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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This ain't no after-school special, that's for sure
Class of 1984 is an amazing film with the power to shock audiences even a quarter of a century after its release. I mean, this film is fearless, brutally honest, and disturbing on several levels. It's easily the most intense high school film I've ever seen. Its depiction of violence and crime in the schools has been called prophetic - and for good reason: teachers...
Published on 23 Sep 2007 by Daniel Jolley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars trashy, violent, and ultimately not worth the effort
I am relying on a memory of the original cinema release in the UK to do this review. This means that I am not pretending to remember what happens in any detail, but it has always stuck with me. At the time I was a similar age to these 'kids'. Punk was well over in the UK by the early 80s and they all looked dated to me at the time, let alone for 2 years in the...
Published on 5 Mar 2011 by Flora Cake


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This ain't no after-school special, that's for sure, 23 Sep 2007
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Class Of 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
Class of 1984 is an amazing film with the power to shock audiences even a quarter of a century after its release. I mean, this film is fearless, brutally honest, and disturbing on several levels. It's easily the most intense high school film I've ever seen. Its depiction of violence and crime in the schools has been called prophetic - and for good reason: teachers powerless to control their students, administrators unwilling to take charge, cops hamstrung by witnesses too intimidated to talk and "slap on the wrist" laws for even the most dangerous of juveniles, security guards patrolling the corridors, metal detectors at the doors, and so much more. Class of 1984 was a wake-up call that has yet to be answered all these years later.

One can only hope and pray that no public high school today is remotely like Lincoln High. When tough guy Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten) boasts that he runs the school, he means it. When he's not thumbing his nose at authorities or having fellow classmates assaulted, Stegman runs a bona fide criminal network, pushing drugs, pimping prostitutes, you name it. He and his gang of fellow hoodlums (including one sadistic girl) answer to no one inside or outside the graffiti-marred walls of the high school. The only person with the guts to stand up to them is, of all things, the new music teacher. Andrew Norris (Perry King) makes himself Stegman's Enemy Number One the very first day - and that initial skirmish soon, and inevitably, turns into all-out war. If there was ever an army of one, it is Andrew Norris. The principal gave up long ago, choosing to keep looking the other way as his school comes crashing down around him. The only other faculty member we get to know is biology teacher Terry Corrigan (Roddy McDowall), a broken man who relies on alcohol to get him through each miserable day. And the cops are impotent to act time and again because no witnesses are brave enough to talk. Even a young Michael Fox (sans the J. in this early role) is afraid to speak up, even after one of his friends comes to a bad end, courtesy of Stegman's illegal drug emporium.

Norris is no saint, mind you. When he's falsely accused of physically attacking Stegman, he goes a little bit off the deep end, giving the punk a strong dose of his own medicine. That's when things turn dangerous. A good thrashing is soon the least of Norris' worries, as his friend Corrigan cracks up completely, one of the few good students in the school is stabbed in the middle of the cafeteria, and no one in a position of authority is prepared to do anything at all to restore order. All the while, Norris is increasingly baited and taunted by Stegman's gang. The stage is now set for the film's rather shocking last 15-20 minutes, which begins with a surprisingly disturbing attack and just gets more and more intense from that point on. If you thought all high school orchestra performances were mind numbingly boring, you haven't seen Class of 1984; no one remains seated when this show ends.

I wasn't expecting the kind of violence this film unleashes toward the end. Although it registers much lower on the shock meter now than it did back in 1982 (one of the screenwriters, Barry Schneider, was so offended by it he had his name removed from the credits), the level of violence may turn a few people off - although I can't see how anyone can consider it unjustified.

