Class Of 1984 is a big favorite at Schlockmania head­quar­ters: thus, it has felt like it has tak­en an eter­ni­ty for this film to make its debut on blu-ray. Thankfully, the rights were final­ly secured by Scream Factory and they’ve pro­duced a new blu-ray that com­bi­nes an impres­sive trans­fer with a vari­ety of sup­ple­ments new and old. The results make it obvi­ous that Scream Factory likes this flick as much as Schlockmania does.

Class84-bluThe hi-def trans­fer used here looks quite good, cap­tur­ing the film’s grit­ty details and bursts of eye-pop­ping col­or well. Both 5.1 and 2.0 stereo mix­es are includ­ed, both in loss­less form. The 5.1 track was uti­lized for this track: it makes an appro­pri­ate mul­ti­chan­nel use of Lalo Schifrin’s syn­th-lay­ered orches­tral score.

As for the extras, this disc car­ries over the key extras from the old Anchor Bay spe­cial edi­tion DVD. The first of the­se is a com­men­tary track fea­tur­ing director/co-writer Mark L. Lester and mod­er­a­tor Perry Martin. It’s a good nuts-and-bolts track, with Lester offer­ing plen­ty of behind-the-sce­nes detail and Martin keep­ing him pep­pered with ques­tions.

Lester express­es pride at the film’s prophet­ic ele­ments, talks about the chal­lenges of get­ting the film released in the U.S. (includ­ing rat­ings board issues) and cov­ers all the chal­lenges involved in stag­ing the film’s vio­lent finale, with a fun tale about a key part of the cli­max that was added after the shoot.

Class84-05The oth­er Anchor Bay-era extra is “Blood And Blackboards,” a 35-min­ute ret­ro­spec­tive fea­turet­te that inter­views Lester as well as actors Perry King and Merrie Lynn Ross. Lester’s tales here over­lap with his com­men­tary but he’s able to add some extra details here and there. Ross reveals that she got in on the film by help­ing with its financ­ing and Ross talks about the chal­lenges of his role. There are lots of great sto­ries about Roddy McDowell and some nice praise for the under­rat­ed Timothy Van Patten.

Scream Factory has also added a trio of new fea­turettes that fans will enjoy. The first is “The Girls Next Door,” which inter­views cast­mates Lisa Langlois and Erin Noble. Much of the time is devot­ed to fond dis­cus­sion of their cast­mates and Langlois and Noble also Class84-06add in some fun sto­ries: Langlois tells a scary tale about how she wasn’t received kind­ly by the punks in the club scene and Noble offers up a charm­ing anec­dote about how she dis­cov­ered the film had a cult fol­low­ing years after the fact.

The sec­ond new piece is “History Repeats Itself,” anoth­er dual inter­view piece that includes Lester and com­poser Lalo Schifrin. Lester starts off with a lot of sto­ries you’ve heard else­where on the disc but gets into inter­est­ing mate­ri­al lat­er on, includ­ing a detailed expla­na­tion of his tra­vails with major stu­dios and how he final­ly set up U.S. dis­tri­b­u­tion. Schifrin talks about what drew him to the film and describes his meth­ods as a com­poser, also throw­ing out an amus­ing opin­ion on music super­vi­sors.

Class84-07The final new fea­turet­te is both the biggest and the best: “Do What You Love” is a fun­ny, fas­ci­nat­ing 47-min­ute chat with star Perry King. He talks about his act­ing career from its begin­nings with Slaughterhouse Five and The Possession Of Joel Delaney all the way to Class Of 1984 and Riptide. He has a great sto­ry for every film he dis­cuss­es, includ­ing exten­sive tales about The Lords Of Flatbush and Mandingo, and sur­pris­ing­ly reveals his favorite act­ing expe­ri­ence to be A Different Story.

Class84-08King is wit­ty and irrev­er­ent from start to fin­ish, offer­ing great advice to actors but telling the truth about his rougher expe­ri­ences (includ­ing some inter­est­ing crit­i­cism of Lester). Anyone who admires his work will want to check it out: it’s one of the best inter­views on a cult movie disc in recent mem­o­ry and there is a nev­er a dull moment in the piece.

The disc is round­ed out with pro­mo­tion­al mate­ri­al. There is a the­atri­cal trail­er and two t.v. spots, all of which do a great job of sell­ing the film’s mix­ture of provoca­tive themes and tough revenge-flick con­tent. Also includ­ed is a 50-plus image gallery with stills, lob­by cards and poster/video art.

In short, this Class Of 1984 blu-ray is a worth­while hi-def update of a cult favorite. Fans will want to upgrade and the unini­ti­at­ed will find a good way to get acquaint­ed with this exploita­tion gem.

To read Schlockmania’s film review of Class Of 1984, click here.