Class of 1984 title

Tag line : We are the future...and nothing can stop us!

Class of 1984Opening with the theme tune "I am the future" by Alice Cooper, teacher Andy Norris (Perry King) has just started work at Abraham Lincoln High School, a rough inner city school which is a far cry from his previous job in Nebraska.

Alarmed by the amount delinquency running rampant in the classrooms, where kids have to be checked for weapons and openly deal drugs in the corridors, Mr Norris is befriended by the Biology teacher Mr Corrigan (Roddy MacDowell) who warns him to look the other way and not try and tackle any of the problem students.

This where the problems start when he decides to do something about resident trouble maker Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten). A nasty little punk who runs a drug dealing ring within the school together with his gang of thugs. However, this only stirs up further problems for him and Mr Corrigan as they end up being targeted and attacked themselves out of school.

Determined not to be intimidated, Mr Norris perseveres in trying to do something about the school's disruptive elements, but when Stegman's punks abduct his wife during the school prom Mr Norris is forced to play them at their own game in a bloody confrontation.

Directed by Mark Lester, the films grim subject matter paints an extremely bleak picture of life in American inner city schools, and viewed today seems somewhat prophetic of the problems now being faced by schools in this country. However, the shock impact of the violent scenes are somewhat deadened by films campy acting, unlikely scenes and improbable scenarios. Definitely one for B movie fans, look out for a young Michael J Fox as one of the students.

Overall Marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag line "The teachers at Lincoln High have a very dangerous problem... their students!", "Life is pain, pain is everything. You will learn".

  • The films budget was $4,300,000.

  • The film was cut by the BBFC prior to its UK theatrical release in 1983. This trimmed the fight between Stegman's and Joo Joo's gang and toned down the rape scene. There were also several scenes substituted by the distributors with "tamer" alternate takes, such as where Sally is trying out for the gang and agrees to 'hook' for them in return for drugs, in which she stays fully clothed.

  • The film was an unofficial remake of the 1955 film "Blackboard Jungle" starring Glenn Ford in which a respectable teacher takes a job at an unruly high school and clashes swords with a group of young thugs.

  • The film Stegman is watching on TV at his home is director Mark Lester's earlier film "Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw" starring Linda (Wonder Woman) Carter.

  • The US release was cut for an R rating, which toned down the rape scene.

  • The cut UK theatrical release was the same version released onto video by Thorn EMI, but after the introduction of the Video Recordings Act in 1984 the BBFC refused to grant a certificate and so the film was banned.

  • The musical piece Stegman plays on the piano was actually written and played by actor Timothy Van Patten.

  • Though set in America, it was actually filmed in Toronto Canada at the Central Tech High School.

  • Lead actor Perry King previously played Robert in the 1972 sci-fi film "Slaughterhouse 5". He also played the President in the 2004 disaster film "Day after Tomorrow".

  • Timothy Van Patten, who plays lead punk Peter Stegman, went on to become a highly successful TV director. His credits include "Sex and the City", "The Soprano's" and "Deadwood".

  • The musical score was composed by Lalo Schifrin, who also scored the original "Amityville Horror".

  • The film was finally released onto UK DVD in 2005, fully uncut and with the original sequences re-instated. Other fully uncut DVD's have been released in France, Germany, Australia and the US.

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