Over the last forty years, filmmaker Mark Lester has cranked out plenty of likable shlock and high-octane actioners, most notably Commando and the Stephen King adaptation, Firestarter. But, at the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, the focus has turned to one of his lesser-known works.
While introducing a late-night screening of his film Class of 1984, Lester revealed plans to helm a remake of the 1982 cult classic. Starring Roddy McDowall and a then-unknown Michael J. Fox, the vigilante thriller about an inner city teacher taking revenge on a group of punk students who gang raped his wife was intended as hyper-violent spin on the 1955 drama Blackboard Jungle. Despite its gratuitous nature, Class struck a chord with viewers like critic Roger Ebert — who, after seeing the film at Cannes, applauded its well-crafted style and performances. [Twitch]
The director added that Class of 1984 was his favorite film that he ever made, and that he was “especially proud of the film because it was prophetic.” My educated guess is that he’s referring to the rise of real-life school violence and the feared breakdown of social order. But if he wants the remake to act as an over-the-top commentary on those issues, he’s going to have to pull out some pretty crazy stunts, especially since the original contained scenes of teens set ablaze and cut up with a table saw, respectively.
Lester confirmed that the Class of 1984 remake is currently in production and should finish shooting at the end of May 2013.
Have you seen Class of 1984? Do you think it’s due for a remake?