Class of 1984 | Chicago Reader

Class of 1984

The kind of movie that gives exploitation films a bad name. Mark Lester (Truck Stop Women) directed this 1982 Canadian production, set in a slightly futuristic high school that has been taken over by growling, feral punks. Perry King is the clean-cut music teacher who, after suitable provocation, takes on the gang Death Wish-style. The film is thoroughly synthetic and miserably written, yet its chief offense is Lester's utter lack of conviction: he bounces between the high stylization of The Warriors and the social pieties of The Blackboard Jungle, depending on where the easiest effects lie, changing his style and most of his premises with every other scene. Timothy Van Patten's performance as the punk leader has a certain screwy energy, but in the end the film succumbs to the strained, self-conscious camp that is the last refuge of lazy directors. With Roddy McDowall and Michael J. Fox. R, 93 min.

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