Archive for the 'pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review' Category


pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review: Flash Gordon (1980)

Although not at all a Grindhouse flick, or even widely considered a B-Grade film surprisingly – it does fit rather nicely in to my trash sci-fi collection. I do have to admit though that – despite the wooden performances by the cast, the low-budget special effects, and the not-so-subtle fetish and bondage gear – the only reason this isn’t thought of as a B-grade exploitation film is because Queen were responsible for the pretty amazing title song and music throughout. I guess that’s enough really… And before you ask, yes, the re-watching of this film and subsequent review was brought about by Ted. Now on with the review!

Flash Gordon is a harrowing tale that highlights the plight of the Lizard-Men of Mongo. (Not where you thought this was going was it?)

The Lizard-Men are easily the most oppressed people in the galaxy, maybe even the universe. The first example of the cruel and inhumane treatment of the downtrodden Lizard-Men comes soon after Flash Gordon , Dale and Professor Zarkov crash-land and are taken prisoner by Ming’s forces. The unwitting space adventurers are led to the Emperor’s Palace where a Lizard-Man, apparently being held captive is disintegrated before the earthlings very eyes for trying to escape. No trial, no just cause, just turned to atoms. This is only the first of many examples of the cruelty endured by the Lizard-Men of Mongo that we could find.

In Ming’s throne room all the different people of Mongo are in attendance, there to pay fealty to Emperor Ming. The obvious absence of any Lizard-Men party goes seemingly unnoticed and unchallenged by any of the other native Peoples. Not even by the Hawk-Men, the only other Mongoloid race who somewhere along the line got it on with an animal. After Flash makes a daring attempt to escape Ming’s soldiers using an American Football inspired style of fighting, is he then sentenced to death, Dale is to be added to Ming’s harem and become his sexual play thing, (Banging aliens is cool but he can’t treat Lizard-Men with any kind of decency? What the fuck, Ming?) and the Prof’s mind is to be wiped to become a slave or something.

In the dungeon, we see yet more Lizard-Men imprisoned behind bars, while Flash is being held in a rather compromising position barely clothed… This is where you start to get the feeling that the film is more sinister than just the persecution of Lizard-Men…

Flash Gordon, 1980, Sam Jones

With the intervention of Ming’s own daughter, Princes Aura, Flash is saved. His execution is staged and along with Aura escapes to the Arboria the kingdom of the Tree Men ruled by Prince Barin who also happens to one Aura’s apparently many lovers. The trend of sexual deviancy runs in the Ming family, I guess. Although now alive, Barin out of jealousy sticks Flash in a cage suspended in the Arborian swamps. There in the watery cell, Flash shares the cage with a Hawk-Man and two Lizard-Men who are forced to hold themselves above the slime and mud or drown. How the Lizard-Men came to even be in Arboria is a mystery, yet there they are, once more prisoners. Flash is even party to the wholesale discrimination against the reptilians as he helps the Hawk-Man but leaves the Lizard-Men to their own devices. Even when escaping Flash offers no help to the Lizard-Men. You would think for a man who carries the title of Saviour of The Universe that it would include all its inhabitants…

When all the people of Mongo are eventually set free thanks to Flash forging an alliance between the Tree Men and The Hawk-Men leading a revolt against Ming’s tyranny – not a fucking green-skinned humanoid in sight, I tell you! It’s a disgrace! For shame! For shame on you, Flash Gordon! For shame on all the Mongoloids who are party to persecuting the innocent Lizard-Men.

Now I know some denialists will jump at the chance to point out that the Flash Gordon film is not a complete and accurate depiction of life on Mongo. Yes that is true, but there are other examples of cruelty towards the whole Lizard-Man race even as far back as the comic strips from the 50’s!

Flash Gordon Comic Serial

3 counts of cruelty to Lizard-Men (which I am told were very easy to find!)

If you’re that sort of despicable, heartless cretin that can abide the sort of wholesale abuse on show in Flash Gordon you’d probably enjoy yourself to the point of re-watching the unadulterated 80’s cheese fest over and over again. There isn’t a moment in the film you won’t find something to revel in. Since you’re in to the abuse, you’ll probably note more than most the fetish and bondage gear that has been worked in to the sets and costume design. You’ll probably enjoy it so much you won’t be able to help but call up all your  sick friends and get them to come round so you can watch the slaughter and debasement of an entire species and then have a glorious BDSM orgy!

