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Blu-ray Review: Class Of 1984
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Class of 1984 Blu-ray review
Class of 1984
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Mark L. Lester
Screenwriter: Mark L. Lester, Tom Holland, John Saxton
Cast: Perry King, Roddy McDowall, Timothy Van Patten, Michael J. Fox, Lisa Langlois, Keith Knight, Stefan Arngrim
Scream Factory
Rated R | 98 Minutes
Release Date: April 14, 2015

“I’m gonna cut you, white-meat!”

I remember seeing the Class of 1984 VHS tape at the local mom-and-pop video store in my hometown. As a Vestron Video title, there was something inherently dangerous and infinitely interesting about the cover art. If you were a kid in the ’80s, you probably saw the cover art for Mark L. Lester’s film on shelves, with punk rock kids on the cover proclaiming, “We are the future… and nothing can stop us!”

Synopsis: Andrew Norris (Perry King), an idealistic and naive music teacher, has moved into a new community with his pregnant wife, Diane (Merrie Lynn Ross), only to find his new job is an academic abyss. Appalled by the crime-infested school, Norris soon crosses paths with its teenage kingpin, the shrewd and sadistic Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten). With Norris setting his sights on reforming Stegman and the young punk declaring war on his teacher, the duo is on a collision course for a fateful showdown.

Directed and co-written by Mark L. Lester (Commando, Firestarter), Class of 1984 is one of the seminal cult movies of the early ’80s. Its vision of a decaying, violence-plagued high school seemed outrageous in 1982, it prophesied a future where metal detectors are now a normal part of the American education system.

Co-written by Tom Holland (Fright Night, Child’s Play), Class of 1984 is also notable for its impressive ensemble, which includes Lisa Langlois (Deadly Eyes, The Nest), Roddy McDowall (Planet of the Apes, Fright Night), Stefan Arngrim (Fear No Evil), and Michael J. Fox (Back To The Future) in an early role.

Class of 1984 is everything a cult movie should be: funny, violent, and scary, with over-the-top characters and a strong but simple premise. Only in the ’80s could you make a movie where punk kids with mohawks and studded leather jackets bully teachers and administrators like pimple-faced geeks with pocket protectors. It’s like Blackboard Jungle on crack!

After the silliness subsides, Lester’s film builds to a nightmarish conclusion. While Norris prepares to conduct the school band in a concert, Stegman’s thugs gang rape the teacher’s pregnant wife at home. Norris puts his best student (Erin Noble) in charge and goes off in search of what the impotent local police and school system can’t (or won’t) provide: justice.

Class of 1984 speaks to a basic truth about our need to see justice served. Stegman’s actions are so reprehensible – so unforgivable – that we are delighted by his extreme and agonizing death. There’s a certain thrill in watching Roddy McDowall casually wield a handgun while he lectures his uproarious class about biology. It’s exploitation at its most effective – a story of kill or be killed, where even the most educated and civilized men must give in to animal instincts in order to survive.

Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray features a 1.78:1 high-definition transfer from the interpositive of the original camera negative. It’s an incredible looking release, packed with tons of new special features including a comprehensive making-of documentary and interviews with the cast and crew. If you’re a fan of Lester’s film, Scream Factory’s Blu-ray is the definitive release and shouldn’t be missed.

Bonus Features

* New high-definition transfer from the interpositive
* New interviews with Mark Lester, Lisa Langlois, Lalo Schifrin and more
* New career retrospective interview with Perry King
* Audio commentary with Mark Lester
* Blood And Blackboards: The Making of Class of 1984
* Original theatrical trailer and TV spots
* Still gallery


Cover Art


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