In the early 1980's high schools in the United States had a reputation of being filthy, violent places that were overrun by gangs of rebellious students that can't be expelled for one reason or another (why these hardened criminals would want to hang out a high school all day is beyond me). Films such as Teachers, 3 O'Clock High, and others regurgitated that idea throughout the early part of the decade. Class of 1984 is another member of that genre. The formula follows and idealistic teacher (Perry King) that represents a young go getter, ready to change the world by teaching. You need a leader of the thugs (Timothy Van Patten) who gets into a conflict with the idealistic teacher and drags that person down to his level in the end. The idealistic teacher has to have a spouse (Merrie Lynn Ross) that is semi oblivious until the danger appears at the front doorstep. Finally, you must have the older, fed up teacher (Roddy McDowell) that serves as a mentor to the young, idealistic teacher, but will probably end up a sacrifice to fuel the revenge fire.
Class of 1984 is an average film from this genre. Very predictable if you've seen any film like this from the 1980's. The only standout in the film is the performance by Roddy McDowell, who pushes his character beyond its generic function. Otherwise, the film doesn't really stand out from any high school centered version of Death Wish. Class of 1984 serves its purpose more as a time capsule of the era than delivering anything new. This is a totally forgettable film.