Melody Anderson, Dale arden, Flash Gordon

what is up with those guards masks?

Ornella Muti, Pete Wyngarde, Flash Gordon

not even trying to be subtle here!

If in the final scenes of the film the shot of Flash’s rocket ship crashing through the conveniently shaped window of Ming’s pink palace doesn’t plant the seed for some kind of penetration action at all… Even the most decent morally incorruptible of viewers can’t fight that kind of subliminal messaging. Even just looking at the screen shots again has got me feeling a bit funny… Look at the image below and tell me what you see!?

a phallic metal object flying in to a round pink hole? not a stretch of the imagination here, people…


pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review: thriller: a cruel picture

Most of the really good exploitation films are really nothing more than slightly embellished graphic depictions of the seedier side of life. It’s why showing them to the unprepared, middle class, white-bread-with-no-crust folk is fun… This movie goes by a few names, the two English titles being, Her Name Was One Eye, the censored version, or the more common title but less cool, Thriller: A Cruel Picture. Regardless what you call the film, it stars Christina Lindberg as the title character, who had a hand in convincing the rest of the world that Sweden was where hot woman were made in the 70’s… She also spends more than half of it barely clothed, which is nice.

they called her one eye, christina lindberg

It’s the age-old tale of a poor European girl tricked by an older, richer man into a life of drugs and prostitution. Instead of dying on the street from AIDs, or at the hands of a dude with an anger problem stemming from being inadequately endowed, she overcomes adversity and escapes the life of a lady of the night. Well, presumably… She uses her ill-gotten income, already a deviation from the tale I know, what exploited woman has disposable income? Anyway, showing off her personal finance skills, she saves up and hands over some serious cheddar for training in the martial arts, shooting lessons and advances driving classes on her days off. Yet another deviation. Do prostitutes get days off? Why would her day off be a Monday? It’s like she works at a restaurant… Still they are some quirky hobbies. Even for a country girl who was once headed for a simple life of milking cows and instead ended up getting a raw deal following the, no doubt, shiny allure of a greasy cunt in a sports car.

thriller:a cruel picture

yup... that's the only thing you have to say to get girls in your car in Sweden apparently

The plot isn’t as simple as that, obviously. One Eye, still known as Madeleine at this point, is mute after being raped as  a child by some dirty old beast. Being mute however may have just been a tactful decision by someone in charge to help the film not be completely ruined by a porn star stumbling through her lines. Madeleine’s folks spend all they can on getting her help after her ordeal. After missing the bus to her speech therapy session, she ends up meeting Tony, the stereotypical lecherous cat that lures innocents into a life of depravity. Tony forces Madeleine to get hooked on heroin and earning on her back. He also gives cause for her nickname after she attacks her first visitor. The scene in which it happens, its rumoured, the director procured a corpse to pull off. It only adds to the cringe factor when you sit and watch the scene. Dead or fake, it’s still an eyeball getting taken out. Hence, Madeleine becomes One Eye, and her spirit is finally broken and she soon gets her regulars. A pervert who likes to take photos, an ugly fat bastard who likes to put his peepee in places the sexually unadventurous deem “out-of-bounds” and a sadistic lesbian who can’t decide if she wants to make out or fight. Pretty different tastes, but they all like the taste of One Eye’s nubile tender flesh. One Eye does what woman do best, endures, and accessorizes… She collects quite an array of eye patches to match her outfits. One Eye eventually discovers that Tony inadvertently caused her parents suicides, by sending them a fake letter posing as Madeleine, which she discovered earlier in the film, and he kills her only friend in the film, Sally a fellow working girl. These two events break the hookers back, and One Eye goes on the offensive. Her off days from then on are spent becoming a killing machine with the singular goal of making motherfuckers pay for what they done.

