IHAO on ... Class of 1999
Sometimes you never know what you are really getting when you start buying things. I've mentioned it many times before, but I'm a film collector. I don't have so much of a collection as a library of film. Well that's not true, because I recently decided to get rid of every movie I never wanted to either watch again or share with someone else. That got rid of a lot of big name films, many trilogies in fact, that I just have no interest in ever watching ever again. But that's neither here nor there. I say all of that because sometimes, when I am looking for movies I want to own, the best and potentially only way to get them is to buy them in film-bulk.
Film-bulk is my term for when a movie is packed with a whole bunch of other movies so that the distribution company can make some money on their properties that they own but don't think will sell. I bought one group of nine films specifically because I was looking for just terrible terrible nanar filled horror flicks, with Chopping Mall being the main reason I got the collection. But there are eight other movies on the collection, some of which I know a little about, so late one night, we decided to throw one in. The one I'm reviewing now.
As the gif above illustrates, this movie is dated. Super duper uber dated. It is filled with fashion from the late 80s and early 90s, all sorts of hilariously dated concepts, a bunch of great actors like Pam Grier, Stacy Keach, Malcolm McDowell and Bradley Gregg. Here, check out this premise: Gangs of teenagers have gotten too violent and drugs have gotten too rampant in most of the major cities of the USA. They have taken over areas and neighborhoods, which have basically become lawless gang-states as the police refuse to enter them. With all that happening for the past nine years, schools still run as martial states, as these kids still need an education. A evil white mulleted, white eyed doctor has come up with a solution: three robotic teachers, masters of not only their fields of mathematics, history, and chemistry, but also built with a self-learning AI made for discipline. And of COURSE the robots start learning too fast and go crazy, and the gang kids get killed off, and our lead character figures it out, so now he has to bring the gangs together to fight these rampaging robo-teachers of death.
Yeah, I know, it is glorious! It really truly is! It is fun, will some great acting, some real cool fight scenes and thriller-sci-fi-action. It is just a super cool movie. The costuming is all really creative and cool looking. The special effects are awesome. The pace is for the most part really great - there is a slow section between Act 2 and Act 3 that made my eyes glaze over just a bit before the enormous climax. This is just everything you want in a movie with that ridiculous premise. Evil robots, explosions, fire, one-liners, social satire, likable characters, evil evil evil dudes, awesome robot effects, cool car chase. It is like the film had a check list of everything awesome you'd ever want in a movie and just made sure it clicked all of them.
It'll be hard to find, I'm sure. But I highly recommend this one. The dated-ness actually adds to the setting, making it feel more dystopian and sci-fi. I've said it in the past, but I don't think "being dated" is actually a drawback to films. Films exist in the time they were created. Great films rise above it to become timeless, or they embrace it and become a time capsule that helps you just in headfirst and enjoy the themes even more. Class of 1999 isn't a great film ... but it does everything right, and is totally worth watching. There are minor quibbles that keep it from being a GREAT film, but that doesn't stop it from succeeding in every way it set out to.