How many of you are graduates of the class of 1999? Was your school also under martial law lockdown and your teachers actually military-grade cyborgs reprogrammed for academic professorships? Was “Come the Day” played at your graduation ceremony?
If Roger Ebert put on a film festival for overlooked b-movies, Mark L. Lester’s Class of 1999 would have to be included in the inaugural line-up. Coming out in 1990 during a time in which inspirational movies about the trials and tribulations of inner city school teachers dealing with troubled urban youths (or in the case of The Principal, Jim Belushi doing a ridiculous Walking Tall riff as the badass white high school principal beating up minority drug dealers with a baseball bat), Class of 1999 put a sci-fi thriller spin on the genre by setting things in the dystopian future of 1999 (that year really didn’t turn out so bad in hindsight) and replacing the faculty with Terminator teachers on the verge of going all Skynet on the student body comprised primarily of rival street gangs and rebels without a cause.
The film’s anthem is “Come the Day” by the Scottish musician Midge Ure, his real name being James Ure. His stage name, Midge, is a phonetic reversal of Jim, the diminutive form of his first name. The song serves as a fitting post-mortem power ballad for a movie that ends with teenagers putting aside their differences to fend off an assault by cyborg teachers that have decided “No Child Left Behind” should be in reference to the body count they leave in their murderous wake.
If you haven’t seen Class of 1999 and ever intend to do so, you may not want to watch this custom music video for Midge Ure’s “Come the Day” I found on YouTube since the accompanying movie clips more or less spoil the entire film.
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