Friday, May 20, 2011

Class of 1984

(Mark Lester, 1982)
Superficially, this is yet another virtuous-fammy-man-mops-up-the-scumbags jobber in the Death Wish mold. But there's a leap simply in the setting, because by recasting the opposition as teacher-versus-students, the framework takes on an almost inevitable sense of burlesque. Certain ugly potentials are avoided thanks to the upper-class pedigree of Punk One (and honestly, this movie is only 'punk' because the costumes look better that way). Furthermore, teach is not exactly catharsized by hanging Punk One from the ceiling of the recital, although it's still just nihilist bullshit instead of macho bullshit. But it's pretty great bullshit nonetheless; it encourages you to turn your brain off, and the performers are totally into it. It's even kind of prescient. Metal detectors and security guards at a high school? It is to die. Gotta love Roddy McDowell's car bursting into flames in the belly of the beast, Yonge and Elm! "Deadly Eyes" fans will be happy to see that movie's love interests showing up here, as the lead dyke-punk and the speed-freak pole-diver, respectively. With Al Waxman as the cop.

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