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Film / Class of 1984

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Class of 1984 is a 1982 action-thriller movie about a newly hired music teacher at a troubled inner-city school, where students have to pass through a metal detector due to problems with gangs, drugs and violence.

It received a thematic sequel in 1990, Class of 1999.

This film provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: This film was made in 1982.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Fallon gets his right arm cut off before with a circular saw before being placed back-first on it.
  • Arc Words: "I am the future"
  • Asshole Victim: All members of the gang die violent and well-deserved deaths.
  • Ax-Crazy: Stegman is a brutal sadistic neo-Nazi who beats up rival gangs and isn't above raping women.
  • Berserk Button: When Andy discovers that his wife has been kidnapped and raped, he goes ballistic and kills each member of the gang.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Mr. Norris is the only teacher reaching out to the students and willing to better things up. But push him through the Rage-Breaking Point at your own risk...
  • Big Bad: Stegman, the leader of the gang plaguing the school.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: All the gang are dead and Andy gets away with the killings because there were no witnesses. He and his wife still have to put up with the trauma of the events, not to mention every student in the school seeing Stegman die by hanging.
  • The Brute: Barnyard is built like a truck and the most physical (and dumb) member of the gang.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': One kid buys drugs off the gang and takes a sniff. Five minutes later he climbs the flag pole and falls to his death.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Inverted. We see Terry carries a gun in his briefcase in the very first scene. It reappears in a darkly humorous scene where he brings it to class and holds students at gunpoint to force them to answer questions.
    • Throughout the entire movie, the only thing that the indifferent authorities are willing to go on is eyewitness testimony; since Stegman's gang intimidates anyone who could possibly say a thing, this apparently makes taking action or charging them nearly impossible, though they still all have long rap sheets of confirmed offenses. At the end, this same reliance on witnesses also means that Norris avoids prosecution, despite the overwhelming physical evidence he would've left behind for the forensic team, even in a pre-DNA testing era.
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  • Chekhov's Skill: Early in the film, Deneen mentions that she can play many music instruments as well as conduct. In the end, she steps in when Andy runs off to find his wife.
  • Clothing Damage: Diane as she is being abducted. Andy's clothing also becomes more untidy and unraveled as he fights off the gang.
  • Cool Teacher: Mr. Norris is this to his music class, since he's the only teacher in the school that actually cares.
  • Deadly Graduation: A youngster eager to join the gang is ordered to kill a witness.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Patsy, Stegman's girlfriend, checks out the coke-head applicant, and watches Fallon put her through 'tryouts'. She also seems to greatly enjoy watching the gangrape.
  • Dirty Coward: Stegman and his gang can talk tough when they've got weapons and numbers on their victims but they all to a one freeze in terror when Terry brandishes a gun at him, so shocked they answer questions in his class. In the end Patsy gives up Stegman's location out of fear of Andy's wrath and Stegman himself tries pleading for his life before trying to stab Andy to death.
  • Disney Villain Death: Complete with the failed "give me your hand" trick. Stegman falls to his death through the window of the school auditorium after being punched by Norris after trying said trick.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After one too many taunts from the gang, Andy finally snaps and goes berserk on the gang members.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The gang beating up another rival gang.
  • Exploitation Film: Classic The '80s style.
  • Fanservice Extra: One girl at the club flashes her breasts. For the other side, the shirtless band member on stage.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Being soft is not an option in such a hellhole. Mr. Norris is fully willing to kill each member of the gang after seeing how irredeemable they all are.
  • Hidden Depths: Stegman is quite the talented piano player.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Terry is trying to kill Stegman hitting his with his car. Granted, he is already insane at that point.
    • Stegman's final plan assumes Andy won't show the photo of his kidnapped wife to an auditorium full of people, including authorities.
  • Inner City School: One that's full of delinquent teens and dangerous gangs. They do however have a good music program.
  • Karma Houdini: Averted with the gang who all die brutal deaths. But Andy gets away with killing them although he is a sympathetic version of this trope.
  • Kick the Dog: Because Terry helped Andy save two kids from the gang, they punish him by killing all the animals in his classroom and putting them on display.
  • Kill It with Fire: How Drugstore dies.
  • Mama Bear: Stegman's mother certainly flies into a rage when Andy supposedly assaults him. Too bad she's so clueless.
  • Meaningful Name: The main character is called Norris. Ring any bells?
  • Noose Catch: The fate of Peter Stegman: falling through a skylight and getting strangled to death in the ropes above the stage.
  • Papa Wolf: Andy gets this way towards his students. His crusade is started when one of them dies from a drug overdose.
  • Police Are Useless: Mostly played straight. Its lampshaded that they can't do anything as long as the offenders are minors.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Stegman and the rest of his gang. They're vocal Neo-Nazis.
  • The Quincy Punk: Probably the best example of this trope. The gang all have classic punk looks and are portrayed as violent and sadistic because of it.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Stegman and his gang rape Andy's pregnant wife. This ends up being the last straw for Andy.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Andy's course of action after seeing the photo of his wife being raped.
  • Sadist: Stegman proves to be one when he is really pure evil by raping Andrew Norris' wife and slaughtering one of his teachers rabbits, making the teacher lose his sanity as a result.
    Stegman: Life... is pain. Pain... is everything. You... you will learn!
  • Scarf Of Ass Kicking: Drugstore wears one in the climax.
  • Sore Loser: Terry considers himself the one.
  • Teenage Wasteland: The school and the town are well on their way to becoming this. Stegman himself runs a miniature club version of this, as a drug dealer and pimp who recruits various young girls and boys to earn him money.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Played with. Only the gang members are actually that sadistic. Even though there are other troubled kids in the school, Mr. Norris makes a point to stress that there are good kids there; the principal eventually agrees saying, "it's just the bad ones command all our attention".
  • Title by Year: Released in 1982, about a school, so it's implied that 1984 is either the graduation year or the year it's occurring in.
  • Useless Security Camera: If the whole school is monitored, why didn't it register who killed Terry's animals?
  • Villainous Friendship: Barnyard screams Drugstore's real name ("Joshua") when he thinks he's in trouble and is driven into a mad fury to avenge him after he's mortally wounded by Andy.
  • Wicked Cultured: Stegman, who can play piano very well.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Andy kills all the male members of the gang personally, expect for Barnyard, who gets accidentally killed by Patsy. Lucky for him, Patsy inadvertently gets herself killed by crashing a car..
  • Would Hit a Girl: Stegman cuts Andy's wife with a knife.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Stegman slams his head off of a mirror and a sink and then wipes his blood onto Mr. Norris' hand to get him suspended.


Video Example(s):


Peter Stegman's Death

After Norris and Stegman's fight results in Norris throwing Stegman into the glass roof, Stegman is left hanging on to a rope for dear life, he tries to convince Norris to pull him up, but when Norris grabs Stegman's right hand and Stegman pulls out a switchblade to kill him, Norris punches him down into the orchestral room, when the rope wraps around his neck and hangs him, giving the whole school a horrifying sight to see.

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Example of:

Main / NooseCatch

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