Originally part of our proposed "Michael J Fox Meets Turkey Sandwiches and Sierra Nevadas Thanksgiving '06 Film Festival," but since other Thursday activities came our way we had to pop this one in early. And, holy shit, Mark L Lester made this?!?! Yes, that Mark L Lester, the guy who not only lensed Commando and Armed and Dangerous, but who also directed an all-time Highland Cinema classic you know as Showdown in Little Tokyo. Can't believe we missed that piece of info. Showdown is such signature Highlander stuff it's a wonder we haven't run through this guy's oeuvre already.
Class of '84 is standard Blackboard Jungle/Lean on Me fare where I Want to Change the World teacher finds that the World Changes Me (err...Him). The tough guys deal coke in the graffiti-laden bathrooms (OJ tags! No, really!), dress like windblown Suburbia punksters, and go so far as to rape Teach's wife right before the big school band concert. Pretty boring stuff actually, but the 2 AM TBS vibe, the pudgy Mikey J, and gratuitous Roddy McDowell kept us entertained and gave us much to yak about during the runtime. You may be tempted to change the channel at hour one's close, but stick around for the bloody finale where the bearded teach who looks like a character from every '80s late-night tv flick lights a dude on fire and slices up another on a tablesaw. And dig that bloody-face, wish-we-saw-a-protuding-eyeball hanging scene right before the end credits. Too cool!
Can you believe Roger Ebert loves this movie? Get well soon, Big Rog, you just gained some serious Cinema cred.