In 1990, director Mark Lester brought out this forward looking movie which didn’t quite come to pass as it turns out. The premise is a fun one, by 1999, robot teachers have been installed in schools to control the worst excesses of the unruly pupils, ensuring discipline is maintained. But some of these robots, as always happens in movies take their remit a little too far and eventually some of the students start to get the idea that there is something going on that is way outside their comfort zone. The robots decide to amuse themselves by setting gangs of students against each other and killing other students for minor misdemeanours like being late for class
Bradley Gregg stars as the alliteratively named Cody Culp, the thug turned hero who eventually has to save the day, with Tracey Lind as Christine as back up and frankly some rather appealing eye candy. Malcolm McDowell as Dr Miles Langford is always going to be good value and brings his usual, very British sinister charm to the film, dominating effortlessly every scene I which he appears but the real acting honours go to Stacey Keatch as the deliciously over the top and mad Bob Forrest, the creator of the robots. There’s plenty for fan of horror too as this movie is a total gore fest, the killings being executed on screen with immense realism and blood everywhere. Lester is a fine director, knowing exactly how to get the best out of this slapstick shlockfest and keeps the camera moving, with fast, choppy editing and breathtaking pace.
Something else that deserves a mention is the incredible rock soundtrack, featuring Nine Inch Nails in their film score debut, a perfectly judged soundtrack for a rollercoaster of a movie, a hammy slice of SF action, with a lot of attention to detail and a wild script with a lot of laughs along the way. It isn’t ever going to be held up as a masterpiece of the genre but as a B movie it’s up there with the best. Utterly enjoyable, this one really is a must see!
Director: Mark L. Lester
Casts: Bradley Gregg, Traci Lind, Malcolm McDowell, Stacy Keach, Patrick Kilpatrick, Pam Grier