Action / Crime / Thriller
Action / Crime / Thriller
Rebel without a cause or a clue at an elite but uptight High School discovers some of his classmates have formed an even more elite clique more or less hell-bent on ridding the school, and quite possibly American society, of what they deem to be its undesirables because of ethnicity, politics, etc. Our hero recruits a teacher and some other "less desirable" classmates to undermine the elitists, and, naturally, things get quite violent.
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June 15, 2018 at 06:26 AM
Yes! Cannon Films produced very good movies. This is one.
Probably the best movie Albert Pyun directed. First rate cinematography and photography (shades of blue and red during the night scenes especially). So-so actors but with a special mention to Mr Stockwell and J. Eddie Peck (whatever happened to him anyway after that movie?).The screenplay is the best on this subject.Most of the time in college/high school movies, the fact of being different is an issue and you end "normal" at the end (She's all that and others very bad stuff). Here, being different is enough to get you killed. This is the most interesting part of the plot : it got an unusual political and sociological issue that is scarier than any Scream movie. Be sure to see the movie til the very last image and you'll know why. Great suspense that makes you think!
One of the more interesting titles produced by Cannon.
Things are going very wrong at the high school attended by crusading newspaper editor Donny Lennox (J. Eddie Peck). There's a student group there named The Sentinels, ostensibly formed to act as something of a security force. But now the group is out of control, and is bent on eliminating any individual whom they deem "undesirable". Now people are actually dying.
Give these filmmakers credit for at least *attempting* to deal with serious subject matter in a reasonably sincere way. Director Albert Pyun works from a script co-written by leading actor John Stockwell. Stockwell ("Christine", "My Science Project") plays unofficial Sentinels leader Randy McDevitt. The movie features some of the trappings of the period, namely, fashions and the hip soundtrack of artists ranging from Robert Palmer to Fine Young Cannibals to The Smithereens. But it's fairly stylish and slick, and not gratuitously gory. The story is entertaining and provocative enough to draw the viewer in, and there is a potent theme about the danger of blindly following somebody's lead.
An array of recognizable faces play roles big and small: Carey Lowell ("Licence to Kill"), Don Michael Paul ("Heart of Dixie"), Bradford Bancroft ("Bachelor Party"), Madison Mason ("Dreamscape"), Thom Mathews and Miguel A. Nunez Jr. from "The Return of the Living Dead", Gerard Christopher ("Tomboy"), Carmen Argenziano ("The Accused"), Dedee Pfeiffer ("Vamp"), Karen Witter ("The Vineyard"), Angel Tompkins ("The Teacher"), and Rosalind Allen ("Ticks"). The performances, much like the movie itself, do earn points for sincerity.
Only a last minute reveal involving the Krooger character genuinely annoyed this viewer. Overall, this is a decent 1980s effort waiting to be discovered or rediscovered.
Seven out of 10.
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Terrible Ending Ruins An Okay Flick
I don't audibly boo the screen very often and so when I caught myself jeering the final scene of this flick I knew I had just seen something truly awful. It wasn't the climactic moment of the film that had me screaming, "What a cop out!" but the denouement. There's a character that goes absent about halfway through the movie and he returns out of nowhere; it makes absolutely zero sense and totally ruins whatever impact this film's mystery had. In fact, I'd dare say it makes the whole movie pointless. Wow, John Stockwell, I can't believe you actually wrote this flick. No wonder you choked and dropped out of Top Gun! (for those who are wondering, the writer/star of the film played Cougar in the movie Top Gun).