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I hate the term guilty pleasure when it comes to discussion about
movies. I mean if you like a film then why should you feel guilty about
it? If you are sensible enough to know that a disregarded film is poor
on production and story yet entertains you then that is all there is to
it really. One such case for myself is with Class Of 1999, Mark L.
Lester's loose sci-fi sequel to his own Class Of 1984. I really
couldn't recommend this film to anyone with confidence, I just know
that I love it, have done since I rented it out of curiosity on VHS
many years ago.
The film basically is set in bad future Seattle where anarchy reins in our schools. So into the mix comes three robot teachers on a secretive trial basis, their form of discipline is tough but appears to be working. But things start to go wrong as the teachers start to revert to their battle droid beginnings and it all spirals out of control as they take on the might of the two warring gangs operating out of Kennedy High School.
Think of it as a mixture of Escape From New York and The Terminator and you will be in the same ball park. Tho for the record this is not even close to being as good as either of those movies. Lester's movie actually, in spite of its reviled reputation, comes with some good acting credentials. Malcolm McDowell, Stacy Keach and Pam Grier are the "name" actors, while Patrick Kilpatrick and the cool Bradley Gregg are familiar faces that have fun with the material. It's violent and sweary and full of cheesy dialogue, and naturally the sci-fi led effects are cheap and in keeping with the budget. It's the sort of film that now would go straight to DVD without so much as a blink of an eye. But once a fan of it, you are always a fan of it, because true love never dies.
Acquired taste? For sure. Coolly anarchic in a B movie way? Definitely. So "jump me in, jump me in now". 8/10
I remember watching it on SKY (satellite) at about 1.30 am, and being
by what i saw.A film that had good characters, a good story line and cool
visual affects, a class flick! And nothing has changed, except for the
that there have been better films made since then.
Bradley Gregg playing Cody Culp was for some reason a character that i
wanted to be because he was a thug and considered cool. I liked the
relationship he had with his former gangmembers and his enemies the RAZOR
HEADS! (classic names) Stacey Keach played the "mad proffessor" down to a
as if it was written exclusively for him. surprisingly this is the best
have seen Patrick Kilpatick play in, EVER! Pam Grier's role was fine but
should have been played someone else.(Sharon Stone) Mr HARDY was a
classic bad guy if ever i saw one. The ending could have been a bit
though. "I was there, he was so wasted he would'nt have known which end
bullets come out!" one of my favourite lines, all in all a great film
had a few surprises which were all enjoyable. 7/10
Thanks for reading.
If you've grown up with trashy no brainer films like this one and Lesters
even poorer effort Commando, you'll love this. Its cheesy, over the top
light hearted enough to make for a great bored night in with illegal
substances. The acting is hammy, the direction poor, but what saves this
film is the exact things that make is a catastrophy. I mean, don't be
expecting "Its a Wonderful Life" or "The Green Mile" when you watch this.
Just expect a nice straight forward action flick about psychotic robot
teachers. Everything about this film is great, its intense, dark and fun.
Its not surprising to see people here have ripped it apart, but with a
like Class of 1999, what did you expect??
Summary: watch it for a giggle, its really not that bad.
It's the year 1999 and the violence in schools is virtually now
unstoppable with many gangs contributing to the war zone look. To
control this problem in a Settle High school, a principal gets help
from the board of Government Educational defence and three disguised
androids are sent there. They are no ordinary robots that are just
there to teach, but they have strong disciplinary actions to keep these
savage students at bay. Although soon the punishment that these
androids hand out becomes brutal and they decide to terminate the main
problem by playing games on the students.
Director Mark L. Lester returns here to provide us with a sequel to his cult classic "Class Of 84". This really isn't a direct sequel and it's not up to scratch with the first. The original is basically far superior in every way. Though, that's not saying it's worthless, because it's not. Trashy, incredibly dumb and over-the-top, but it surely was an entertaining B-grade Sci-fi. Even if the characters and plot seem to lose out to the violence and special effects. They are executed very well by fusing together plentiful action and chaos. Just like the first it doesn't shy away from graphic violence, but the realistic and exploitive touch of the first is lost on this occasion. While, the special effects are very well conceived in this low-budget production. The robot designs were crafted with great detail and skill. Another notable thing that makes this worth a peek is that of the cast. What a stellar line-up it does boast. You got Malcolm McDowell, Stacy Keach, Pam Grier, John P. Ryan, Patrick Kilpatrick and Joshua Millar appearing. Now the big question is how did these names get involved in the production? The characterizations are weak, but Grier, Ryan and Kilpatrick spice it up as the hell bent androids and Keach gives a deviously cheesy performance as the cynical Dr. Bob Forrest, the creator of these robots. The teenagers here are basically paper-thin and lack the menace. Bradley Gregg plays the hero, and that's a very wooden and unappealing one too.
