Class of 1984 (1982) from Tuna

Class of 1984 is a crime/drama/thriller made in Canada that ended up being distributed by the film's producers because nobody else would release it. Perry King plays the new band teacher at an inner city high school. His wife is expecting, and he starts the job as a dedicated teacher and pacifist. What he encounters is a war zone ruled by a gang of students, led by a very bright but equally demented kid played by Timothy van Patten. A biology teacher, played by Roddy McDowall, becomes King's friend, but is one of the casualties in the escalating war between King and van Patten.

The film basically consists of non-stop violence, but was a fair prediction of the actual violence that was to come in inner-city high schools.  Director Mark Lester used Clockwork Orange as much of his inspiration, but fleshed out the characters, and got good performances from his cast. Timothy van Patten was especially effective as the villain, and a very young Michael J. Fox appeared as one of the good students.

Class of 1984 is mentioned frequently in debates about the best B movies and the best exploitation movies of all time. It is probably Lester's career accomplishment, or at least his highest-rated film at IMDB:

  1. (5.73) - Class of 1984 (1982)
  2. (5.70) - Commando (1985)
  3. (5.59) - Firestarter (1984)
  4. (5.50) - The Ex (1997)
  5. (5.19) - Night of the Running Man (1994)
  6. (5.18) - Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)
  7. (4.99) - White Rush (2003)
  8. (4.89) - Armed and Dangerous (1986)
  9. (4.85) - Extreme Justice (1993)
  10. (4.82) - Double Take (1997)
  11. (4.60) - Class of 1999 (1990)
  12. (4.60) - Betrayal (2003)
  13. (4.43) - Sacrifice (2000/I) (TV)
  14. (4.37) - Guilty as Charged (2000) (TV)
  15. (4.35) - Blowback (2000)
  16. (4.27) - Hitman's Run (1999)
  17. (4.26) - The Base (1999) (V)
  18. (4.24) - Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw (1976)
  19. (4.00) - Misbegotten (1998)
  20. (3.74) - Roller Boogie (1979)
  21. (3.73) - Stealing Candy (2002)
  22. (3.73) - Pterodactyl (2005)
  23. (3.70) - Public Enemies (1996)


  • Blood and Blackboards: an all-new featurette
  • Audio Commentary with Director Mark Lester
  • Poster & Still Gallery
  • Screenplay (DVD-ROM)



The nudity comes from

  • one-time-wonder Helena Quinton, who does full frontal and rear nudity while offering to become a coke whore

  • and an unknown who shows breasts in a mosh pit.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C+. The theme has since been done many times, including in the Teacher franchise, but has probably not been done better.

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