Recap #66 – Cutting Class (1989)

cuttingclass

Title: Cutting Class

Director:  Rospo Pallenberg

Released: July 17, 1989

Description: After spending time at a mental institution, troubled student Brian Woods (Donovan Leitch) returns to class following his father’s death, amid a swirl of rumors about his emotional state. Brian competes for the affections of Paula Carson (Jill Schoelen) with her boyfriend — the school’s resident rebel, Dwight Ingalls (Brad Pitt). When students begin disappearing at an alarming rate, Brian is the obvious suspect, but the real threat may be coming from an unexpected source.

Notes: Although this movie was released in 1989, it was filmed in 1987 and sat on a shelf for two years. I may swing between referring to this as an ’89 and ’87 movie in this recap. *shrug* [bat: Some things that get stuck on a shelf age well, like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, some… do not…]

Nostalgia Time!


So, I’d never actually seen this one until recently. I remember when I was maybe 13-14ish, and being in some big box store (it was possibly Kmart) with my cousin, and we spotted this VHS on a rack somewhere in the store. My cousin picked it up and begged her mom to buy it for her, on account of it starring a very young Brad Pitt in one of his first movie roles. Her mom (my aunt) looked at it and was like, Yeah right, I’m not buying this shit for you.

Cousin was bummed, but looking back it was probably the right call. This movie is . . . well, it has a 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. I can’t find a single in-depth review that makes it sound worth watching. Which I actually find odd, because I don’t think it’s as unwatchable as people make it out to be. Oh, it’s not good. I’m definitely not saying it’s good. But in my eyes it has enough going for it to land it in “entertainingly bad” territory, rather than “unwatchably bad” territory.

And yes, part of what it has going for it in my eyes is Roddy McDowall. Fuck it, I’m leaning into this now. I joked a few recaps back that Roddy was quickly going to be in the running for the title of most recapped actor on this site, and now I’m apparently endeavoring to make that a reality. I could recap Planet of the Apes, but no, here I am with this dumpster fire instead. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, but I hope whatever it is is at least entertaining for y’all.

As a special treat (although that’s a dubious term considering how bad this movie is), I’ve invited a new recapping friend, bat, to comment on this recap. Hey, she made invited me to comment on My Demon Lover, and that movie was sincerely painful to watch! bat?

[bat: HEEEEYYYYYY, JC! Yeah, I was invited to this through a message that included the terms “horror/comedy” and “young Brad Pitt” so of course I said sign me up. I am that person who tracked down 1991’s godawful Johnny Suede and watched the whole worthless film yet all I can remember is the leg shaving scene. Basically, it’s a part-time hobby, watching horror-comedy films and/or the original My Little Pony ‘N Friends cartoon and recapping them. I am full of snark and sarcasm. Also, I adore Roddy McDowall in The Planet of the Apes! I even have the Funko Pop of Cornelius!] [JC: I bet that’s adorable as fuck! I don’t think I’ve seen it locally or I’m sure I would have snapped it up!]

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Recap #60 – April Fools by Richie Tankersley Cusick

aprilfools

Title: April Fools

Author: Richie Tankersley Cusick

Published: April 1990

Tagline: It’s no joke . . . it’s murder

Description: You can fool some of the people some of the time . . .

On the night of April 1st, Belinda, Frank, and Hildy are driving home from a party when they get involved in a gruesome car accident. The people in the other car never could have survived the wreck, so Frank insists they take off. After all, what happened wasn’t really their fault.

Two weeks later, Belinda is the only one who still feels guilty about the accident. Then the “pranks” begin. Someone sends her a bloody doll’s head. A car nearly runs her off the road.

Obviously someone witnessed . . . or survived that car accident. And they’re going to make her pay . . . slowly . . . for what happened.

April Fools’ Day is over. But these jokes are for real.

Nostalgia Time!


I’ve been a little hesitant to tackle RTC again, since her previous two books didn’t live up to my memory when I recapped them. I remember this one pretty well, helped along by several other recappers writing/podcasting about it. I remember Frank and Hildy being absolute assholes, but Belinda being a pretty good protagonist.

For some reason, I think I always found this book a little boring when I was younger, but I clearly read it multiple times – the spine on my old copy is pretty well-worn. And clearly my memory of Cusick’s books isn’t reliable, considering how much eight-or-nine-year-old me loved The Lifeguard. (I’m still cringing over that.)

Anyway, maybe third time’s the charm?

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Recap #59 – Identity Theft by Anna Davies

identitytheft

Title: Identity Theft

Author: Anna Davies

Published: May 2013

Tagline: ☠ HAYLEY has a friend request she can’t ignore

Description: Privacy settings can’t hide the skeletons in your closet.

Hayley doesn’t have a Facebook account. As a finalist for a prestigious college scholarship, she can’t afford to flood the Internet with photos of her making duck faces, or write probing, existential updates like “OMG, why is oatmeal so delicious?!” So when someone claiming to be Hayley posts incriminating shots of her online, she assumes it’s the product of clever (but seriously mean-spirited) photo editing.

But then even more scandalous pics appear, including one revealing a birthmark on Hayley’s back – something she’s never shown in public. There’s no plausible explanation, until a shocking discovery reveals dark secrets in her family’s past – skeletons that refuse to stay in the closet.

Suddenly, Hayley realizes it’s not just the scholarship that’s at stake, because her tormentor doesn’t just want to ruin Hayley’s life . . . she wants it for her own.

Nostalgia Time!


Okay, look. This is the second book in the Point Horror 2013 relaunch. I was in my 30s when this was published. There is no nostalgia at work here. So let’s talk about that description. The tagline has nothing to do with the story – Hayley doesn’t receive any friend requests, because she isn’t on social media. There’s no birthmark ever mentioned anywhere in the book. Also, if anyone has ever posted the status “OMG why is oatmeal so delicious?!” please direct me to them so I can dump the bowl of said oatmeal over their head, because that status is obnoxious as fuck. Also also, privacy settings absolutely can hide the skeletons in your closet – that’s what privacy settings are for.

At least this back-of-book description doesn’t give the whole story, twist and all, away like the description for the Kindle edition does.

So, you may be able to tell from my tone that I did not enjoy this book. Not to give all my thoughts away up front, but this is bad. Really, really bad. I mean, at first I was going along all right, rolling my eyes and groaning about how willfully unlikable the protagonist is, but nothing Earth-shatteringly terrible. Then we hit the third act, and my brain melts into a fiery hellscape. So, you’ve got that to look forward to, dear reader.

Because that’s what you really come here for, isn’t it. 🙂

Continue reading “Recap #59 – Identity Theft by Anna Davies”