The predictable premise is more concern about keeping the eyes entertained with explosions, gunfire and dazzling effects amongst an apocalyptic background. The satirical comments are there, but it just lacks the venom in the context and it doesn't have the hard ass poetry of the original. It takes a look into the future to see how the higher officials would cope with this problem and it shows the hypocritical reaction that now aggression is the best way to defeat this problem. Like others have mentioned it adds a pinch of "The Terminator", "Westworld" and "The Warriors" to the story's set-up and viola - you got "Class of 1999". The hammy dialog is bad and seems to be on pun overload; with something being mentioned every couple lines. Stacy Keach is the one that drums out the campy dialog beautifully, though. The humour too is terribly off the rocker. The soundtrack sticks with the punk scene and rock grunge, but it isn't so enforcing and catchy. Because of the budget it does have very grimy look that works in well with the flick. Director Lester constructed adequate suspense and paces the film rather smoothly, with enough neat flashes of gore in the mix. Overall, I was expecting something very weak, but hell this was one bone-rattling ride.
Maybe it's not as memorable, interactive and shocking as its great predecessor, but this kitsch sequel, which could possibly stand-alone. Hooks you right in because of the profound visuals and strong cast.
Recent teenage parolee Cody Culp returns to his anarchistic futuristic
hood to find himself disgusted with his home life, alienated from his
former gang(probably to his relief), and threatened by the school's
newest bullies: three robotic teachers, implemented by the government
to restore discipline, only consolation being his budding romance with
the principal's daughter--perpetually gorgeous Tracy Lin. As always,
whenever players take the material as seriously as these actors do, the
potentially mediocre is propelled to a new level. The performance by
vastly unappreciated and underused Bradley Gregg rivals that of the
more experienced Ryan, Grier, and Kilpatrick(with McDowell typically
good, but all too often idle).
I've always held that the reason there was and remains so much dissatisfaction with this movie is that too many people watched it with the wrong expectations. Preparing for some silliness and expecting some substandard effects is the starting point with one like this. Reason being: to get past the frequent implausibility is to put yourself in a position to recognize the uniqueness and innovation. Taking the deliberate cheese with a grain of salt, one can appreciate opportunities when it is earnest.
If anything truly hurts this movie, it's the boring pseudo-military battle scenes. They would have been wise to leave this stuff to the only films suited to do them properly--war films, but instead have introduced out-of-place time wasters in which neither side has evoked any sympathy anyway. That said, Class Of 1999 is still a shoulda-been camp classic not to be missed. Then again, should any movie featuring knockout Tracy Lin be missed?
You don't get any more hammy than this. Amongst all the trash of straight to video releases, you ocassionaly find a concept like this. A guy walks out of prison, and heads back to school to find that cyborg teachers are taking the code of the classroom a little to far. Schools in many American districts are regarded as "Free-fire zones" and the police won't even intervene in the deadly gang warfare that ensues whenever school is not on. No one ever asks "Why do these kids even bother going to school", but at this point, who cares? This is a gritty view of the future, with the kind of ironic humour that has made Verhoeven millions, if he had directed this it would have been the next Robocop. The cast shine with the likes of Malcolm MacDowell, Pam Grier and Stacey Keach and in the leading role is charasmatic Corey Feldman-clone, Bradley Gregg. Everyone is having fun with this movie and it is this attitude that makes it so watchable. A pumping rock soundtrack including Nine Inch Nails debut single pads this out even further. Great lines ooze from the script; I'll leave you with one of my favourites: "I'm going to go waste some teachers. Who's with me!"
