Watched August 7, 2012
Starring: Bradley Gregg, Traci Lind, Malcolm McDowell, Stacy Keach and yet again, that little gross out Joshua John Miller.
I was in high school in 1999 and boy it would have been a lot cooler and more fashionable if it looked like this. This movie takes place in a 1999 of the future. A section of Seattle has gotten so out of control that it's declared a free weapon zone where there are no police, like Escape from New York, except it's not a prison. All the kids still have to go to school. Principal Langford (Malcolm McDowell) has hired Dr. Forrest (Stacy Keach) and his kill-bot cyborgs to be retrained as teachers. That's how out of control these kids are, they need really tough robots to keep them hitting the books. Cody (Bradley Gregg) has just gotten out of jail and is heading back to school. He is part of the Blackhearts gang, who all have adorable black hearts tattooed on their bodies. He's trying to be good to stay in school, because if he acts out or starts fights it's back to jail with him. The future drug of choice is "edge", which is snorted up the nose. I love weird future drugs, especially the "mist" in Prayer of the Rollerboys.
The robot teachers (Pam Grier, Patrick Kilpatrick, John P. Ryan) begin by doing a fair job of keeping the kids in line. But it doesn't take long for their soldier programming to override their teaching abilities and they start being the crap out of the kids, including Cody. No one believes Cody when he says that he was beaten by a teacher and that he saw one of them snap the neck of a student. Cody's love interest is Christine (Traci Lind) who also happens to be the daughter of the principal. He begins investigating the teacher and he takes her along to the house where all the teachers live. Christine is clued into something being off when she discovers that Pam Grier only has a bra with no matching underwear. She concludes that only robots would have mismatched undergarments.
The robo-teachers are so bent on messing with the kids that they set up the two gangs to have a big shoot out. They're also convinced that Cody is the lead troublemaker, so they're really just trying to kill him. After the gang battle, Cody manages to convince the head of the rival gang the Razorheads that the teachers are robo-soldiers trying to kill them all. They head to to school where the teachers show their true robot abilities by having flamer throwers, guns and claws for hands. Principal Langford tries to stop Dr. Forrest since he controls the robo-teachers but Dr. Forrest is just a greedy capitalist who wants to make money by selling his robo-teachers to all the schools in the country (I think?) Cody and Christine manage to destroy the robots and escape the burning rubble of their school to fight another day.
The biggest fault for me with this movie, even though it was very enjoyable, is that if these kids hate school so much why do they go? Kids drop out of school all the time. I have the same issue with Class of 1984, but I have to say I enjoyed this movie much more than Class of 1984. The fashions are fantastic. I think the main gang attire of the Blackhearts are pink flowing scarves. So if nothing else it's fun to see the crazy outfits that are supposed to look tough, including tie-dyed leggings. This movie is very much a rip off of The Terminator, Escape from New York and a little Rock 'n' Roll High School but that doesn't make it any less fun to watch.