What I found truly surprising, though, was the quality of the acting. Timothy Van Patten as a ruthless gang leader? I was expecting to devote at least a full paragraph to some good old-fashioned mockery. And Roddy McDowell? He's never been a favorite of mine, but he was incredible in this movie. Even Perry King delivered in a big way. Every which way you look at it, Class of 1984 is just a great movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Class Of 1984, 23 Feb 2006
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This review is from: Class Of 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of those films that actually lives up to it's infamy.
This is the closest film to compare with the like of A Clockwork Orange or Straw Dogs. Middle England and The Daily Mail would still have a field day condemming Claas Of 84
It hasn't dated at all and it is very compelling viewing.
Even if Michael J Fox looks like a fluffy Guinea Pig!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great film, 27 Aug 2005
By 
Mr. R. J. Unwin "robman46" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Class Of 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
I found this film very good and was suprised it did not get realesed at the pictures.
When a teacher gets sent to a disfunctal school, he had no idea just how dangerous this place is. All sudents must go thorugh metal dectors, theres drug dealers, stabbing and rape. Teachers have to bring their own guns in case of an emergency.
I really got into this film as it wern't to slow and didn't go straight in to the story. The only reason I gave this film 4 stars is because some scenes are quite disturbing, and not sutible for the people who has a light heart.
This film is very good though and not one of those films where they just show fighting. Just make sure the kids don't see it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars trashy, violent, and ultimately not worth the effort, 5 Mar 2011
This review is from: Class Of 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
I am relying on a memory of the original cinema release in the UK to do this review. This means that I am not pretending to remember what happens in any detail, but it has always stuck with me. At the time I was a similar age to these 'kids'. Punk was well over in the UK by the early 80s and they all looked dated to me at the time, let alone for 2 years in the future!

I read a review at the time that pointed out that most of these 'kids' would not see their 25th birthday again and that the fantastical element of the complete lack of ability on behalf of the 'authorities' to do anything about the extraordinary level and range of criminal activity meant that there was no way that this film could be given any credibility whatsoever.

I concur with this view wholeheartedly (and did at the time).

To compare it to The Warriors is an insult to everyone involved in that film.

Those who love it seem to love the violence first, and then, somewhat puzzinglingly, a few love its prophetic vision. This is a bit bizarre as clearly aspects of this kind of behaviour may happen, but not with the level of organisation, frequency and sophistication that is portrayed here. Teenagers just do not have the ability to organise their crime so effectively. That the leader is a 'genius' and a psychopath and from a materially privileged background is just not credible at all.

If it is going to be watched by anyone with any critical faculties whatsoever it has to be seen as in an exploitation genre, and preferably ironically. Maybe it could be argued 'it's so bad it's good', but I would not pay more than £2 for a dvd!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sadly forgotten gem., 28 Feb 2011
This review is from: Class Of 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
This movie was a terrifying portent into a future of anarchy and teenagers ruling the schools.

Made in 1982 and set a couple years later, the aspects people scoffed at when the movie was released (armed guards in the school corridors, metal detectors scanning for weapons as students enter) are now common place in some schools and old hat in others.

Tim Van Patten is Peter Stegman, leader of a gang of ruthless, entrepreneurial teenagers who extort money, sell drugs and pimp girls from the school grounds and their own hang out at the local youth club. When idealistic music teacher Mr Norris (Perry King) arrives, he locks horns with the gang and as their attempts to bully him fail they resort to ever more ruthless means of trying to force him into submission.

The tension this movie builds is palpable and the final showdown, while unrealistic and exploitative, still takes your breath away and leaves you with little hope for the future.

What's poignant about this movie is not the violence or the main story arc but little touches such as Stegman's moronic mother refusing to see him as anything other than a misunderstood and sensitive genius or the authorities simply following rules and by doing that, causing the innocent to suffer more while the guilty thrive.

The version released on VHS in the UK was heavily edited and it's interesting to see this Special Edition has restored the cuts. Some were simply butchered by the censor but it's noteworthy that some scenes are alternate takes and angles (the fight in the woodwork shop or Tina being introduced as a potential prostitute to the gang).

It's a shame that the only retrospectives are from Merrie-Lynn Ross and Perry King as it would have been interesting to see what the gang members are up to now (except Keith Knight, R.I.P).

