Ah, School is finally over now that Summer has finally arrived! So while all the brats are now enjoying their summer break or searching for a job to pay off their expensive Student Loans, lets a look at a few picks of my favorite School themed movies shall we?
First off, here’s a nice Romantic comedy for the hopeless romantics out there and the emphasis is heavy on hopeless! In 1983’s Cannon raunchy Romcom, directed by Boaz Davidson, The Last American Virgin, Gary who serves as the central character falls for an attractive Brunette named Karen while going on this odyssey to get laid along with his closest friends David and Rick.
Synopsis: The friendship of a group of young friends struggling with teen sex, drugs, and work is jeopardized by a romantic interest which may turn pals into bitter rivals.
Gary is that typical insecure kid who falls into peer pressure by going along with whatever silly shenanigans his friends concoct, but what is worse, he’s very selfless. As a Pizza Delivery guy, he meets an older yet sensuous Latina, Carmilla who makes suggestive advances toward him and what does he do in return? Gary leaves only to come back with David and Rick who lucky for them, take turns on her. Unfortunately, Gary never got his turn thanks to a hysterical and very offensive scene in which Carmella’s Boyfriend Paco accompanied by matador music returns from work only to find big fat David getting busy with his boo. Gawd, there’s no way you can make a scene like that without protesters being all up in arms!!
Then there’s that Dick measuring contest and regardless if the protagonists, were presumably heterosexual, I highly doubt you’ll find your average straight guy examining some dude’s Junk. (Unless he’s a Urologist!) Ya gotta love the 80’s when a filmmaker could express their art without the need to fear repercussions from the town crying public. Last American Virgin was not only a guilty pleasure, but one of the rare gems within Cannon’s Library. Oh, how I hated that ending!!!
Below the surface of its raunchy humor, there’s elements of loss innocence, obsession, betrayal and heartache. In other words, shit Teenagers have to endure prior to reaching the passage of Man or Womanhood. One of the strongest assets of LAV, would be the soundtrack thanks in part to various artists: U2, Oingo Boingo, KC & The Sunshine band, Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie and the obscure Fortune band who performed “Airwaves” a generic but likable rock melody which blends perfectly for the movie’s vibe! Not bad for a remake or a Cannon flick. (Originally based on Israeli film, Lemon Popsicle also directed by Boaz Davidson.) Ah, pure 80’s goodness!
And speaking of 80’s and goodness, Class of 1984 is no doubt, one of the best School based films I have seen!
Class of 1984
Synopsis: Andy is a new teacher in an inner city high school that is like nothing he has ever seen before. The students have to go through a metal detector when they go through the front door and everything is basically run by a tough kid named Peter Stegman. Soon, Andy and Stegman become enemies and Stegman will stop at nothing to protect his turf and drug dealing business.
“When I first saw this movie I was utterly impressed. It was a cool movie with Timothy Van Patten of Ninja Master fame. From what I understood, because I didn’t watch this movie in 1984, was that critics slogged it down. It was unrealistic that there were metal detectors in school and stuff. Something that was totally unimaginable in 1984. I believe I read that metal detectors arrived in school a few years later. If that is not true, please correct me.
I loved the song (I am the future) of Class of 1984 done by Alice Cooper. I loved how the school was so utterly chaotic with lots of scum. Michael J. Fox was not famous then yet and that was also funny. I loved the cover of Class of 1984. I miss those days when there was real art on VHS covers. It gave it a certain grittiness you hardly see in covers anymore.
Class of 1984 was a visionary movie. It predicted how school would turn out and that’s why this movie is quite special”.
-Bop, Contributor of The Supernaughts
Mark Lester directed his first film that one may consider a mashup of Blackboard Jungle and A Clockwork Orange. On the surface, it may look like some post grind house exploitation flick, but there’s certainly more to it than expected and Class of 1984 exceeds expectations.
As the story progresses, music teacher Andrew Norris bears witness to drug dealing gone sour, a stabbing, a racial gang fight, animal mutilations, a KFC’ed Roddy McDowell, and that’s just for starters!! However, of all the memorable scenes that stood out, one in particular showcased a fascinating perspective of Stegmam. Underneath the surface of this despicable and sadistic Gang Leader, there lies a talented genius as demonstrated in this scene.
What I found so “fascinating” about that scene, is had Stegmam been accepted to perform at the school’s symphony, perhaps he would have changed his outlook in life by perusing his passion in music and eventually remove himself from the gang scene.
This is somewhat reminiscent of the film Max; a fictional tale between Adolf Hitler and art dealer Max Rothman who agreed to meeting Adolf in a cafe to discuss his paintings and most importantly, relations between Germans and Jews. Who knows what would have come about had this monster actually met with Max that night and possibly, became a world renowned artist instead of one of the evilest cunts in history? Not necessarily comparing Stegman to Hitler, but you get the idea!
Throughout the movie, Andrew Norris’ life further spirals as he is threatened, harassed and to top it all, a vicious gang rape happens to a loved one thus leading the buildup to its inevitable and very violent confrontation. In retrospect, mild mannered Andy became as sadistic as his punk tormentors and understandably so. He should have also been referred to as “The Man they pushed too far.”
The fashions and music helped to put the infamous punk scene further into the cinema spotlight. That reason alone has given Class of 1984 a cult following.
Not to mention that the film’s antagonist is played by Tim Van Patten, the critically acclaimed director of HBO series such as The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, The Wire and Boardwalk Empire.
If you’re looking for a good exploitative film without too much cheese, you can’t go wrong with Class of 1984. It’s now available on Blu-ray release thanks to Shout Factory!
As a footnote, I must mention how this film eerily foreshadowed the disturbing trend of violence within high schools that has progressed on to even worse levels. More than just a B-film, but a cautionary tale.
More selections to come but in the meantime, “Class dismissed”!
And now for some bonus material that I call “DETENTION”!