A music teacher (Perry King) at a tough Los Angeles high school reaches out to his students with the gift of music -- only to find a gang of sadistic punk rockers is actively dissuading new members from joining the orchestra.
Not only are the punkers sadistic; they are also led by the nefarious Timothy Van Patten (sporting Willie Aames-style blow-dried hair). The plot development: Van Patten is a musical prodigy, as he proves by banging out some angry classical tunes on the school Baldwin in front of the teacher's startled class.
King tries to befriend the lad, but he rejects the offer with scorn. When King attempts to settle for a truce with the gang leader in order to end his students' harassment, he finds himself targeted for a slowly-escalating campaign of terror, culminating in a deadly game of hide-and-seek in the high school after hours.
One by one, King faces the murderous gang; one by one, teenagers die in a succession of increasingly violent fashions as the already-exploitive film degenerates into a Death Wish clone. As a feature film, Class of 1984 seems more like it was made for television.
The plot is completely contrived; the characters are unbelievable (especially the punks, who seem to be the sort of punks that exist only in the imaginations of B-grade Hollywood film directors), and the production values are poor. Yet Class of 1984 has a certain charm, a certain earnestness that makes it watchable, if unintentionally amusing.
The film includes a soundtrack by Alice Cooper which includes the stirring anthem I Am the Future. Another point of interest: this may be the only film including a scene in which Michael J. Fox is stabbed during a prison-style cafeteria riot.