It’s probably a pretty bad sign when a film’s star makes a public apology to his fans for doing the film just when it is getting released on DVD. Brad Pitt did just that, and you know what? He should be sorry. This film is an absolute mess all the way around. I think it’s supposed to be a slasher film, but there are never any good 1980’s slasher moments to be found. It’s true that at this point in his career Pitt wasn’t exactly being offered the cream of the crop. He wasn’t paling around with George Clooney and friends just yet. So perhaps it’s not Pitt but the folks who made this film who should be apologizing. Cutting Class has no idea what it wants to be when it grows up. Is it a comedy or is it a drama? Ultimately it fails on both counts.
There’s a killer running around a local town and high school. We’re given several red herrings that are so obvious they’re stupid. The murders take place in bizarre forms. One teacher is killed over a scanning copy machine so that a time lapse version of the murder is all over campus in the form of copier sheets. The film’s climax occurs in a high school shop classroom with all of the required power tools.
The film does have some good talent on hand but chooses to waste it all. Martin Mull is severely underused as a wondering idiot throughout the film after being shot and trying to make his way home. Roddy McDowall is a great actor relegated to a cutout character of a pervert principal. While I haven’t seen Paula Schoelin a lot, she was quite good in the Robert Englund version of Phantom Of The Opera. Here she does a lot of running, moping and screaming.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track about what this film deserves. You can hear the dialog and the 80’s cheap soundtrack just fine, unfortunately. Don’t look for anything dynamic here. It sounds like a 70’s made for television film, just not as good.