“No one said surviving high school would be easy.”
Before he was a bona-fide Hollywood Hunk and one half of the two-headed “Brangelina” beast, Brad Pitt was an angsty, sexually-frustrated teen trying to survive a high school slasher attack (or could he actually be the killer?) in the goofy ‘80s horror flick Cutting Class! Filled with all the wonderful things that made high school the very best four years of your life, including sinister teachers, pervy principals, creepy custodians, obnoxious jocks, mean cheerleaders, deranged loners and a vicious murderer who’s sending everyone to that big detention hall in the sky, this dorky pre-Scream slasher /mystery spoof also features Martin Mull, Roddy McDowell and more gaping plot holes than a standardized U.S. History textbook!
In Cutting Class, ‘80s Scream Queen Jill Scholen (The Stepfather) stars as Paula, a goody two shoes in acid washed denim who’s having a hard time at school, thanks to her psycho ex-boyfriend Brian (Donovan Leitch, The Blob) who’s recently been released from a mental institution. Seems Brian wants to jump back on the love train with Paula, but she’s now swapping spit with the school’s resident bad boy, Dwight (Brad Pitt, understandably looking highly uncomfortable with pretty much everything he’s asked to do in this film). As this drippy love triangle escalates, victims start piling up in the hallways of the school, and the list of suspects is a long one. Is it the perverted principal Mr. Dante (Fright Night’s Roddy McDowall, throwing himself into the role of a peeping tom educator with a thing for teen panties with a bit too much gusto), the needlessly angry gym teacher Coach Harris (Dirk Blocker, Poltergeist), the wanky custodian Schultz (Robert Glaudini, Parasite), or is it perhaps one of Paula’s dimwitted suitors trying to impress her with a string of messy murders? Speaking of murder, Cutting Class may be the only horror film in history to showcase murders involving both a difficult math equation AND a photocopy machine. You also get an over the top Martin Mull as a befuddled teacher lost in the woods, a soundtrack by ‘80s new wavers Wall of Voodoo, a ridiculous “Stay in School” message and a whole lot of Scream-style meta-commentary on the mechanics of dumb horror movies – an extremely ironic gambit given that this commentary appears in such a dumb (but highly entertaining) horror movie as Cutting Class! (Dir. by Rospo Pallenberg, 1989, USA, 91 mins., Rated R) Digital