Class Of 1999 - Class Of 1999(Blu Ray) [Loinsgate UK - 2019]Class Of 1999 is a decidedly campy yet often brutal action Sci-Fi flick from the early ’90s. Think a blend of the punky charm of Troma’s school-based movies, slightly lower-grade Terminator & Robocop action, and more explosion fuelled Warriors gang fighting- and you’ll get an idea of what we have here. Here from Lionsgate is a Blu Ray reissue of the film- taking in a good selection of extras.
Released in 1990 Class Of 1999 was the 13th feature-length film from director/ producer Mark L. Lester, who before this had been behind the likes Commando, Firestarter, and Class of 1984- so he had a good grounding in action, and to a lesser extent horror film making. Class Of 1999 is very much a cross-breed in the best sense of the word, bringing together elements of sci-fi, action, with touches of sly humour & horror.
The film's set in rundown & grimy future Seattle, where the streets are ruled by gangs. The high schools used to educate the gangs are basically one step up from prisons- one of the more troubled schools decides to sign up to a government program- where the teachers are replaced by humanoid cyborgs. Into this setting steps young gang rebel, just out of real prison Cody Culp(Bradley Gregg), who fairly soon meets up with Christie Langford(Traci Lind)-whose the daughter of the schools principal(Malcolm McDowell). Together the young pair must convince the two local gangs that the school is been brutalized by the three cyborg teachers.
For the supporting adult cast, we get a good selection of classic cult film faces like Stacy Keach- playing the white rat-tailed albino Dr, whose in charge of the cyborgs- then the three themselves cyborgs are played by Pam Grier, John P. Ryan, and Patrick Kilpatrick. In the young cast, there’s also a few recognisable faces- we have Darren E. Burrows- who would go onto play Ed in cult 90’s TV show Northern Exposure. Joshua John Miller- who played a memorable turn as a young vampire in 1987’s Near Dark.
From the outset the films a decidedly punchy, yet fun affair that’s full of both brutal & bloody violence, lots of Mad Max-like car action, explosions, gang fighting, and later some basic if effective cyborg unmasked action- which sees arms dropping off to reveal flamethrowers, guns & metal pinchers. Yes, the plots both cheesy, and predictable- and the acting is of decidedly B calibre - but it all flies by in a campy, bloody & silly blur.
For this new reissue we get a good enough selection of extras- we get a series of four stand-alone interviews- each of these last around the twenty minute mark- we get one with director/producer Mark L. Lester and co-producer Eugene Mazzola, one with screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner, one with special effects creators Eric Allard and Rick Stratton, and one from director of photography Mark Irwin- each of these are interesting, and for the most part everyone seems to have fond memories of the film's production. Next, there’s a commentary track by Mark L. Lester- this is somewhat sporadic, and not through-out the whole film- it’s a fairly typical director track- with some interest tit-bits & facts along the way. Lastly, you get the expected original trailer, stills gallery, and TV Spots.
I recalling seeing Class Of 1999 artwork back in the video shop days of the early 90’s- but never saw it then, so it’s great to finally caught-up with it after all these years. If you enjoy bloody & campy sci-fi action I think you’ll get a kick out this- with the new extras making this a worthwhile purchase if you’ve already seen, or have this in another form.Roger Batty