Class of 1999 (1990) (Vestron Video Collector’s Series) (Blu-ray Review)

Class of 1999 (1990) (Vestron Video Collector’s Series) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Mark L. Lester
Starring: Bradley Gregg, Stacy Keach, Malcolm McDowell
Rated: UR/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Vestron Video/Lionsgate

The time is the future and youth gang violence is so high that the areas around some schools have become “free fire zones,” into which not even the police will venture. When Miles Langford (Malcolm McDowell), the principal of Kennedy High School, decides to take his school back from the gangs, robotics specialist Dr. Robert Forrest (Stacy Keach) provides “tactical education units.” These human-like androids have been programmed to teach and are supplied with weapons to discipline problems. These kids will get a lesson…in staying alive!!!

I’m not sure if I’d call Class of 1999 a “good” movie, but I certainly wouldn’t call it a bad one. If anything it might be in the so bad its good boat, but that isn’t a bad thing if you really think about it. This is a movie that does bring the entertainment even if it does seem like a bit of a rip on The Terminator. I am well aware it is a follow-up to Class of 1984, but I think anyone will notice a Terminator vibe. Also, while it came out in 1990 it still does pack an 80s vibe to it for the most part and that only serves to help the overall appeal. Where Class of 1984 took more of a drama route this is clearly a movie from a post Terminator and Robocop world. It is very clear that this one is at least trying to cash in on some of that popularity. The end result is a cheesy but fun sci-fi movie that makes for a good popcorn flick if nothing else.

There are corny lines, there are wacky gang members, and we top it all off with some very gnarly teacher robots. If that sounds fun that is probably because it is a lot of fun. There are also some cool gore moments here and there that grab your attention as well. Malcolm McDowell is even here in a role that probably could have been better, but at least he’s there and he always seems to bring at least something to the table. Overall, the movie is a bit cliche-riddled and full of corny lines, but the movie is not a bad watch at all and the cult following it has proven that. I found the transfer here to be a little soft but totally kicks the butt of the old DVD version you could find on the Lionsgate 8 film release that came out years ago. It is also very nice to finally get this one in widescreen.

Extras

– Audio Commentary by Producer/Director Mark L. Lester
– School Safety: Interviews with Director and Producer Mark L. Lester and Co-Producer Eugene Mazzola
– New Rules: Interview with screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner
– Cyber Teachers from Hell: Interviews with Special Effects Creators Eric Allard and Rick Stratton
– Future of Discipline: Interview featurettes with Director of Photography Mark Irwin
– Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spots
– Still Gallery
– Video Promo

Quality of Transfer: 85%