I have always been a fan of movies. I have enjoyed movies from just about every genre. With that said though, it wasn’t until the late 1990’s when I began to get interested in collecting movies. During this time of being a young movie collector (And you gotta realize that this came before DVD) I used to go to a sort of Tower Records clearance shop. At this shop I would pretty much go about once a month to pick up VHS tapes…
One of these tapes that I had picked up was the classic movie, ‘Class of 1999.’ Now I had come by to pick this up because Bradley Gregg who stars in Class of 1999 was in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: the Dream Warriors which I had seen many years ago, and that movie happens to be in my top 3 of that series.
With that said, I had spent a few years looking for it, until as luck would have it, a VHS copy happened to be in the bargain bin at that store when I was looking for some great Halloween movies to watch!
Written by Bradley Gregg (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors) and Directed by Mark Lester (Commando) and starring Bradley Gregg, Traci Lind (Cadillac) and Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek: Generations). With Stacy Keach (The Killer Inside Me) Patrick Kilpatrick (Chuck) and Pam Grier (Jackie Brown)
Class of 1999 tells the story of a society where Childhood, Crime, Education and gangs had become so closely connected, that the United States begins designating free fire zones (Areas in cities that the Police never patrol) in cities all over the country. The government also sets up a special department to combat the violence that is overtaking our schools!
With that said the government decides at one point to create a program to introduce androids in to schools, to help give these children a safe environment to learn in. The government invites Dr. Bob Forrest’s company to build the machines. Which he does so creating cyborgs that were originally meant for military application but were supposed to have had their computer programing altered so that they would become teachers.
Anyway when that is done, a school in Seattle that had been shut down, is set up as a test site for it, with Dr. Miles Langford (McDowell) who they bring in to run the place.
With everything in place some of the local juvenile prisons in the area begin to release some of the select inmates from the area that the school is located in. One of these inmates that they release back in the world, is the harden war weary former gang member who renounces his ties to his former gang, Cody Culp (Gregg), who literally just wants to go to School and get a good education…
Of course when Cody gets back to his home (with in the free fire zone) he comes back to a life he no longer wants to lead. His mother is a strung out drug addict. His younger brother Angel (played by Joshua John Miller) is a drunken, drug addict who is about to join the same gang that Cody has renounced. His best friend Sonny (Darren E. Burrows) is also a strung out gang member from the same gang as Cody.
On the first day of school Cody along with the rest of his grade walk up to a school that is surrounded by metal fencing and closely resembles what I can only imagine is a Prison, with all of its Metal detectors and armed guards in riot gear! At one point when they get up to the main gate almost every kid is stopped and has to empty out there weapons, with Cody getting stopped because of shrapnel in his neck had set the metal detector!
Besides that, this school is just like any other school in a post-apocalyptic society (which this isn’t.) It has a whole bunch of kids that are ready to kill each other, some Android teachers and a few human faculty and some members of the test program, and then there is Cody and Christie Langford (Lind). Christie is the new girl in town, she is the principals daughter, she is the preppy girl next door type who should be either going to a high school in a rich neighborhood or in a private academy some where. Christie really displays this when her naivete about gang life and the criminal element allows one of her fellow class mates to force himself on her, in comes Cody Culp to the rescue…
Cody pulls the guy off Christie and beats the crap out of him. When Cody is done fighting the guy, both he and Christie become fast friends. (All of this before class has even started!) When the bell rings everyone runs to their assigned rooms, with Cody headed in to Ms. Connors’ room (Grier).
When they get in there everything starts off pretty normal, with the android Ms. Connors’ acting as a teacher should and getting the class to quiet down till she can begin teaching. It isn’t until Mr. Hardin’s class that things start to go awry!
When they get to Mr. Hardin’s class all of this kids begin going wild and a couple of kids get in to a fight, things go awry when Mr. Hardin (Another of the 3 androids uses corporal punishment on both kids and spanks them many times on the ass. Also during that class, Sonny who was stonned at that time comes in to the class, and as punishment Mr. Hardin walks out with Sonny and between both Sonny and Mr. Hardin, they find Sonny’s stash and as a lesson, Mr. Hardin begins to stuff massive amounts of the drugs down his throat until the boy drops dead. After that Hardin grabs a keepsake (An earing) from off the boy and goes back in to the class to teach it.
After that nightmare is over with they head over to Mr. Bryles class (Another of the 3 androids). Mr Bryles (Kilpatrick), who is the boys gym teacher, and of course being naturally a bit of a tough pain in the ass with the boys begins to get really cruel with one of the weaker boys. After gym class the boy that Bryles embarrassed gets high and sets out to the gym with a gun in the hope of killing Bryles (little does he know that, that is not what is going to happen!)
With all of this weird stuff happening with the androids, Cody begins to investigate what is going on with these new teachers and when he discovers the earring that Sonny cherished was in Mr. Hardin’s possession and that Sonny and his other friend from gym class are missing, he begins to realize that kids are disappearing, and when his brother Angel is murdered and his friend/girlfriend Christie is taken, Cody rejoins his gang and unites his gang with a rival gang so that they can teach these crazy android teachers a lesson!
If I haven’t convinced you yet that this really is a truly awesome b movie, then here are some other reasons that I think you might like it!
1. The cast are just in comparably great! As a matter of fact, this movie helped me to discover Malcolm McDowell’s true brilliance!
2. The special effects are simply great for that time. With Android bodies and the like.
3. For me I love a story about some one who over comes massive amounts of adversity to improve themselves so that they can get away from a bad life and the bad element! Which this movie has in spades!
I highly recommend checking this out! You might like it!