Class of 1999 (Action) [Movie/Review] + The Movie


Year: 1990
Genre: Action
Director: Mark L. Lester
Source: Blu-Ray (Lions Gate Home Entertainment Vestron Video Collector’s Series)

In a future world in Seattle the High Schools are one step above the prisons. In a new program to insure that students will come to class and remain alert to their subjects, Dr. Bob Forrest (Stacy Keach) has adapted Cyborgs from military research and development and made them into teachers. The head of the High School program Dr. Miles Langford (Malcolm McDowell) loves the idea mainly because his high school is rampant with gangs, and his daughter Christine (Traci Lind) is one of the students. When local high school tough Cody Culp (Bradley Gregg) is released from jail and back into the high school system he immediately is confronted by his old drug-addled and violence-prone school mates, but when he discovers how the new drug called the Edge has affected them and particularly his own mother, he begins to have a change of heart. This change of heart is also helped by Cody’s friendship with Christine who sees the good inside of the damaged soul of Cody and works to bond with him. When the three Cyborgs Ms. Connors (Pam Grier), Mr. Bryles (Patrick Kilpatrick), and Mr. Hardin (John Ryan) demonstrate homicidal solutions to student misbehavior Cody and Christine join together to uncover the true nature of these instructors and discover that they will have to fight for their lives to make high school a better place.

Question … Did filmmakers in the 1980’s think that in the future nothing would have happened to fashion and hairstyles? 😂 This lovely b-action movie has that Mad Max or Post Apocalyptic feel. All gang members look like they been taken from a random gay musical on broadways back streets. The main lead Cody’s sibling Angel is impossible to judge if it’s a boy or a girl. Besides the gender confused teenagers this is an entertaining movie and we get the regular b-action movie trops like never ending magazines and a lot of action scenes. Another question, why do this automatic weapon equiped gangbangers even go to school? 😂

Filmed in late 1988 and during the Winter of 1989 on different location around Seattle, Washington, USA. The scenes filmed at the school is Lincoln High in Seattle. Director Mark L. Lester considered and scouted locations in Los Angeles but couldn’t find a school that was suitable for the requirements of the film. Luckily for Lester and the producers, there was a school in the Seattle area more than willing to accommodate the film.

According to Director Mark L. Lester, the two films that influenced the visual style of the film were both The Road Warrior and The Asphault Jungle. The Road Warrior influences are completely noticeable in the look of the cars and the school itself on the outside.

John P. Ryan, Pam Grier and Patrick Kilpatrick all wore wet suits underneath their clothes for the chase scene that ultimately ends with them crashing into the water. The water was so cold that it required not only the wet suits, but also hot tubs were kept close by so that the actors could hop in and keep warm. The battle on the pier set up by the android teachers to pit the Blackhearts against the Razorheadz took about three to four days to film according to Director Mark L. Lester. He stated that they had to contend with downpours, mud and constant reloading of the weapons needed for the scene.

The blu-ray I watched was the UK version from Lions Gate Home Entertainment Vestron Video Collector’s Series and the picture and sound quality is good.

Bonus Features 

  • Audio Commentary by producer/director Mark L. Lester
  • Extras:”School Safety” interviews with director/producer Mark L Lester and co-producer Eugene Mazzola (22:33) 
    “New Rules” interview with screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner (19:27) 
    “Cyberteachers From Hell” interviews with special effects creators Eric Allard and Rick Stratton (19:30) 
    “Future of Discipline” interview with director of photography Mark Irwin (19:04) 
    Still Gallery (8:42) 
    Theatrical Trailer (0:59) 
    TV Spots (1:02) 
    Video Promo (7:47)
  • Subtitles:English HoH, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
  • Picture Format:1080p 24fps AVC MPEG-4
  • Soundtrack(s):English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo
  • Case type:Keep Case
  • Notes:Region A/B-coded. 
    Comes with a slipcover
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