Cutting Class (DVD)

Cutting Class DVD (click for larger image)Starring Brad Pitt, Roddy McDowall, Jill Schoelen, Donovan Leitch and Martin Mull

Directed by Rospo Pallenberg

Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment

When one thinks of the 1980s, high school and horror, many classic cheesy movies should come to mind. However, out of all the memories those three things spawn when combined, Cutting Class never popped up. Why is that? Could this be some forgotten gem that stars quite a few great actors of the past and present? Or was it just a flop that needed to stay buried?

Brian Woods (Leitch) is the new kid in school. He’s a bit odd, but that’s natural for anyone who has just been released from the loony bin … the electroshock therapy didn’t help either. Brian just wants to put his life back together, fit in and maybe score with a goody two shoes named Paula (Schoelen). Too bad she’s taken by Brad Pitt. What will our young nut job do?

Brian will defy time and space to blandly murder those closest and not so close to Paula! Now that is someone with drive. There’s no better way to a girl’s heart than to off her friends, frame her boyfriend and have a bitching climax where he duels Brad Pitt with power tools! Fuck yeah!

Cutting Class DVD (click for larger image)Sorry, that sounds much cooler than it actually is. While the idea of a final fight taking place in a school’s shop class with drills, sanders and buffers is a really good idea, the execution used to get to that point is piss poor and often confusing. A filmmaker really have to work hard in order to make a basic teen slasher confusing, but Rospo Pallenberg manages to do just that.

Paula is supposed to be our bright, young good girl who can do no wrong. Smart as she may be, Paula doesn’t even notice all the perverts, bastards and evil surrounding her daily life. By all means, hang out after school with the boozing principal who wants you to try on new clothing in his office, that sounds find and dandy. That is perfectly normal. Never question it. It is a bit hard to feel for a character that is so bland, tasteless and stupid. Oh, if only this movie were funny.

Oddly, Cutting Class is also billed as a comedy, but it just never works. That could be why there are so many outlandish characters and situations in the film. Yet, someone just didn’t know how to work with humor … Mr. Pallenberg. How can someone make Roddy McDowell a total bore as the alcohol loving, teenage ogling, sock sniffing principal? How is that fucking possible?! How is this not funny?!

Even if we cut out all the humor that still means the flick has to preform as a horror movie. We already know who the mystery killer is thanks to the not so vague clues and the devious way Leitch portrays his character. That’s OK; even with that out in the open there should be some cool kills and maybe some kick ass nudity that can be found in most films of this type, right?

Cutting Class DVD (click for larger image)Um … well, not really. There was a naked ass for a split second, a flapjack pair of tits and someone got their throat slit. The last one is a maybe, because to me it looked like the victim was just having an orgasm. The final two deaths should have been the big payoff with gore or at least some brutality: the vice principal gets her head bashed into the magical copier that never runs out of paper, and Brian meets his end on a really, really stupid note.

The death of the VP is entertaining thanks to the way her distorted face appears on the copies that the machine spits out as she’s being murdered, but when Brian Woods bites the big one it was just painful. He has Paula cornered and Brad Pitt is about to get a drill through the chest. All he wants is to bang Paula and he’ll let Pitt go, however she’ll only agree to it if Brian keeps his eyes closed. What kind of murdering mastermind would agree to that when you’re standing in a metal shop surrounded by hammers, drills and various other instruments of death? Well, Brian ain’t too bright because he does just what she wants and then BOOM! HEAD SHOT! With one swift swing Paula plants a hammer right into the side of Brian’s skull, killing him and ending the film with many horror fans looking dumbfounded.

There are no words to describe the stupidity found in Cutting Class. It fails at all genres from comedy all the way to horror. The tits are few, the gore is limited and it all ends on such an implausible premise that it makes an Uwe Boll movie look like the holy grail of logic. Luckily there were no supplements with this DVD to prolong the suffering, but a commentary track would be nice to help explain why there were so many plot holes and misfirings.

Special Features

  • Crickets
  • Chirping
  • Away


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    Mike Phalin

    Mike Phalin is a contributing writer, reality television star and engineer.