Class of 1984, “Life is pain. Pain is everything. You will learn.”
On its release 25 years ago, Class of 1984 was criticized for being too far fetched. Few critics could buy into director Mark Lester’s ultra-violent vision of kids taking weapons into classrooms or schools fitted out with metal detectors.
Lester intended his flick as a wake up call to America about increasing levels of school violence. While Columbine may have proved that Lester’s vision didn’t go quite far enough, he sure as hell knows how to create the perfect B-movie.
Brutal, fast and fun, such outrageously violent scenes as Andy cutting off a gang member’s arm with a circular saw or burning another pupil alive ensured that Class of 1984 was heavily cut and even banned in numerous countries (recent R2 and R1 releases are fully uncut).
Lester has claimed that he introduced America to punk rock with this movie. While that’s debatable, the gang all look the part, although Stegman boasts an unfortunate haircut that puts the ‘wave’ in ‘new’, and the soundtrack mixes the likes of Fear and Teenage Head with Alice Cooper.
With its stylized brutality, punk rock soundtrack and relentless pace, Class of 1984 still hits you like a motorcycle chain to the jaw.