People are talking about violence in schools problem since schools had been invented. Violence in schools, by my account, is as old as education itself. Over the years a lot of suggestions for solving this problem have been made. Many procedures have been implemented. And they all failed. School violence still exists and it will exist long after we are gone. But the crappiest attempt to subdue the violence has been made in this movie. To answer the violence with more violence!

On the beginning of this supposedly a sequel to the “class of 1884” we get an explanation about how far violence in school have gone until the year 1999. High school gangs are taking control over schools. Gang controlled areas are known as free fire zones. In the middle of one of these zones, in Seattle, Kennedy High is located. It is an area without law, where police do not enter and where only thing that rules is anarchy. Department of Educational Defense (created for the purpose of this movie) has decided to re-open the schools and control the gangs. With the help of Megatech (robot making guys) they send 3 new teachers to Kennedy High and it’s principal Dr Miles Longford (played by Malcolm McDowell). Well, not the teachers actually but 3 cyborgs programmed in history, chemistry, mathematics and physical education. Of course, they also come equipped with special hardware to deal with armed to the teeth gangs. To me this looks like a combination of Dolf Lundgren’s “Detention” and bad cyborgs movies. Or, to be more accurate, it looks like if someone tried to build a school and starts education system in “Mad Max”.

Tactical Education UnitTactical Education Unit

In order this experiment to work they will need some Guinea pigs. So they have released the most troubling students from jail. I wonder what makes them so sure that students will go back to school? Anyway, one of them is Cody Culp (played by Bradley Gregg, whom you might remember from the “Nightmare on Elm Street 3”). Cody wants to go straight despite objections of his friend and his younger brother Angel (played by Joshua Miller; “River’s Edge” and “Near Dark”). Well, at least they claim he is “brother” since I spent almost entire movie working out if he was really a boy! Cody arrives in school after making through free fire zone just to be there in time for chemistry class. The new chemistry teacher Ms. Connors (played by legendary Pam Grier) shows that there will be no fucking around with new members of school stuff by kicking asses of two students. Same goes with history teacher Mr. Hardin (played by John P. Ryan; “Runaway Train”), who gave a new meaning to corporal punishment term (and gave the reason why it should remain banned).

Corporal punishment

That something is wrong with robots we see when teachers started with killing undisciplined students (well thats a bit harsh). First, Mr. Hardin bashed the head of some unlucky stoner into his own locker. Then, gym teacher Mr. Bryles (played by Patrick Kilpatrick) started beating the hell out of Cody and then broke a neck of Cody’s friend Mohawk who came to the rescue. Need I to say that Mohawk was also stoned as a hell while he was attacking with gun? Anyway, creator of robots Dr. Bob Forrest (played by Stacy Keach; “The Ninth Configuration”) doesn’t find this not to be unusual and he shows no sympathy for students while he justifies actions of his creations. Not that he could do something about it since cyborgs have openly disliked the idea of being terminated.

Not the Jeffrey Combs but almost as mad as himNot the Jeffrey Combs but almost as mad as him

After teachers have killed Cody’s brother Angel (at which point I am still not sure if he is a boy, and I guess you might say he took that secret to grave) things go in an obvious and predictable direction from then on. With principal’s daughter Christie (played by Traci Lin; “Fright Night 2”) on his side Cody re-unites two gangs to wage a war against teachers. Somewhere along the way we learn that cyborgs used to work for military and that they went back on their original program hence the killing rampage they went on (shameless rip-off of “Westworld”). That’s what you get when you buy a second hand cyborgs from the US army. Mr. Hardin is even more psychotic, Pam Grier is even bigger bitch while Mr. Bryles is just plain strongman.

Rocky Balboa eat yourself!

It seems that teenage gangs were quite well-armed those days since they had automatic weapons and bazookas (?) No one bothered to explain where they did get them. Not that at that point we were keen to search for any logic in this silly and plain stupid sci-fi horror. War is taking place on post-apocalyptic battleground around the school. Don’t miss more senseless killing, explosions and bad rip-offs. Be sure to notice Pam Grier showing us her mechanical tits a moments before she is blown up by an axe. Enjoy the art of brain drilling performed by Mr. Hardin just before his head got shredded by uzi. Street war is the time when you can show your creativity in sadism.

Mechanical bitch

So the war seems to be over. Aren’t you forgetting someone? That’s right, a toughest guy has been left for the end. Mr. Bryles turned out to be quite persistent in performing discipline measures. The fight between him and Cody and Christie, despite the fact they ripped off “Terminator 2, is awfully staged with stop-motion so terrible that it makes “Nemesis” looks like an Oscar winner in special effects category. Yeah, and it ended with explosion of Mr. Bryles’ head. There is nothing more I can add here. Just plain nonsense.

For all you stop motion perfectionists out there!

Conclusion: This movie teaches us that we shouldn’t go to school unless it is the only choice. I am sure that director Mark Lester wanted to send a different message but he did everything wrong. You know, if a cast includes Malcolm McDowell, and if he is not a villain, he is not effective. The acting is bad even with a decent cast like this (I will never understand what made them to sign up for such rubbish), the soundtrack is poor (aside from the “Nine Inch Nails” track), and the plot is so unbelievably non-existent that you get the idea that the whole movie is just a cheap excuse to shoot people and blow things up. If free fire zones were out of reach even for police than what makes students go to school? A friendship? A desire for education? Ha! Obvious attempt of ripping off and mixing ‘The Warriors’, ‘Westworld’ and ‘Robocop’. And it even had failed at that! It is only good for metallers who want to recall the 1980’s battle between the glams (Blackhearts) and the goths (Razerheades).

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