Movie: "Three O'Clock High"
Year: 1987
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Directed by: Phil Joanou
Writing credits: Richard Matheson, Thomas Szollosi

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 1/8/2008

Plot: A nerdy high school kid is set to fight the most psychopathic bully in the history of bullies at 3pm, and now he's doing everything he can to get out of the fight.

Review: Three O'Clock High is easily one of the all-time greats as far as 80's school movies are concerned, which makes it all the more baffling why it has garnered little more than a cult following over the years. I'm not saying it's better than Fast Times at Ridgemont High or The Breakfast Club, but it definitely deserves to be in the same company with 'em.

Jerry Mitchell is a high school nerd who has been assigned to do an article for the school paper on Buddy Revell, a maniac who has more rumors spreading around about his violent outbreaks than just about anyone you've ever heard of. When Jerry pats Buddy on the arm, he unknowingly seals his fate because Buddy is a "touch freak" - that is, he doesn't like being touched by anybody.

Buddy has got to be one of the greatest bullies you'll ever see, brass knuckles 'n all. Whenever somebody touches him, he slowly turns his head downward and you can just see the rage boiling up inside him. It's so much fun seeing him do this because you can only wonder what's gonna happen when he unleashes that boiling rage on whoever was foolish enough to touch him. In Jerry's case, Buddy slams him around the bathroom a bit and then unloads this badass speech upon him:

"I want you to understand something Jerry. I don't like people knowing about me, in fact I don't like it when ANYONE knows about me. So you can take that paper of yours and wipe off your dick with it! You made me mad Jerry... now I'm gunna have to do something to work it off. You and me, we're gonna have a fight. Today. After school. Three o'clock. In the parking lot. You try and run, I'm gonna track you down. You go to a teacher, it's only gonna get worse. You sneak home, I'm gonna be under your bed."

Tell me that's not perfection!

Jerry then spends the rest of the day doing anything he possibly can to get out of the fight... ditching school, trying to frame Buddy, and even hiring a big guy to try beating him up first. When none of that works, Jerry tries to bribe Buddy with $300 not to fight him, Buddy gives him a verbal slam that cuts him right to the bone: "You know what Mitchell? You're the biggest pussy I've ever seen in my life. Didn't even try. How does that feel?"

It's hearing these words that give Jerry the kick in the ass to stand up for himself that he's needed all along. He decides the fight is back on and soon the bell tolls at 3pm. The brass knuckles are about to slide on, but whose chin will they connect with? If you can't predict who comes out on top here, you don't know your 80's movies very well.

In all honesty, this movie would be nothing without Buddy Revell if you ask me. He's just the perfect bully because he's a true loner. He doesn't hang out with the jocks, he breaks their fingers and their faces. He doesn't listen to what adults tell him to do, he knocks them unconscious with a single blow. The other thing that makes Buddy stand apart from your typical movie bullies is that he's actually intelligent! He's not some dumb musclehead who can barely form a sentence, he's a cunning psychopath who plays countless mind games with his prey before pummeling them into oblivion. Buddy and his brass knuckles deserve far more credit in this underrated movie about the ultimate day of hell for one unlucky student.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

The Goddamned Batman
Jan 8th, 2008, 06:24 PM
I must admit, I have never heard of this movie. :O
Fake Shemp
Jan 8th, 2008, 07:12 PM
Movie is great - anything with heavy bombers bombing the piss out of the already ravaged landscape of Germany in WW2 can be awesome to watch.....8| wait...did you say 3 O'clock High?

oh - yeah it's pretty cool too - not sure how you escaped ever seeing it or hearing of it Protoclown - it's been a staple of TNT, TBS and most of the HBOs for over a decade now
Jan 8th, 2008, 08:29 PM
I remember watching the beginning on the Fox afternoon movie back when I was about 7. Being so young, I got bored and changed the channel.

I regret it now. Oh, how I regret it.
Jan 8th, 2008, 09:12 PM
I must see this film!
From the Home of MST3K
Jan 9th, 2008, 12:15 AM
Didn't "Doug" spoof this once?
Forum Chaos Lord
Jan 9th, 2008, 03:09 AM
Doug did, indeed, spoof this once. Only as per tradition, it was full of stupid, with the bully getting into trouble or some other nonsense. I never paid much attention to Doug.

Irregardless, this movie is unadulterated win.
Pickled Patriarch
Jan 9th, 2008, 03:43 AM
A lot of people recognize the Bully in this movie but can't place where they know him from. He's been in a ton of stuff, but I think most people would recognize him as the bad guy in Kindergarten Cop. If he had his brass knuckles in that movie, he would've knocked Arnold on his ass... no question about it.
Forum Virgin
Jan 9th, 2008, 11:58 AM
I saw a good deal of this movie one lazy summer day...but then I had to go someplace... jail I think, it's been too long to remember...but I definitely left before he bribed Buddy, so for the longest time I didn't know how this movie ended...every now and then something would remind me of the movie and I'd wonder but never long enough to actually hunt the movie down. Then I joined the military and went a long time where I could not get ahold of the movie anyways, but ironically, I was constantly reminded of Buddy Revell (what a great name by the way) especially whenever I went to the latrine. And by the way, the ending isn't obvious. Everyone says that, especially when I scoured the internet looking for a spoiler. "And then we get to the ending and... well let's just say it's as obvious as only an 80's movie can be". Yeah, Ok, I had a fairly good idea of who would ultimately win but the big question in my mind wasn't who, but How? After seeing Buddy "Shh, no loud noises in the library" Revell in action, how could the puny nerd possibly stand up to him? Anyways, to make a pschotically long story short(er) I finally purchased the movie after settling into my first base and watched the whole movie... and loved every minute, even the end.
Forum Virgin
Jan 9th, 2008, 01:19 PM
Never heard of this movie....But I wanna watch it now!
Jan 9th, 2008, 01:21 PM
My worst enemy looks just like Buddy but he's a sex offender instead of a bully.
Jan 9th, 2008, 01:26 PM
I thought that the actor who played Buddy had stopped working (at least in more than just a few bit roles), but I saw him in Flight of the Living Dead and nearly shit myself with glee.
Waiting for the worms.
Jan 9th, 2008, 03:04 PM
Buddy Revell is Cullen Crisp.
Buddy Revell. Is. Cullen Crisp. Holy fucking ass crackers. I never made the connection until now.
I just had an awesome attack, and if you don't know who Cullen Crisp is, look up Rog's comment up there. Actor's name is Richard Tyson, by the way.
2 cool for school
Jan 10th, 2008, 07:39 PM
I don't like this movie... I loooooove it.

"I'm no pussy asshole!"
Space Cowboy
Jan 11th, 2008, 12:29 AM
This movie is awesome. I saw it on Encore a couple months back. The kid who plays Jerry, Casey Siemaszko, was the guy in Biff's gang in Back To The Future who always wore 3-D glasses, which is definitely one of the best fashion statements I've ever seen in a movie.
Forum Virgin
Oct 6th, 2008, 03:41 PM
I actually attended the high school where this movie was filmed. It's Ogden high in Ogden, Utah. The funny thing is, the guy they used to play the librarian lived a few houses from me and was the maintenance guy for an art center. He was true to his role and was one of the nerdiest people I have ever met. Not nerdy like me or you, videogame/comic books nerds, but really socially inept, out-of-touch with reality type nerdy. He always tried to make friends with the local children of the neighborhood despite being about 35 years old and single. I shudder just thinking about it.....