POOR RODDY MCDOWALL…
I doubt there’s any job out there more thankless than high school teacher in an inner-city war zone. You have to pack heat to teach class, and even then you’re not likely all that safe. Gangs of white supremacists roam the hallways with impunity and harass your music class. They don’t think twice about selling drugs and other goods and services in the bathroom. It’s almost more than a new teacher can handle… ALMOST!
Andy Norris (Perry King) is the new guy at school. The old music teacher is gone. They never really explain where he went, but they make it abundantly clear that asshole ain’t comin’ back after what happened! The filmmakers make it known what a wacky school Norris is getting himself into when they reveal the altered parking lot sign which reads: “FUCKLTY PARKING LOT.” OH MAN, my sides hurt from the laughter! SHIT! I’M DYING! Give me a second to catch my breath…Thanks. With that kind of comedy at the beginning, I don’t know if I’m gonna make it through this thing. Wait, it’s not a comedy? Isn’t this a Troma film? NO?! Why the fuck did I sign on for this?! All right, let’s get into this then.
Norris is just looking for some young minds to mold, but that isn’t going to happen with little pricks like Stegman disrupting class. Stegman is the leader of the local division of the Hitler Youth, his ragtag goon squad who follow him like big dumb puppies. They dress like what a 45-year old thinks a high school age “punk rocker” looks like. They rule the school with a fingerless leather glove-clad iron fist. Norris gives a little pushback and finds himself on their bad side. This starts off a chain of events that gets way out of hand REALLY fast.
On Andy’s side is the drunken Biology teacher (played brilliantly by Roddy McDowall) – my favorite character in the film, for incredibly obvious reasons. And yes, it’s for my love of Biology! He also has the charmingly lovable little scamp and all-around goody goody played by Michael (J.) Fox. Fox was in his early 20s when this came out, and didn’t look a day over 11. Neither of Andy’s friends wind up being much help. McDowall goes berserk and holds his class hostage at gunpoint until they learn some DAMN BIOLOGY! And Fox gets his ass shivved in a lunchroom scene more reminiscent of a prison riot than a schoolhouse incident.
So, it’s up to Norris to live up to his namesake and take out Stegman and his gang of chumps. By this point in the film I had no respect left for Stegman who I thought was pretty cool at the beginning of the flick. What with his “I AM THE FUTURE” rants, his crazy piano skills, and mild-to-moderate histrionic mood disorder. Come to learn he’s just like most high school punk rockers: a poor little rich kid with daddy issues and too much time on his hands. I even started to question if he really even hates the blacks and Jews all that much, either! Some Nazi you are! Now I would never dream of giving away all the wonderful and sick ways Norris takes out the crew. You’ll just have to watch the Mark L. Lester Classick on your own!
My biggest disappointment is that at no point does Norris ever say the line “You were the future, but now you’re history!” What a wasted opportunity to use a killer one-liner. Come for Timothy Van Patten’s amazing performance as Stegman, stay for Michael Fox getting SHIVVED!
4 Drunken Biology Teachers out of 5
Drink up! I’ve got movies to watch…
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