As a cult movie this can't be faulted but be aware that some of the violence is VERY hard to stomach (including a prolonged rape scene and a fight with a circular saw). That aside this is a movie which pulls no punches and portrays a world that was considered fantastical back then and is horribly real now.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CULT CLASSIC FROM THE EARLY '80S, VERY VIOLENT..., 22 Jun 2008
By 
Adam Jackson "Symphonic Metal Fan" (Stoke On Trent , England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Class Of 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
I remember this when it was first released on Thorn EMI video way back around 1983/84. It was a particular fav of the group of lads I knocked about with due to its simple, linear revenge plot and uncompromising violence!
I was overjoyed to see this released UNCUT (unlike the VHS tape), this time including the infamous 'Circular Saw/Arm Amputation' scene. It is a very violent movie, with one of the best gang fights that I've seen on film - a rumble at an underpass between the main gang, and their rivals, with chains, knives & baseball bats. It's well choreographed, and easily as good as the skirmishes in The Warriors!
It's a little dated in it's punk rock fashions (lots of black leather & the odd mohawk), but I felt they suited the nihilistic feel of the film. Timothy Van Patten gives a chilling performance as the megalomaniac Peter Stegman , the head of the 5 strong, youth gang that terrorises their inner city high school. Intimidation, violence, rape & murder are the only subjects of interest!
Perry King, by contrast, gives a dignified performance as music teacher, Andy Norris who refuses to turn a blind eye, and see the few decent students continue to be terrorised, and the school descend into outright anarchy.
Before long, Norris & the Stegman gang are at war, and despite Andy's attempts to reason with them, it is not long before the cycle of violence escalates with appalling consequences for the teacher & his wife. Brutal revenge must only follow....
This is when the film shifts from Blackboard Jungle territory into full on Death Wish mode! There's some real brutality & gore in the final 20 minutes and it's not for the squeamish.
What is most chilling is that this film, made in 1982, has so clearly (albeit not by 1984) predicted the escalation of youth violence within our schools & streets, that is now front page news.
The theme song, I Am The Future by Alice Cooper suits the film's tone and look out for an early role for Michael J Fox as one of the gang's victims.
Special mention for Roddy Mcdowall as the biology teacher, unable to deal with the reign of terror, who is driven to breaking point after the thugs kill the animals (more like pets to the teacher) housed in his classroom.
A great futuristic/gang style thriller, with a sadly prophetic edge.
It's pure exploitation of course, but with decent production values.
2 Sequels, Class Of 1999 pts 1 &2, followed but these are more scifi in tone with less edge than 1984. I think this film is WAY better.
Only downside is the DVD cover - should have stuck with the nastier look of the VHS release, rather than this appallingly tacky drawing!
Recommended if you liked these: Clockwork Orange, The Warriors, The Wanderers, 3.15, One Eight Seven, Romper Stomper, American History X & any of the recent football violence related movies
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5.0 out of 5 stars Class, 25 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Class of 1984 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Remembered this movie from the 80"s but had never heard of it mentioned again,,,, a great trip down memory lane
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5.0 out of 5 stars class of 84 dvd, 21 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Class Of 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
not only was this film believable but it made for absolute compulsive viewing. i couldn't believe my luck when i stumbled on this one i would recomend it be viewed by any one 15+ thank you amazon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cult classic, 12 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Class Of 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
I waited many years to obtain this film. I originally watched it on video and loved it. I seem to recall it was a lot more hard core, however. The violence is still excellent and is only eclipsed now by CGI and more complex special effects. It is a cult classic - begging for a remake more more urgently than Robocop. Let's hope someone with more money than taste agrees with me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, gritty Thriller, 2 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Class Of 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
I give it 5 stars for the excellent acting on Timothy Van Patten's part as the Gang Leader, Perry King was ok but Roddy Mcdowall (who will forever be Cornelius the Chimp in Planet of the Apes to me) was outstanding to watch.
The film did'nt shock me as this is exactly what goes on in and still goes on in schools anyway and the screenplay was well thought through so it falls into that early 80's video nasty club that pushed the boundaries.
I recommend the movie to anyone who like me is curious as to what all the fuss was back then over movies that shocked but avoid if you are easily offended by strong physical and sexual violence and bad language.
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Class of 1984 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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