I haven’t thought about Class of 1984 for a long time, but became excited the second it was announced by Scream Factory for a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release. This really isn’t a horror film, as much as it is a really gritty crime/drama, but the over-the-top look of the characters, and the post-apocalyptic feel of the film creates cross-appeal for genre fans. Glancing at the synopsis, and seeing the theatrical poster, one might get the wrong kind of expectations for a film like this. You cannot draw a comparison between this film, and Class of Nuke ’em High, because there is none to be made. This is a serious film, first and foremost.
If you’re somewhat new to the horror output of the Eighties, and are over-and-over, experiencing new films because of a Blu-ray release from Scream Factory, or any other number of boutique labels that are giving some of us our childhoods back, Class of 1984 is easily misunderstood. It’s not a comedy, it’s not a movie that’s “so bad that it’s good,” it’s a genuinely unsettling, gritty and dramatic crime drama, wherein a local “gang” is creating problems at the town’s high school. When I say problems, I mean like, rape, extortion, murder, drug trafficking, you know, the staples of one’s high school experience. I can see the horror appeal within this movie, because it’s legitimately terrifying. If you’re an adult teacher, what are you supposed to do when the behavior of your students is likely to cause you and your loved ones physical harm?
So, while you’re not getting a Nuke ’em High style, over-the-top gory and disgusting post-apocalyptic high school comedy, you are getting a hard-hitting film that, while not technically horror, presents a truly horrifying situation. As with most Scream Factory Blu-rays these days, there have been some mixed reaction from reviewers. If you buy Blu-rays to watch and enjoy the movies you love, with HD video and uncompressed sound, then you will be pleased with this release of Class of 1984. If you’re a home video hipster, and you watch movies with a magnifying glass, desperately hoping to find a flaw that you can spread around and amplify on social networking sites, and other places that think compressed screenshots are a good representation of HD video in motion, well, who cares what you think anyway? The extras package contains new retrospective documentaries, extra interviews, audio commentaries, and more. Buy with confidence, as this Blu-ray is more than recommended.