Now here’s a dusty old cult classic being released on Lionsgate’s Vestron label which is just as enjoyable as it was when I rented it from the great Enterprise Video back in the early 1990’s.
America has gone to shit (has anything really changed?) and gangs have taken over. As a last resort the Principal of a High School right in the middle of gang central has got together with a shady robotics company and put three adapted battle cyborgs into the school as ‘teachers’. Ran by the sinister Dr Forrest (Stacy Keach with albino contact lenses and a hilarious white wig) the three cyborgs seem to start out well but soon they morph back into attack mode.
At the same time Cody Culp (Bradley Gregg) , a reformed gang leader is being released from jail and is ‘put back in the system’. Cody wants nothing to do with gangs anymore but his little brother does and with the teachers soon on the rampage, we’ll treated to plenty of action and violence from Mark L. Lester the director of Commando.
A pseudo follow up to Lester’s earlier Class of 1984, this film totally betrays its no doubt modest budget and is an entertaining romp from beginning to end. Its filled with stereotypical gang characters but Lester and his team have pulled off a casting coup with not only the afore mentioned Keach but also Malcolm McDowell as the troubled Principal. The three stand outs are obviously the teachers and we have veteran B movie action star Patrick Kilpatrick, John P. Ryan (Bronson’s nemesis in Death Wish 4) and Foxy Brown herself, Pam Grier chomping at the scenery then blowing it up.
Class of 1999 is a lot of old nonsense but essential viewing for fans of a time where we had proper explosions and rod puppets masquerading as cyborg teachers and the Blu-ray looks terrific so much better than my crappy old ex-rental VHS.