10 Things You Didn’t Know About Class of 1999
Class of 1999 is a movie that I don’t believe gets the praise it deserves. Class of 1999 does a masterful job (I am talking near Robocop levels) of combining elements from the action, sci-fi and horror genres and throwing in an almost satirical look at the woes of modern education.
Bradley Gregg’s performance as the main protagonist was strong and the supporting players in the movie read like a who’s who… Stacy Keach, Malcolm McDowell, Pam Grier, Patrick Kilpatrick and John P. Ryan (who stole the show more than once in my opinion).
Thanks to Lionsgate and their Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release, fans of Class of 1999 can experience the film in the highest quality possible and with a ton of bonus features. The Blu-ray includes a commentary track with the director of the film Mark L. Lester and there are several interviews with Lester and other crew members including screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner, Special Effects creators Eric Allard and Rick Stratton and the Director of Photography Mark Irwin.
And it was thanks to those special features that I was able to compile the list I am about to present to you. It is time for…
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Class of 1999…
1. The scenes at the beginning of the movie depicting Bradley Gregg’s character Cody Culp being released from prison were shot at an actual active prison in the Seattle area. The deal that Mark L. Lester cut with the prison warden to allow him to film there was pretty sweet as Mark only had to gift the prison a new television.
2. Class of 1999 was set to receive a nationwide release, but those plans were cancelled after Vestron Pictures declared bankruptcy prior to the film being completed. Mark L. Lester had to work with United Film Distribution Company, the company that distributed his 1982 film Class of 1984, to at least get Class of 1999 released theatrically in some key cities.
3. It was Stacy Keach’s idea that his character, Dr. Bob Forrest, have albino eyes and hair.
4. Mark L. Lester went out to some of the clubs in Seattle in search of some local music to include in the movie. Mark came across a then unknown band at a grunge bar and cut a deal to buy the rights to all the songs they played that evening for $100 each. That band was none other than Nine Inch Nails and their hit song “Head Like a Hole” did make the final cut of the movie.
5. The rundown and gang riddled neighborhood that Cody Culp calls home was an actual abandoned neighborhood near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
6. Traci Lind’s character Christie Langford was originally written to be the high school sexpot and the character was described as wearing more revealing outfits in the script. Lind had other ideas about what the character should be and was seen as uncooperative.
7. The action packed shootout scene between the two rival gangs, the Blackhearts and the Razorheads, took nearly five days to shoot. This was partially attributed to all the mud that they had to deal with due to the near constant rain in Seattle.
8. John P. Ryan, Pam Grier and Patrick Kilpatrick are all wearing wet suits under their clothes in the scene where the three android teachers emerge out of the waters of the Puget Sound after driving their car off the pier and into the water during their pursuit of the motorcycle riding Cody Culp. The wet suits were to combat the extremely cold temperature of the water at the time of shooting.
9. There was absolutely no CGI used on the film and all the effects were done on set under the supervision of Eric Allard, who impressed Mark L. Lester with his work in the 1986 film Short Circuit.
10. A young Rose McGowan has an uncredited role as one of the students at Kennedy High. You can see her a few times in the movie, but her most prominent spot was sitting outside the office of Principal Miles Langford (Malcom McDowell) when Miles is meeting with the android teachers on their first day on the job.