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Class of 1984
Die Klasse von 1984

USA 1982
produced by
Arthur Kent, Mark L. Lester (executive), Merrie Lynn Ross (executive) for Guerilla High Productions
directed by Mark L. Lester
starring Perry King, Timothy Van Patten, Roddy McDowall, Merrie Lynn Ross, Stefan Arngrim, Michael J. Fox, Keith Knight, Lisa Langlois, Neil Clifford, Al Waxman, Erin Flannery, David Gardner, Steve Pernie, Robert Reece, Joseph Kelly, Elva Mai Hoover, Vincent Abbatino, Evan Green, Linda Sorenson, Claude Rae, Jack Lea, Tracy Kinsella, Helena Quinton
story by Tom Holland, screenplay by Tom Holland, John C.W. Saxton, Mark L. Lester, music by Lalo Schifrin, song sung by Alice Cooper

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Andrew Norris (Perry King) is the new music teacher in school, and like every new teacher he starts out with ambition aplenty - but about as soon he goes head to head with the school bully Stegman, who is not only an unruly student but also has his hands in pretty much everything from streetfighting to drugdealing to running a prostitution racket.

Repeatedly, Norris tries to nail Stegman, but Stegman is always just one step ahead, and often Norris' actions just backfire, like when Stegman injures himself on purpose right before the teacher's eye, then puts the blame on Norris.

The situation escalates more and more, like when another teacher (Roddy McDowell), breaking down under the strain, one day brings a gun to class and teaches his students at gunpoint, and later kills himself in a car crash when trying to run Stegman over. Then another kid (Michael J.Fox) who was seriously injured by Stegman agrees to testify in court against him. And finally, Norris in a fit of rage crashes Stegman#s convertible ...

But Stegman knows where Norris lives, so while Norris is out preparing for a concert, Stegman and gang gangrape his wife (Merrie Lynn Ross) and kidnap her ... but see to it that he gets a polaroid of his wife being raped.

In the showdown, Norris chases Stegman and gang through the school and kills them all ...


Phew !

An opening title suggests that this film is supposed to say something relevant about the violence on American high schools, and I suppose that even was the intention of the filmmakers. The outcome though fails to live up to this: This is a reactionary, unreflected (and badly written) praise of personal vendetta that relishes in its violence and makes a hero of the very man who is actually part of the problem - after all he is the children's teacher and he just failed to use his positive influence on them. So-so acting and an uninvolving and unimaginative direction don't help the film one bit either of course. And why the film has over the years garnered quite some reputation completely eludes me ... it's pretty bad, period.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD