by the gang and while Norris attempts to stop the goons he and Corrigan are assaulted before the gang flee's. Later that night Stegman's gang Blows up Norris' car while He and his wife are sleeping.

The next day at school Mr.Corrigan's Lab has been destroyed and all his animals massacred.Norris upset with the slew of attacks catches up with Stegman and stops himself just short of striking the student. Stegman then slams himself into a mirror and some walls and frames the new teacher for his injuries, Nearly costing Norris his job. Norris hears that Stegman's mother plans to press charges so he decides to go pay her a visit. The Students mother is less than welcoming and as Norris leaves he is taunted by Stegman through an intercom.This pushes Norris over the edge and he breaks into Stegmans car and totals it in the apartment parking lot.Back at school a detective in charge of the case questions Norris and Arthur is seen near the officer and Norris, Leading Stegman and gang to believe he is squealing on them over his friends death. This leads to Arthur getting stabbed in the lunch room. Later Mr.Corrigan is falling apart over the assault on his animals and ends up holding his class up at gunpoint, threatening to shot whomever gets a question wrong, Norris arrives just in time to stop him before pulling the trigger on Stegman.After losing his job Corrigan decides to track down the gang at their hangout and winds up flipping his car and killing himself in attempt to run down the low life's. Upon finding this out Norris' wife decides she is going to go live with her mother until things blow over, She tries to convince Norris to quit but he refuses due to a big concert coming up.
When Norris leaves to prepare his students for the big night, Stegman and his goons break into Norris' house and gang rape his pregnant wife.

As Norris and his class ready to perform in front of some big deal orchestra reviewers one of Stegman's followers delivers a picture of his wife being raped to him and he leaves in a hurry to track the gang down. He is ambushed and beaten by the gang and afterwards Norris sets out to get his revenge by systematically taking each member of Stegman's gang out one by one in a long game of cat and mouse.He Slams one on a table saw,Burns one alive and smashes one underneath a lifted car in the auto shop. Picking each one off in gruesome fashion until he finally reaches Stegman on the roof of the school where he is holding Stegman's wife hostage. The two fight until Stegman has a fall through a glass ceiling leading to him hanging himself in front of everyone in the auditorium.Before the end credits roll we find that no one was charged for the murders due to a lack of eyewitnesses, which is ironic due to the flag pole incident from earlier having the same result.

Class of 1984 is a well done film that deserves it's cult following. This is not the typical film I would review on this site due to the fact that it well is , Legitimately well made and acted and it's easy to see how this director went on to make some more classics as his career progressed, Although the quasi sequel to this film Class of 1999 is truly pretty bad.1984 is a well put together tale of revenge and it does force the viewer to really think how they would handle such a situation since the antagonists are so young and much of their behavior could easily be summed up to kids just being rebellious until things take a turn for the worst towards the end with the stabbing and raping scenes.If you enjoy some drama with your action then this film is right up your alley and the director does a wonderful job in pulling the viewer in and making you really care about all the characters involved. The role of Stegman is played to perfection as you really want to see him get whats coming to him since he is such an asshole through the entire film.I am surprised this film is not more well known than it is because it truly is a cult film that stands solid even through the test of time. Although the film is set in the 80's and made in 1982 it would not be hard to see these things happening in any time period, I am truly surprised that a remake or a Class of 20xx has not been made or in the works by now. Definitely worth a watch  , But keep in mind this film is more serious than camp compared to most of the films I review so if you want a light watch this is not the film .

Gore: 5.5
Overall: 7.5 out of 10

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