In 1999 (I think) things have gotten so bad that as a last resort,
robots have been brought in to teach students. This is all thanks to
Bob Forrest (Stacy Keach) who hopes that he can sell his robots to
other problem ridden schools, however when the robots (John P. Ryan,
Pam Grier and Patrick Kilpatrick) starting killing students for being
late and start pitting gangs against each other, it's up to Cody
(Bradley Gregg) to reunite the gangs and waste the "George Jetson
nightmare!" Also the robots have killed his brothers and kidnapped his
girlfriend Kristi (Traci Lin) so Cody's looking for revenge in this
exciting and admittedly silly actioner. There are few genres that amuse
me more than deadly teachers whipping bad kids in shape. The Principal,
Substitute movies and so forth are sources of guilty pleasures, Class
99 is no different, since the androids are played by cool actors such
as John P. Ryan, Pam Grier and Patrick Kilpatrick. The teenagers
themselves don't really convince as punks but there is lots of action
and it's all directed with the most possible gore, this was after all
from Mark L. Lester (Commando and Showdown In Little Tokyo) so despite
the obvious fact that this movie is even more poorly made than it's own
sequel (Which stars Kickboxer 2's Sasha Mitchell) the fact is that this
far more entertaining and is perfect for those who hate teenagers and
want to see them get disposed of in the most grisly way. I for one find
that to be great entertainment.
3/5 Matt Bronson
I thought that this film was great. Even better since it was about 1999 and it was made in 1990. The futuristic flavor is appealing as well as the love story that occurs. I think this movie was one of the greatest ever made, to bad I was only like 5 when it came out! I also checked the IMDB and it doesn't look like many of the actors in this film had much of a career after this movie, so to the I hope they have future success! And for the movie I hope for many years of airplay on the movie channels like HBO, Showtime, TMC, Starz, Cinimax, and Flix!
Bright fluorescent bandannas, tough talk, rival gang wars, guns, guns,
guns, and a rocket launcher. Several major cities have such massive
gang activity that they have been deemed "free-fire zones" where the
authority just threw their hands up and said "screw it, they can just
have it, we are outa here!". Yet the gang bangers are required to go to
school. I mean, think of it. You can shoot people, start fires, crank
on as many drugs as you want. However if you skip class, you're in big
Regardless, for a movie of its time it was really well put together. We cannot compare this type of movie to modern cinema. There is no cgi. It's makeup and animatronics. Cheesy as it is today, I feel that this class of 1999 makes for a great spot in anyone's movie library.
I've got a soft spot for sci-fi films that have already passed their
sell-by-datethose movies set in a year that is now history to you and
I (even more-so if the year forms part of the film's title, like this
one): I just love seeing how these cinematic predictions of the future
differ from reality.
Class of 1999 is a classic example: according to this film, by the year 1999 gang culture will have reached such a level in the U.S. that certain areasknown as Free Fire Zoneswill no longer be protected by the police. Kennedy High School, situated in one such lawless zone, becomes the testing ground for three experimental robot teachers (played by Patrick Kilpatrick, Pam Grier, and John P. Ryan), adapted from military battle droids by unscrupulous MegaTech head honcho Bob Forrest (Stacy Keach).
Recently released from prison, gang-banger Cody Culp (Bradley Gregg) intends to give up his criminal lifestyle, but when the droid teachers begin to revert back to their military programming, dealing with their unruly students using extreme force, he and his gang, the Blackhearts, join forces with their rivals, the Razorheads, to try and stop the killing.
According to director Mark L. Lester (who also directed the superior Class of 1984), late '90s fashion hasn't moved on much from the decade before, the film's youths sporting some truly nasty attire (worst offender being Joshua Jackson as Cody's brother Angel, who wears yellow leggings and matching tunic and has the cheek to tell Cody "Man, you got to think about your image"). Also exhibiting zero sign of taste: Stacy Keach as freaky albino Forrest, whose hairstyle is a cross between a mullet and a rattail, and who wears zombie contact lenses for no apparent reason (I thought he was an albino at first, but his 'tache is black).
This version of 1999 also sees the art of robotics advanced to a level where machines can pass for human, something clearly inspired by James Cameron's The Terminator. As the droid teachers battle Cody and his pals, they shed their skin to reveal powerful weapons, which takes the violence up a notch and allows for some pretty impressive animatronic effects and gloopy cyborg gore, Grier opening up her chest (complete with prosthetic tits), Ryan having his cranium blown off, and Kilpatrick's head reduced to half human, half robot (before having his noggin separated from his body via forklift truck!).
Gloriously daft, a little cheesy at times, a lot cheesy at others, and packed with cartoonish violence, Class of 1999 is great entertainment for fans of exploitative '80s schlock. The fact that its vision of the near future is so wrong is just the icing on the cake.
7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
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