Cutting Class (1989)

4 Beers

Want to watch a really young Brad Pitt (fresh from his Pringles commercial) nearly take out a toddler in his Mustang?  Or watch an overweight gym teacher get impaled on a trampoline by an American flag (still on the flag pole)?  Then this is the slasher for you! 

When a high school science class, days after the district attorney (played by Martin Mull) has been attacked by an unknown assailant, walks OVER his body on their field trip and the science teacher, upon hearing the wounded man gasp, proclaims that what the students are hearing is the sound of a bullfrog calling for its mate, you know that you are in for a campy romp through slasher material.  And, truthfully, Cutting Class is all about having a good and goofy time.

The teachers in this movie are out of control and so too are the students.  Suspicions are everywhere.  With hormones all engorged, no one is quite sure what the hell is going on . . . especially when the bodies start piling up.  But none of that stops the attempts at comedy.  From Xeroxed copies of a murder scene to Mull actually baying next to a dog for help, Cutting Class is a comedy that, thanks to Vinegar Syndrome’s newly scanned and restored 4K transfer (from its 35mm camera negative), rises from the ashes of its original panned release.

To say that the film gets a bit of redemption here is indeed an understatement.  This is a VERY funny movie whose tongue-in-cheek manner confused many a moviegoer and critic at the time of its release. It, like the girls featured in the cast, just wants to have fun.

Written by Steve Slavkin (Salute Your Shorts) and directed by  Rospo Pallenberg, a creative associate of John Boorman, this slasher comedy is exactly what it claims to be: one hell of a twisted time in high school.  Pallenberg, who assisted Boorman with Excalibur, Exorcist II: The Heretic, AND The Emerald Forest is cut loose here and – free to get us laughing and screaming – winds up delivering an unforgettable display of pulpy bloodletting . . . complete with pom-poms and a whole bunch of inappropriate teachers. 

Starring Brad Pitt, Jill Schoelen (Popcorn), and Donovan Leitch (The Blob) as Brian Woods, the teenager with a troubled past, Cutting Class is all about how NOT to do high school.  You have cheerleaders who, in order to get their basketball team through another devastating game, decide NOT to wear panties under their skirts and a leering principal, played hilarious by Roddy McDowall (Fright Night), who watches the girls undress and then gives moving soliloquies while wearing the most ridiculous of hats. 

And then there is Shultz (Robert Glaudini), the cracked out janitor who, because it is his job, must clean up all the spilled blood that mixes with the popcorn after game night.  He hates everyone and it shows.  But, with all the attitude on display, it’s little wonder why. 

You see, there is a killer loose in the school.  And this dude is not to be messed with; he excels at chickenshit kills.  People are offed under the bleachers, attacked while hunting, and (hilariously enough) bludgeoned to death at the copier, where the expression on the intended target’s face leads to the real identity of the killer.

And it is all set to Wall of Voodoo songs!

All of this AND a memorable tub scene with the husky-voiced Schoelen on her knees?  Cutting Class, now on blu-ray thanks Vinegar Syndrome, is not to be missed.  No more fucking around with my emotions, scoop this up NOW!  After all, I wanna go faaaaaaasssssst.

Blu-ray Specifications:

Presented in its intended aspect ratio of 1.85, it is the punched-up color you will notice first.  The reds are delicious and the greens are fertile.  The skin tones here are divine.  From clear pools of water to the glint of silver in the auto shop, the transfer has the film loaded with details and fresh-looking life.  And then there’s Jill Schoelen dripping wet in stunning HD.  Need I say more, Freaks and Geeks?  The sound is presented in a choice between DTS HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 options.

Commentary:

Fans get a great commentary track with The Hysteria Continues!

Special Features:

Fans get a new interview with Jill Schoelen, a video interview with Donovan Leitch, interviews with Rospo Pallenberg, Avi Karpick, and unrated and R rated versions with this release!  This release also features reversible cover artwork and a limited edition slipcover.

Un-Cutting Class

Donovan Makes the Cut

Interview with director Rospo Pallenberg

Interview with cinematographer Avi Karpick

Kill comparisons: unrated vs. R rated versions

Original Theatrical Trailer

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