Class of 1984 (1982)
Director: Mark L. Lester
Perry King/Mr. Norris
Timothy Van Patten/Stegman
Michael J. Fox/Arthur
Mr. Norris (King) is the new music teacher in school, still wet behind the ears, he’s not prepared for what he’s about to face. Terry ( McDowall), a biology teacher tries to show him the ropes, namely how to look the other way but Mr. Norris is too stubborn and naive to listen. It doesn’t take long before he starts butting heads with the most powerful "click" in school, led by the Arian, nazi poster boy psychopath Stegman (Van Patten). It begins small but soon turns very extreme until it’s full out war. Teacher against students.
I guess in 1982, a school with security guards, metal detectors and cafeteria stabbings was maybe a bit far fetched, today this movie is more relevant than ever. Students that don't want to learn (one teacher gets his students to pay attention by teaching them at gun point), a police force that’s ineffectual, drug dealings in school, extreme violence, racism and injustices are all things we find in our schools today. This movie deals with all those issues and isn’t afraid to go all the way. A few minor things come across as dated: the way the gang members nag Mr. Norris with "baby talk" (more in common with the teens in Rebel Without A Cause than today’s teens) and of course the horrible fashion, but those things are easy to overlook. Well written, decently acted and downright nasty, this movie accomplishes what it sets out to do…entertain and teach…Now shut up while the teacher is talking…
Not really gory but just plain mean. We do get a sawed off arm, a stabbing and many disturbing scenes (that I won't give away).
Perry King (Norris) gives a good show and we as an audience associate ourselves with his anger and dilemmas. Roddy McDowall gives another scene stealing performance and will definitely surprise you. Timothy Van Patten (Stegman) gives a chilling, sometime over the top performance. The fact that he’s a very good-looking guy mixed with such violence makes for a very interesting character. Michael J Fox (Arthur) in an early role also does well but his character reminds me a lot of Michael J Fox.
T & A
A girl flashes her boobies and another one strips it all off. The movie also has hints of lesbianism.
Mainly straightforward with a few nice touches with filters and interesting lighting.
The opening song is by none other than Alice Cooper…fitting. The score works.
Think "Dangerous Minds" with balls and a dash of "Clockwork Orange. A fast paced, dangerous ride. It plays a lot with the contrast between beauty and ugliness, creation and destruction. Stegman is a talented( gives Mozart a run for his money on the piano), attractive boy, capable of murder, rapes and extreme violence. Mr. Norris is a teacher trying to create a beautiful symphony with the students that will listen but in the end becomes as violent and ugly as the gang members. This is a movie ahead of it’s time and watching it today in the year 2000 it hasn’t aged much…now that’s scary…
Mark L. Lester also directed "Commando", "Firestarter" and the sequel "Class Of 1999".
In Class Of 1984 notice the O.J. graffiti in the bathroom scene…premonition???