Class of 1999 (1990) with Traci Lind & Pam Grier (Arrow Recommends)

Class of 1999 (1990) with Traci Lind & Pam Grier (Arrow Recommends)
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"Arrow Recommends is a column that has my sorry ass advise older movies to your royal asses. I will be flexible in terms of genres i.e. I will cover whatever the bleep I want. For now, it will be the way to keep my voice on the site."

PLOT: In the future (well now in the past) that is 1999, the world is in chaos and schools have gone down the shitter. So the powers that be bring in military cyborgs, reprogrammed to be teachers to get a handle on things. Of course shite gets out of hand quick as the cyborgs revert back to their military programming and begin whacking students in grisly ways. Hey teachers! Leave them kids alone!

LOWDOWN: Mark L. Lester’s CLASS OF 1984 (A MUST OWN) was a nasty little gem that went for the jugular. I called it "Dangerous Minds with balls and a dash of Clockwork Orange" at the time.  The flick eventually spawned two sequels: Class of 1999 (WATCH IT HERE) also directed by Lester in 1990 and Spiro Razatos' Class of 1999 II: The Substitute (WATCH IT HERE) in 1994 which I have never seen but if I go by the trailer, it looks like fun grated cheese madness! Now I hadn’t checked out Class of 1999 since its initial release in 1990. Back then I thought it was the shit, hence why I decided to re-visit it today, in the name of recommending it.  

Lets just say that watching it as a “grown up”, I clocked an entirely different movie than what I fondly remembered. The bad news was: it wasn’t a good film by any stretch. Slap dash story with corny dialogue and see through plot turns. The good news was though: it was so bad it's good. I haven’t laughed this hard since the last time I looked down my chinos. I happened to tap it with a couple of buds of mine and it made the experience all that more amusing. Hence yeah I’m recommending it – but for all the wrong reasons. Here are ways that Class of 1999 killed me.

  • When a gang member vaguely insinuates that another member may be gay and that results in a car chase (with Mad Max knock off cars no less), explosions, cars flipping over and exchange of gun fire; there’s no other way to cut it: the dude was gay and was NOT at peace with it…lol! 
  • The fashion here was ABYSMAL and had me bent over (no pun intended) crying. From the bleach hair, dog collars, mammoth belts, reverse baseball caps ON TOP of head bandanas (gotta double up) and sloppy makeup (on dudes that is), these thugs didn’t look badass at all. Folks that spent way too much time in mommy’s closet and makeup kit on the other hand? Yessum!
  • You ever yearn to witness a cyborg violently SPANK the shit out of a couple of kids? Yes? No? Either way, you will get to behold that glory here! One of my favorite scenes here. 
  • Nothing better than a guy “acting tough” while sucking on a banana like it was John Holmes meat.  Genius! 
  • What's better than Malcolm McDowell obvioulsy cashing a check? Nothing. And he did it with class here once again. Love that dude!
  • Pssst! When a Government type (Stacy Keach hamming it up like the champ that he is) has a bleached white mullet with a rat-tail and wears white contact lenses… he’s not to be trusted. Pass it on...

  • Greg Bradley’s (yes Phillip the sleepwalker in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors ) was so angry 24/7 here and more bitter them me after receiving my MasterCard bill, that he had me in stiches.
  • Kids skip school to go investigate the robo-teachers' pad, but for some reason the teachers conveniently show up minutes later, before school finishes. Did school end early? Did the teachers somehow know they were being invaded? Was that bit needed to FORCE the plot in the direction it needed to go? I chose the latter option!
  • So the teachers lose their car, speeding it off a dock and into a river. Later on in the movie, the teachers show up with that same damn car and it's rolling smooth and looking fine. The and f*ck? I’ll buy Battle Droid Teachers going amuck but I can’t gulp that they somehow fished that hunk of junk out of the water. Love it!
  • I usually mind plot turns beings transparent and telegraphed but here they brought a severe case of the giggles to the proceedings. Second guessing a flick and being right every single f*cking time has never been this fun! 
  • They ripped of the damaged cyborg look of The Terminator and they also shamelessly stole from the last act too! Nothing like blatant plagiarism to carve a grin on my mug.  
  • The one liners after every teacher kill from our hero were priceless! Instead of getting “You're terminated f*cker” we got school related quips like (to the history teacher) "You're history, Mr. Hardin!" Move over Shakespeare, there’s a new Sherriff in town!

Was there anything genuinely good in the house? Well Near Dark's Joshua Miller rocked it while Tracy Lind (Where did she go? She vanished into thin air and I can't find dick about her online) was solid and easy on the retinas. And our Robo-Teachers tackled by the always awesome Patrick Kilpatrick (a dead ringer for a young Arnold in The Terminator), solid character actor John P. Ryan and the iconic Pam Grier (Robo-Coffee) were obviously having a blast with their roles. John P. Ryan (who passed on in 2007) in particular gave one hell of a zany, charismatic and menacing showcase. I couldn’t get enough of the mofo!  

Moreover, the practical effects (by All Effects Company) when it came to the Cyborgs and their crazy weapons were pretty impressive, especially for a film of this budget. The rock soundtrack was pretty money as well (was that Nine Inch Nails I heard?) and thankfully often drowned out Michael Hoenig's tacky score. Lastly, the flick had some wild ideas (which were not always conveyed properly due to the lack of coin) and its gory bits hit the spot! So all in all, Class of 1999 was a horror party movie if I’ve ever seen one. A flick you can talk out loud to and laugh at with your buds while getting a hefty dose of nostalgia (if you grew up in the 80's, 90's that is). It gets a 5 on 10 from a straight “film dissecting” point of view, but it gets the rating below as a so bad it's good B-jamboree!

Extra Tidbit: I gotta say it The Faculty ripped this one off but instead of tossing in Terminator elements, it went the Body Snatchers and The Thing way instead



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