From that point the film follows your standard revenge plot… One Eye offs the villains one by one eventually facing off with her original tormentor, Tony. No one can help cheering for One Eye while she fucks up pretty much everyone and everything that gets in her way of taking out the bastards that abused her. She messes up some cops and steals their car for their troubles and shoots up a truck for no real reason. It’s one of the films that really cemented the revenge flick genre formula that’s been done countless times with varying degrees of success, with budgets of varying sizes. This particular revenge movie is famously known for being one of Quentin Tarantino‘s favourites. One thing that stands out is the use of slow motion during the ultra violent shots. It’s pretty clear though that no one bothered to shoot a sawed off shotgun at something meaty to see what the resulting wound would actually looked like. If you’re a fan of the ol’ B-grade revenge films you’ll want to check this out. There are many reasons why it’s one of the biggest B-grade fan’s favourite film and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the graphic sex montages… It’s haunting the way she just sits calmly in a picturesque field watching Tony get his head slowly pulled off. Something about the Swedes, they sure can come up with a sadistic revenge tale. Having read Stieg Larrson’s, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series and the hectic shit his anti-heroin does to get back at her tormentors, makes cute little Swedish *flickor look like serious bad asses…

i'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure a shotgun shell to the forehead makes a bigger mess of your face...

*Swedish for, “girls”.

pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review: The Garbage Pail Kids

I think I might be a little OCD. I wanted to find a movie that had some obscure cartoon developed from it, similar to the last grindhouse classic review. I’m pretty sure I could have made my life easier if I didn’t stick these little underlying themes in all the time, but I like being informative beyond just a simple movie review. So a movie that met my completely made up and pointless criteria took a while to find, but eventually, thanks to an unrelated conversation with my brother that reminded me of an old childhood favourite that, once again, had slipped to the deepest darkest recesses of my brain. The amount of stuff that has slipped down there… I finally found one of the world’s worst straight to video releases ever produced by a chewing gum company.

How the hell a chewing gum company like Topps managed to convince the only man to ever win a Pulitzer Prize for a graphic novel to come up with and illustrate something as ridiculous as The Garbage Pail Kids, I’ll never know. Art Spiegelman took 13 years to finish his most famous work, Maus, a biographical graphic novel about his father’s life, being a Jew in Poland leading up to, and during, World War II then his new life in America, living in New York. Already an acclaimed illustrator and writer, what does Art follow-up his crowning glory with? Sticker cards that managed to outrage and horrify parents and teachers in the States, who tried desperately to ban them, but ultimately failed and the cards became pop culture collectables across half the planet.

The popularity of the cards must have been obvious at the time because they decided to make a cartoon series too. This is obviously when Saturday morning cartoons where nothing more than elaborate ad campaigns to sell more shit to kids, and the oh-so-sensitive American’s already offended by the cards saw this too, and made sure it never aired in the US citing that it made fun of the handicapped and glorified violence as well. Which it does! If that isn’t a recipe for an awesome B-grade movie what is?

Unfortunately what spurred all this 80’s parents’ fear and paranoia gave birth to the crappiest of films I’ve sat through lately, but I loved as a kid. I think my brother and I hired the VHS about 20 times until my dear grandmother, so sick to death of even hearing it on the TV, told the video store clerk to hide the tape whenever we came in. Bless her for even letting us hire it that many times, because it is bad. I have to warn you; if you decide to watch this, have a pillow nearby. I feel asleep twice. My now “adult brain” couldn’t make it through this whole movie in one sitting.

The opening credits are totally unrelated to the rest of the movie other than telling you who is in the movie. Forget about aliens or the garbage pail doing anything more than just being a magical vessel that imprisons the kids. Aliens do not have anything to do with the origins of the Garbage Pail Kids or the plot of the movie. Magic on the other hands, seems to have slipped in for some reason. The movie stars Anthony Newley as Captain Manzini a wizard, of all things to be, who runs a junk shop, of all things to own, that has a filthy trashcan in the middle that no one seems to ask about, Mackenzie Astin, as Dodger who works in the Captain’s store and is our main protagonist and Katie Barberi, is Tangerine the love interest. Easy enough to see why the young Dodger has a thing for Tangerine, any guy post puberty would be left whacking for weeks to the thought of her in her very 80’s slut-wear. Our boy Dodge can’t go anywhere near her most of the time though, because of her boyfriend, the aptly named, Juice and his two muscle-bound buddies. That’s the “normies” of the film. The rest of the cast is made of the Garbage Pail Kids, Valarie Vomit, who vomits, but only at the end of the movie properly. Windy Winston, he farts. Foul Phil, the baby of the group who just wants his mommy. Nat Nerd, a spotty fat git that pisses himself for fun. Ali Gator, the leader of the group who has a thing for toes and is obviously an alligator. Greaser Greg, who is… you guessed it, a greaser. And finally Messy Tessy, who suffers from severe sinus, a bit like my brother…

