Cutting Class Review
Written by: Goon
Over the years several A list actors have really gotten there starts in horror films. For instance the most recognizable of them all is Johnny Depp but that was probably because he appeared in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. Lesser known roles such as Holly Hunter and Jason Alexander both appeared in The Burning. Tom Hanks even got in on the act in He Knows Your Alone. Well Cutting Class continues that legacy with Brad Pitt who actually plays the lead role of Dwight.
The plot is pretty basic in that it is your typical murder mystery story. Paula is a great student and the daughter of the District Attorney. He is on his way out into the woods for a much needed vacation and trusts his daughter to stay home alone for the week. While he is venturing through the woods he is shot with an arrow by an unseen killer. During the entire film we are never told who the killer is. We are given hints that it could be the disgruntled janitor, her boyfriend Dwight, the recently released nutcase Brian or any number of other members of her school.
Now the film overall is very unique in many different ways. For one it is played straight in some scenes but then in others they are very tongue in cheek and really funny. Its an odd combination that wouldn't work without the right cast. The main people we see ham it up include the principal played by Roddy McDowall and her father Martin Mull. Both of them have been in a number of films on both sides of the fence so they understood what kind of line they were playing with.
The lead was played by Jill Schoelen who is gorgeous in the film. No real full frontal from her but there are a couple of really close calls so if you are a pervert you might find yourself freeze framing this. Throughout the film its funny because all of the male teachers are always checking her out, making her bend over to pick things up and just being perverts in general. But she had great chemistry with Brad Pitt and Donovan Leitch who plays the young man who was released from the mental institution.
The beat to this movie is really odd. I can't really compare it to anything else because it just so out there because you want to laugh just because Brad Pitt is acting a fool but then they hit you with a real joke.. Its just everywhere but in a good way. All of the kills oddly enough are done in a straight way. Some of the attempts have some humorous qualities to them but I don't think any of the kills are used as a punch line.
The gore in this film is really not present. There is maybe two or three cool looking kills that you may remember but as I have mentioned the high points to this film lie within the comedy and the overall feel that this film exudes. During its time I don't know what kind of reception this film received but I think now with DVD this film will probably reach a whole new audience who will appreciate what was done here.
Speaking of the DVD I am a little disappointed that Lionsgate released this bare bones but at least it is the unrated cut I must say. The cover is also a little bland and quite frankly awful for a horror flick. It doesn't highlight the comedy side of the story at all and from just looking at the cover I don't know if anyone will even recognize that this is a horror film. Basically we got Brad Pitt giving this very serious look with a bunch of haze in the back ground. Not to exciting. I would have loved it if they used the skeleton with the writing on the chalk board. Now that was some classic artwork.
Bottom line with this film though is that you should check it out. Its quirky and fun. That's all you really have to know about this one. I'm sure any fan of the good old 80s slasher films will have a great time with this one.
- Luke Franklin