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 with mere issues but slowly develops into a life or death scenario as 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 (of the time) so everything looks as it should unlike the sequels, the film of course looks 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.