Now here’s a DVD that’s only about 9 years late, but when you’re talking about a DVD release of Class of 1999 – hey, better late than never.
The 1990 sci-fi horror action flick from Mark L. Lester (Commando, Firestarter) is actually something of a remake/follow-up to his own Class of 1984 that dealt with teachers being forced to turn vigilante to deal with their school overrun by violent street gangs. In the nine year ago future of Class of 1999, the problem with violent juveniles in the classroom has reached such a critical point that the government decides to test out a program replacing human teachers with cyborg teachers unbeknownst to the student populace. Reprogramming battle droids for academics proves to be a bad idea when the robots go haywire and declare war on their pupils. Let’s just say this movie could have just as easily been titled Terminator High.
You got Stacy Keach hamming it up as a megalomaniacal albino, Pam Grier vamping it up as an overly aggressive robot chemistry teacher, and Malcolm MacDowell wimping it up as the lily-livered school principal who still believes in the power of education. Plus, it co-stars the lovely Tracy Lin(d) who you may also know from Fright Night Part II and My Boyfriend’s Back. Whatever became of her?
Though I wouldn’t call this movie a cult classic – it doesn’t quite reach those lofty heights, I’ve always thought of Class of 1999 as an overlooked b-movie gem. Even Siskel & Ebert gave it two thumbs up, so there.
September 16, 2008 is the day Lionsgate will give Class of 1999 its first-ever DVD release. Extras will include a lovely DVD case with brand spankin’ new cover art and absolutely no mention whatsoever of the atrocious sequel Class of 1999 II: The Substitute. Yeah, it’s a barebones release, but at least they’re pricing it cheap. And it’s widescreen.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll go back to patiently waiting for that Scanner Cop DVD I don’t think will ever come. A man can dream, can’t he?
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