Action Crime Thriller
Rebel without a cause or a clue at an elite but uptight High School discovers some of his classmates have formed an even more elite clique more or less hell-bent on ridding the school, and quite possibly American society, of what they deem to be its undesirables because of ethnicity, politics, etc. Our hero recruits a teacher and some other "less desirable" classmates to undermine the elitists, and, naturally, things get quite violent.
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June 15, 2018 at 6:26 am
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P/S 36 / 102
Similar to Brotherhood of Justice. Coincidence or not?
Reading the synopsis to this film, I was reminded of movies like Skulls and
Disturbing Behavior, where a small, tightly protected group of richies form
an underground society to target unwanted classmates.This movie, written in part by actor John Stockwell who portrays the
unofficial leader of the Sentinels, Verde High's fascist secret society
formed to "serve and protect", is nearly identical to a made-for-tv movie
released the same year called Brotherhood of Justice. Brotherhood was based
on a true story of a secret society formed at a Texas high school that
eventually went from theft and vandalism prevention to goals of extreme
violence. So, I wonder if the writers of Dangerously Close were inspired by
the same events. The major differences between the two, however, are that Brotherhood of
Justice is primarily told from the viewpoint of one of the leaders of the
gang, while Dangerously Close is seen from the viewpoint of one of their
prospective victims. And, secondly, in Dangerously Close, the high school
principal, sponsor of the gang, was the pivotal force behind the murders.
The Sentinels were only supposed to rough up a few of their targets. The
Texas High School events which Brotherhood is based on, left out the
involvement that the gym coach had in the secret society. That is why I
think both films were inspired by the same events. It was alright. I've always enjoyed John Stockwell, or at least his earlier
appearances and behind-the-camera work. It was also nice seeing Robert
Russler, though only briefly. I thought it was a pretty good B-rated
Yes! Cannon Films produced very good movies. This is one.
Probably the best movie Albert Pyun directed. First rate cinematography and
photography (shades of blue and red during the night scenes especially).
So-so actors but with a special mention to Mr Stockwell and J. Eddie Peck
(whatever happened to him anyway after that movie?).The screenplay is the
best on this subject.Most of the time in college/high school movies, the
fact of being different is an issue and you end "normal" at the end (She's
all that and others very bad stuff). Here, being different is enough to get
you killed. This is the most interesting part of the plot : it got an
unusual political and sociological issue that is scarier than any Scream
movie. Be sure to see the movie til the very last image and you'll know
why. Great suspense that makes you think!
One of the more interesting titles produced by Cannon.
Things are going very wrong at the high school attended by crusading
newspaper editor Donny Lennox (J. Eddie Peck). There's a student group
there named The Sentinels, ostensibly formed to act as something of a
security force. But now the group is out of control, and is bent on
eliminating any individual whom they deem "undesirable". Now people are
actually dying.Give these filmmakers credit for at least *attempting* to deal with
serious subject matter in a reasonably sincere way. Director Albert
Pyun works from a script co-written by leading actor John Stockwell.
Stockwell ("Christine", "My Science Project") plays unofficial
Sentinels leader Randy McDevitt. The movie features some of the
trappings of the period, namely, fashions and the hip soundtrack of
artists ranging from Robert Palmer to Fine Young Cannibals to The
Smithereens. But it's fairly stylish and slick, and not gratuitously
gory. The story is entertaining and provocative enough to draw the
viewer in, and there is a potent theme about the danger of blindly
following somebody's lead.An array of recognizable faces play roles big and small: Carey Lowell
("Licence to Kill"), Don Michael Paul ("Heart of Dixie"), Bradford
Bancroft ("Bachelor Party"), Madison Mason ("Dreamscape"), Thom Mathews
and Miguel A. Nunez Jr. from "The Return of the Living Dead", Gerard
Christopher ("Tomboy"), Carmen Argenziano ("The Accused"), Dedee
Pfeiffer ("Vamp"), Karen Witter ("The Vineyard"), Angel Tompkins ("The
Teacher"), and Rosalind Allen ("Ticks"). The performances, much like
the movie itself, do earn points for sincerity.Only a last minute reveal involving the Krooger character genuinely
annoyed this viewer. Overall, this is a decent 1980s effort waiting to
be discovered or rediscovered.Seven out of 10.
Read more IMDb reviews
John Stockwell, Carey Lowell, and some others...
I wish I didn't have to write 10 lines for inclusion on IMDb, because
there isn't too much to say about this movie EXCEPT that I really liked
it at the time - it is a good example of mid-80's style - and the
actors are very good, some have more recently become well known: John
Stockwell is a noted Director now ("Blue Crush"), and he was 'Cougar'
in "Top Gun" the same year, 1986. Carey Lowell, Mrs. Richard Gere, went
on to "Law & Order" after a role in a bad James Bond movie. So why no
DVD??? It was on VHS in the late 80's. One thing I do remember at the
time, when Siskel & Ebert reviewed it they noted a strange homo-erotic
overtone in many scenes (like in the school gym's locker room). Of
course, you could say that about the Top Gun locker room scenes, also.
But they had a point, and I think one reason this movie did stand out
from the run-of-the-mill Drive In fare was that director Albert Pyun
gave it some of these inexplicable, strange tones. And there was one
TERRIFIC pun half-way into the movie, but you'll have to watch it to
find out for yourself...