- Class of 1984
Class of 1984
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mark L. Lester Produced by Merrie Lynn Ross
Written by Mark L. Lester
Starring Perry King
Timothy Van Patten
Michael J. Fox
Music by Lalo Schifrin Cinematography Albert J. Dunk Editing by Howard Kunin Distributed by United Film Distribution Company Release date(s) August 20, 1982(USA)
June 3, 1983 (Canada)
Running time 98 minutes Country Canada Language English Budget $4,300,000 (estimate)
Class of 1984 is a 1982 action-thriller movie about a newly hired music teacher at a troubled inner city school, where students have to pass through a metal detector due to problems with gangs, drugs, and violence. It was directed by Mark L. Lester and starred Perry King as teacher Andrew Norris, Merrie Lynn Ross (who also co-executive produced) as his wife Diane Norris, Roddy McDowall as Terry Corrigan and Timothy Van Patten as Peter Stegman, the leader of the gang of thugs who terrorize the school. It was one of Michael J. Fox's early roles, before he was a well-established actor.
The movie utilized the punk look and image that was becoming part of popular culture in the early 1980s. The movie's theme song, "I Am The Future", was performed by Alice Cooper. The film also features a performance by Canadian punk band Teenage Head.
The movie has been described by some critics as an unofficial remake of Blackboard Jungle (1955), in which King has the Glenn Ford role, Van Patten has Vic Morrow's, and Fox is in Sidney Poitier's. The film begins with a warning that it is partially based on true events.
- Timothy Van Patten as Peter Stegman, The leader of the gang and a feared figure in the school. He and his gang sell drugs, get in fights with rival gangs, and run a small prostitution racket. He carries around a switchblade and is willing to do anything to save himself from trouble.
- Lisa Langlois as Patsy, The only female in the gang, and Stegman's girlfriend. She does not fight and seems to not do much of anything, other than help the other members if they need it.
- Stefan Arngrim as Drugstore, The drug dealer of the gang. He himself is hooked on drugs. He carries a straight razor around and uses a baseball bat in a gang fights.
- Keith Knight as Barnyard, The gang's enforcer. He likes to wear clothes displaying the swastika. He uses a large wooden plank in battle, which just shows his immense strength.
- Neil Clifford as Fallon, The gang's other enforcer. He wears a lot of black leather and has a mohawk.His weapon is a chain, which he wears as a belt for easy access in fights.
Comedy writer and producer Tom Scharpling has noted that Class of 1984 is one of his favorite movies. Scharpling often references the film on his weekly call in radio program The Best Show on WFMU.
The movie also had two science fiction-themed sequels that were loosely based on the original: Class of 1999 (1990) and the direct to video follow-up Class of 1999 II: The Substitute (1994), the first of which was also directed by Lester and like its predecessor, was also released via Vestron Video, while the latter was released by Vidmark Entertainment. Lionsgate released Class of 1999 on DVD September 16, 2008. They have been released on DVD in many foreign territories, such as Korea, Italy and Australia.
The 1986 low-budget Troma movie Class of Nuke 'Em High is in its majority a spoof on Class of 1984. The gang of 'Cretins' represent the gang from '84. The tagline "We are the future" also appears in Nuke 'Em High, uttered by one of the gang members as "We're the youth of today."
Films directed by Mark L. Lester 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000sBlowback (2000) · Stealing Candy (2002) · Betrayal (2003) · White Rush (2003) · Pterodactyl (2005)
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