The movie is basically the Garbage Pail Kids escape the pail, thanks to Dodger and Juice having a tussle in the Captain Manzini’s shop, and then agreeing to help Dodger win over Tangerine in exchange for his help in finding the other Garbage Pail Kids. The way this all comes about would only be believable to kids. The whole story is so disjointed and nonsensical that no normal adult could watch it and enjoy it. Really the only thing that kept me looking at the screen was Katie Barberi. The effects are not just bad, they’re fucking terrible! You see the light reflect in the glass eyes of the GBK’s heads all the time and you can tell it’s a midget in a suit every step of the way. I’m not asking for real deformed dwarves, but just a bit of effort would’ve gone a long way here, I think. Everything in this movie is labelled quite literally. Even down to the sewer pipes that come up more than they should. I think they were just milking the few sets they did have. First time I’ve seen sewer pipes labelled plainly, like City Zoo or Toxic Waste, and in the direction they flow. That doesn’t stop the writers from expecting you to believe that turning them off has an effect in a completely unrelated location at the exact moment when Juice decides to go for a shit. Yes, it’s that type of movie…

Today, a kid’s movie doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s exclusively for kids. I watch many animated features still and will re-watch them happily. The stories are good, characters are entertaining, I even find moments that I thoroughly enjoy them. This movie is made with the same thinking as the people who dish out horrid shit like Telly Tubbies and Barney the Dinosaur, but threw in as many inappropriate gags and situations they dared to. Just a pity they didn’t dare that much… I think it goes to show that even since the 80’s kids are recognised as having some intelligence. They don’t treat kids like semi-formed retarded babies up until they suddenly graduate high school and are expected to be adults all of sudden. I’ve had worse experiences in terms of watching a movie, but I can’t think of any examples now. Be grateful that you have something to go off, and can choose to watch this movie at your own peril. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. I’m looking out for you bastards once again! The things I do for you people…


pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review: the toxic avenger

Any of you remember that cartoon series, Toxic Crusaders? If you were born after the 80’s probably not since it was only 13 episodes which is nothing compared to other cartoons of the time. It was one of those few cartoons that left its scar on my subconscious. It was one of many cartoons made in the 90’s that had an underlying environmental theme, like Captain Planet. I don’t remember it for that though, I remember it for the ass kicking mutated freak heroes like the much-loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which I was fucking obsessed with like most kids at the time. I will admit that over the years the cartoon sort of sunk to the deep recesses of my memory and was only recently brought back up to the surface after watching the movie that inspired the cartoon, which probably went some ways in getting a whole new generation to fall for the mutated anti-hero, Toxie.

Toxic Crusaders, Toxic Avenger cartoon, 90's cartoons

enviromentally conscious down to the tie-dyed background. fucking hippies.

As child-friendly as the cartoon was, the film, The Toxic Avenger and its sequels were most definitely not. Troma Entertainment, started by Mike Herz and Lloyd Kaufman, who you should definitely look up if you’re in to independent films, was the production and distribution company responsible for the cartoon and the movies, which are notorious for shocksploitation B-movies. The Toxic Avengers was a crowning success in pursuit of that reputation leading to Toxie becoming the company’s official mascot. Warner Brothers have a cheeky rabbit, Bugs Bunny. Troma Entertainment have murderous ugly fucker, Toxie… See what we’re dealing with here? This movie is filled with all things B-grade, outrageous blood, shit and gore with a smattering of bare breasted hotness and dialogue delivered so badly planks with faces drawn on them could have done the job. I know you’re sold already, but carry on reading anyway…

Toxic Avenger, Toxie, Troma Entertainment. movie poster

looks like a choad and carries a mop as a weapon... what a hero!

