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