Class of 1984 (1982) - Rotten Tomatoes

Class of 1984 (1982)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A music teacher (Perry King) at a tough Los Angeles high school reaches out to his students with the gift of music -- only to find a gang of sadistic punk rockers is actively dissuading new members from joining the orchestra. Not only are the punkers sadistic; they are also led by the nefarious Timothy Van Patten (sporting Willie Aames-style blow-dried hair). The plot development: Van Patten is a musical prodigy, as he proves by banging out some angry classical tunes on the school Baldwin in front of the teacher's startled class. King tries to befriend the lad, but he rejects the offer with scorn. When King attempts to settle for a truce with the gang leader in order to end his students' harassment, he finds himself targeted for a slowly-escalating campaign of terror, culminating in a deadly game of hide-and-seek in the high school after hours. One by one, King faces the murderous gang; one by one, teenagers die in a succession of increasingly violent fashions as the already-exploitive film degenerates into a Death Wish clone. As a feature film, Class of 1984 seems more like it was made for television. The plot is completely contrived; the characters are unbelievable (especially the punks, who seem to be the sort of punks that exist only in the imaginations of "B"-grade Hollywood film directors), and the production values are poor. Yet Class of 1984 has a certain charm, a certain earnestness that makes it watchable, if unintentionally amusing. The film includes a soundtrack by Alice Cooper which includes the stirring anthem "I Am the Future." Another point of interest: this may be the only film including a scene in which Michael J. Fox is stabbed during a prison-style cafeteria riot. ~ Jeremy Beday, Rovimore
Rating: R (N/A)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 17, 2006
United Film Distribution


Perry King
as Andy Norris
Timothy Van Patten
as Peter Stegman
Merrie Lynn Ross
as Diane Norris
Roddy McDowall
as Terry Corrigan
Al Waxman
as Detective Stewiski
David Gardner
as Morganthau
Stefan Arngrim
as Drugstore
Keith Knight
as Barnyard
Erin Flannery
as Deneen Bowden
Claude Rae
as Doctor
Roy Anderson
as Student
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Class of 1984

Critic Reviews for Class of 1984

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

The title suggests an Orwellian nightmare, but this extremely efficient and gleefully alarmist exploitation hit owes less to Big Brother than to 'Blackboard Jungle.'

Full Review… | May 15, 2015
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

prophetic with his ultra-violent cautionary tale of the youth of that day

Full Review… | April 27, 2015
7M Pictures

Audience Reviews for Class of 1984

The first in the 'Class of' trilogy and a pretty different outlook over the other two as this film is actually more of a serious approach to the story. One teacher up against a gang of yobs within the school which starts off as mere issues but slowly develops into a life or death scenario as both the gang and the teacher press harder for retaliation.

Compared to the other films this is a much darker affair which does get pretty tense as you really get behind Perry King's character to defeat the gang, you wanna see him beat them. Set in the present (at the time) so everything looks as it should unlike the sequels. The film does of course look really dated now mainly down to cars, hair styles and outfits but its still a great thriller with a really nice ensemble cast that all perform well.

Van Patten as the psychopathic pretty boy leader is really good the way he switches from menacing greaser to a whimpering high school kid to trick the officials, McDowall fits this type of trashy low budget film perfectly and King really cranks up the suspense giving the film real edge.

For all its silliness, increasing amounts of violence and lack of subtlety the film is probably quite accurate I think, it possibly does show what can and has happened in urban schools to some degree, the security guards etc...a reasonable prediction. Yes this film was a video nasty back in the day in the UK, one of those films that was thought to corrupt the young and innocent hehe I can see why somewhat. Looking back now though its a good fun revenge thriller which is so gloriously 80's and introduced us all to a young chubby Michael J. Fox.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


Cult shocker (for its time) about a gang of lawless school pupils who rule over the other students and teachers with violence and intimidation until one teacher decides to take a stand and fight back. Yeah it's an entertaining film, not much shock value left nowadays for it as it comes off a bit too cheesy. A rape scene, a severed arm and the use of the word "cunt" are the only offensive things that some people may find in the film. The best moments are towards the end when the punks get the tables turned on them.

Lee ?

Super Reviewer

This is another of the school themed movies with an updated story like that in the 50s movie, Blackboard Jungle. This one is very 80s, and it's very excting, and I really enjoyed it.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

Class of 1984 Quotes

– Submitted by Rick A (4 years ago)

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