The Toxic Avenger is set in Tromaville, “The Toxic Chemical Capital of the World” a small town somewhere near New Jersey, who’s townsfolk don’t mind a bit of toxic waste in their drinking water. Melvin, our protagonist, is the “mop boy” at the Tromaville Health Club. Melvin doesn’t paint a pretty picture or seem that smart but despite it all is a decent guy with a permanent dumb grin on his face. Amongst the beautiful people at the fitness centre, are Melvin’s biggest tormentors, Bozo and Slug and their girlfriends Julie and Wanda. It’s revealed that besides being prone to picking on weakling janitors the four of them are murderous racist psychopaths as well. The politically correct and decent people still left in this world will freak out at the scene where they go driving around, but that’s what we’re watching for, complete and utter insanity. After a prank devised by Julie, Melvin ends up in less than flattering outfit, making out with some livestock and being transformed into an even more hideous creature than what he was already. He suffers chemical burns, loses his hair, gets even uglier, pisses green and smokes when he gets a hard on, you’ll have to wait till half way through the movie to actually see his hideous face but it’s kinda worth it when you do eventually see it. It’s not all bad for Melvin, because he grows in size and strength to the point of superhuman, which he uses expertly in dishing out brutal bloody deaths to baddies in uncontrollable fits of violent rage. He also manages to land a blind, clumsy, but ultimately steaming hot girlfriend, Sarah, who he wouldn’t have had a chance with before being transformed, and if it weren’t for her being blind. In between cleaning up Tromaville’s streets, Melvin seizes his chances for revenge on those responsible for turning him into a freak, attacking Wanda mid-fiddle in the steam rooms and burning her ass, which I thought was deserved and hilarious. Oh, and if you pay close attention you might spot Marisa Tomei as the chick interrupting Julie being killed. Pretty sure it’s Tomei’s first “speaking” role in any movie. It was explained to me that actors need to land a speaking role of any kind to be able to get some card thingy so they can get other roles, which is why a lot of actors are in these whacked out films… I didn’t say I was listening or that I care, it’s just fun seeing established actors acting like retards in their younger days.

marisa tomie, my cousin vinnie, the wrestler

safe to say toxic avenger isn't on her CV

I will warn you the villains in this messed up town aren’t just bad… They are properly evil, like pimping out 12 year olds, evil. The town’s major, Major Belgoody, is a truly obese specimen who you have to see without a shirt one too many times, is among them since he’s also the criminal kingpin of Tromaville’s crime ring. At first he isn’t too concerned about the mysterious “Monster Hero” ,so dubbed by the townsfolk, but eventually starts to worry about his own safety when his henchmen start turning themselves in before they get ripped to pieces. When our hero kills a seemingly innocent old lady, (I say seemingly because she isn’t innocent, Toxie only goes mental in the presence of evil to the core types.) the Major uses it as his chance to get rid of the monster vigilante once and for all, leading to a show down between good and evil with the whole town and the National Guard in attendance.

The Toxic Avenger is many things, with a bunch of themes going on all at once. Besides being a comedic gore-fest with some inventive murders being committed in the name of justice, which really should be enough to get you to love this film, there are elements of social commentary, like the Chief of Police being a Nazi (classic!), and environmental awareness throughout this crazy-as-bag-full-of-badgers movie. If you don’t go find this film, watch it, and love it, there is most likely something irreparably wrong with you.


pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review: ladies and gentleman, the fabulous stains

Keeping it in theme from last week’s pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review, this week’s movie review also features punk rock, teens and therefore breasts are bared constantly. Yup, if you’re in the middle of puberty start listening to punk music and you’re bound to see loads of titty…

You know that guy Lou Adler? Yeah the beardy fuck who produced The Mamas and The Papas. Also gave his seed in the creation of that twat Cisco Adler… California Dreamin’ was cool, Cisco and his numerous reality-show-bands, obviously, were not. Lou also dabbled in making films, not just hanging out with film stars. He directed that stoner classic, Up in Smoke staring Cheech and Chong. He also directed a lesser known movie called Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. This movie would fall under one of the better things he did with his time.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains!

