cuttingclass

Review: CUTTING CLASS (1989)

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Best Bad Quote:
“Have you ever felt my tingle?”
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Imagine, if you will, that weird ass kid in high school. You know the one. The one who didn’t understand social queues? The one who stared. A lot. For an uncomfortable amount of time, not realizing that you are supposed to quickly look away if you make eye contact. Yeah. Him. You made sure to close your inner circle when he came around, because you didn’t want his obvious pedophiliac tendencies to rub off on you. At the same time, you felt bad, because he was just this poor guy that was misunderstood, had no friends, and was probably hella lonely and lived in box with a bitch mom in curlers. Now, to banish pity, imagine this guy rode a bike to school with black streamers dangling from he handlebars. Now imagine that he literally pops up everywhere you go. EVERYWHERE. He leaps out of garbage cans, from behind water coolers, and instantly appears right beside you undetected like a preternatural goon. NOW, imagine that he was recently released from the mental asylum wherein he was labeled a certifiable schizophrenic. Scared? “But he has such an innocent face…” Did I mention that he is Donovan Leitch’s son? “Oh, f*ck no!” Yeah. Prepare for things to get good and weird.
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Cutting Class has nothing to do with “cutting class,” but points for the wicked pun. (Cut? Knife? Knives… cutting??? Shudder). What this movie does have a lot to of is aforementioned bicycles, riding around in very tiny circles, principals looking up girls’ skirts– I didn’t know you had it in you, Roddy McDowall– and Brad Pitt trying so very hard to act, (a battle he still wages., one day at a time…). The film literally opens with Paula’s father (Martin Mull) duck hunting. You think, “Oh, so this is a nice family film about a bumbling single father who becomes an ace shot and blah blah blah…” Nay, it is he who is shot, with a bow and arrow no less. But he’s not dead. He just wanders around in the swamps bleeding for 80 minutes, reappearing just so he can have the last line. And, boy, is it a good one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (In Swahili, the use of multiple exclamation points connotes the maximum amount of sarcasm).
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I’m fairly certain that the screenplay of this film was written with the intention of being a horror satire. Some people in the cast, like McDowall, got the joke but sadly, the main “actors” didn’t. These performance-hungry youngsters were really trying to create art– a class they all clearly did cut in high school. Paula (Jill Schoelen) is a goody-two-shoes who likes to study. A lot. She never has time to make out with her jock boyfriend Dwight (Brad Pitt), which enhances the latter’s very palpable rage issues. For his part, the pedal-happy Brian (Donovan Leitch, Jr), used to be friends with Dwight, went nuts, and now has a crush on dead eyes Paula. The tension between the two male leads is incalculable. Really, you cannot calculate it. It is not there. I mean, we all know that Pitt is a master of machismo, (he makes Van Damme look like a Van Sham, am I right?), and he fittingly saunters around this film playing basketball like a puppet on a popsicle stick (up you-know-where) and tossing his luscious, golden locks about as if each thread shoots hypnotic gamma rays of rainbow bitch slaps. He is the definition of ’80s tough. It is super intimidating. No wonder he is the most popular kid in school! And Leitch, well, both I think we both know that he and sis Ione inherited their songster daddy’s superforce of raw talent, which is why their careers are still going strong. (Maybe Pops shared a liiiiittttle too much of his bud).
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There’s unfortunately not so much a “plot” here as a “kerplunk,” but within this mishmash of charisma, students and teachers start dropping dead, mysteriously just as the rivalry between crazy Brian and big balls Dwight rises to a fever pitch. There is but a quick 10-second T-O between the two Romeos who lay down their swords to reminisce about a childhood lesson of “right-tighty, lefty loosey”– which come back into play at a pivotal moment, don’t you worry. Poor, pretty Paula– who looks and sounds like Mary Stuart Masterson’s daft, brunette sister with a throat cold– is therefore caught between a nut (Brian) and a hard place (Dwight’s crotch). On the one hand, she has feelings for Bri’, the vulnerable geek whom Dwight screwed over in the past (when they both accidentally murdered Brian’s father. What)? On the other, Dwight is super hot and so is his throbbing knob. As a meaningless bloodbath ensues– people are killed for no particular reason or motivation, just so we’re clear– Paula becomes emotionally torn. I mean, she would be if she had emotions. Is Dwight the true killer or is Brian? And more importantly, which one does Paula have a bigger crush on? Tick, tock, tick, tock…
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This piece of garbage is ree-diculous. The “Ree” is for ree-tarded. Still, with Brian popping up everywhere, ALL THE TIME, Brad Pitt making his crying face– because daddy puts too much pressure on him– and Paula moving in and out of frame like a monotonous mannequin on rollerskates, there is somehow not a dull moment within the dullness, nor is there any time to ask the inevitable question of, “But, why???” It is stupid. It is pointless. It is the sad truth about high school. If you take issue with story, chronological sense, or character arcs, well, then I really don’t know what you are even doing on this site, so just go away. However, if “the Man” (here symbolized through the principal) has you down, your pockets are empty, and life without Walter White has become cumbersome, then I can suggest the proper pick-me-up. F*ck it all. Escape life. Cut lass. Watch Cutting Class. Your life will feel instantly better when you  watch “Missus Kuh-nocht!” die by copy machine, because such a thing, as we know, is not only possible, but inevitable. (Rage against the machine, my friends. Rage on).
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Rating:
4 out of 5 Leaping Leitches
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