crap poster doesn't do the movie justice

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains stars a teenage Diane Lane as a feisty lass, Corinne Burns, calling herself Third Degree Burns. Not a bad stage name for a lead singer in a punk band, you have to admit. Better still her band is an all girl group made up of her little sister and cousin calling themselves The Stains. The film could have been one of those girl power, woman’s lib type flicks, what with a bunch of spirited young ladies going about dressing weird and saying stuff about how they, “don’t put out.” and ideas of not having to attach themselves to some guy to be happy or be seen as a success in life, although you don’t have to worry about bra burning, because the trend started by the band is to not wear bras at all anyway. I can’t decide if the whole feminist agenda in the film is made moot when Corinne uses a guy to fast track her and the girls to stardom though. Ultimately I think the film is more about how marketing men ruin music by trying to make as much cash out of a good idea as possible.

look, a feisty young lass!

The Stains get a break after Corinne mentions that she’s in a band in a television interview and they join up on a tour with the Looters. The Looters, are on tour from England and are made up of two parts Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook, and one part The Clash, Paul Simonon, and up front on vocals an actual actor Ray Winstone as Billy.

steve jones, ray wonstone, paul simonon, sex pistols, clash, the fabulous stains, looters

the Looters. from left: Steve Jones, Ray Winstone and Paul Simonon, and Cookie is in the back there somewhere.

You probably thinking this is a credible punk movie with some proper punks in it right? At the time the Pistols were over and The Clash were heading the same way, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the lads were actually just knocking around Hollywood and needed the money, but whatever. Steve mostly moans about sleeping on the “fucking bus”, which he probably did a lot of in reality in the Pistols days. And the Pauls don’t say much throughout. Billy is actually the spirit and voice of punk in the movie, putting a lot of what punk is meant to be in nutshells and making observations about how Corinne goes about getting the “Fabulous” added to the band’s name. He almost brings it all crashing down on top of her before she gets there with a pretty cool song and a speech to her legions of clone groupies.

The Looters start out in the movie as the support band for Metal Corpses, a 60’s dinosaur rock band at the end of their careers.  Billy doesn’t hide his contempt for the situation and is partly how The Stains get on tour with them in the first place. The roadie/promoter Lawn Boy, the token Rasta, driving his Rasta bus ranting about Ja, hires them to resolve the conflict between the old rockers and the punks. Few can argue the irony of Lou Adler directing a film that makes fun of 60’s rock bands. The beardy fuck made the worst of them!

diane lane, the fabulous stains

watcha mean, gerl? ma bus no stink, it be da erb you smellin'

Corinne finds a “Punk Rock – How to look Punk” zine, dyes her hair, puts on some crazy makeup and a see-through blouse, and looking a lot like Soo Catwoman, appears on stage for the band’s first actual gig. This also happens to be caught on camera and appears on the news. Then thanks to an ambitious female reporter, who follows the band, smelling a story and career boost, elevates Corinne to hero status among young woman. Her few fans turn into legions of clones, ripping off her style calling themselves Skunks. It’s actually a little creepy cause some of the girls are literally 10… Errr… Pedo Alert! Hide the children and fetch the scissors!

soo catwoman

Soo Catwoman

diane lane, Corinne Burns, Skunks, punk, hair, 80's,70's

Corinne "3rd Degree" Burns... see what I mean?

Corinne and Billy eventually hook up, bound to happen on tour, despite Corinne seemingly disliking him even up to the point they get together. They fall out though, and Corinne screws the Looters over, drops the tour and makes a go of it with just her band. Only if they hadn’t had a cameo by Black Randy and the Metrosquad. Just another obscure band from the 70’s and 80’s fucking it up for everyone…

So, the verdict… It’s a good movie. The characters are awesome, stopping just short of being too cliché most of the time. The story, if a little too fast tracked to be believable, is still an entertaining one. Show it to people with no clue about punk and they’ll probably like it as much as anyone with tattoos, piercings and penchant for safety pins. It’s a story about youth rebelling and coming out on top. Everyone Feel Good. The coolest thing about this movie, I have to say I enjoyed it for all the “punk going wrong” stuff, is that it explains in an hour and a half, give or take, why punk went the way it did. Don’t argue with me, it fucking does. I don’t want to do the “punk is dead” debate or any of that shit, just watch it and you’ll agree. If you don’t agree then I don’t care anyway.


pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review: Class of 1984

I’ve decided to take it upon myself to educate you all by doing reviews on movies that I come across. Don’t expect anything about the shit showing in a cinema near you though. I plan on reviewing movies that I either enjoy, or despise so much that I want to tell you how much I hate them. Generally these are going to be B-grade or cult films, but I won’t commit to anything just yet. Pretty much anything with over the top violence and sex will do. Here is the first, a forgotten gem from the year 1982… Class of 1984.

movie poster

movie poster

Ever seen that movie about the new teacher at an inner city high school that ends up going to war with the school’s resident gang? Yeah, we all have. That premise for a movie has been used and abused since Blackboard Jungle was made back in 1955. The particular movie I’m referring to though is Class of 1984. It’s considered a grindhouse B-movie classic, but it’s almost too well done to fit into that category.

The opening credit’s role to the soundtrack of Alice Cooper’s – I am the Future, pretty inspired choice considering the underlying message in the film, as much as B-grade movies have messages… Stegman (Timothy van Patton), the spoiled, violent, psycho, pretty boy, leader of the Nihilist punk gang, also uses the line when taunting the idealistic music teacher Mr Norris, (Perry King). King plays a teacher that has come back to the once admirable profession after a hiatus. We aren’t told why or for how long but he seems to be out of touch with how things go down in high schools. At his new position at Lincoln High he’s met by his mentor at Lincoln, the gun touting, drunken biology teacher Terry Corrigan played by Roddy Mcdowall, who was the voice of Snowball from Pinky and The Brain, and just so happens to really love his lab rabbits in this movie. Then we’re introduced to his students which include a young, chubby Michael J. Fox, as Arthur and Stegman. Stegman’s gang never leave his side, which make for a disruptive classroom environment, and one that Norris tries to get under control which puts him in the headlights of Stegman and co. The hatred between Stegman and Norris escalates from there, from almost harmless pranks to rape, murder and cars being properly destroyed. For once, punk is actually portrayed pretty accurately, which seldom happens in these types of films. Teenage Head, who it seems drive teenage girls to whip out their tata’s in the middle of mosh pits, make an appearance in the punk club where the gang operates out of one of the back rooms. Where we discover, besides dealing drugs, they pimp out coke whores from suburbia. I wasn’t even aware that was frowned upon. What else do you do with teenage coke whores from suburbia? The implication that all punks are villainous rabble is a bit cliché, but they have the look and music down pretty well.

teenage head, punk band, class of 1984

teenage head in their film debut

Patton, a legitimate Hollywood heavyweight today, does a fine job portraying the “troubled but brilliant youth”, especially in the scene where he beats himself up to frame Mr Norris. He also has some so-bad-they’re-brilliant lines like, “Life… is pain. Pain… is everything.” With dialogue like that, delivered so dramatically you expect a good ol’ fashion fake-blood bath at any moment. The final show down between Norris and the gang, incited by the rape and kidnap of his pregnant wife, drags out a bit, just too much running down corridors that all look the same and not enough blood, guts and gore. I’ll leave you to watch the film to see if Norris manages to save his wife and himself from the clutches of Stegman’s gang.

class of 1984, timothey van patton, perry king, punk, movie, high school

stegman and gang with mr norris

Compared to other films in the same vein, this movie is actually pretty tame when it comes to graphic violence, nudity and sex. The deaths that occur could have been way more gruesome, and the sex and rape scenes are tame enough for even PG 13 rating today. Even the racism thrown in just to be offensive isn’t that bad. If you’re going to watch this film in the hopes of getting your sick kicks, you might be disappointed. The story and acting by the whole cast are actually good enough to keep you entertained almost to the very end. I’ll rate this movie pretty high for the entertainment value but kind of low on the rest of B-grade attributes that make the genre so epic. Watch it, and enjoy, you can thank me later with sexual favours next time I see you.

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