Movie: "Three O'Clock High"
Directed by: Phil Joanou
Writing credits: Richard Matheson, Thomas Szollosi
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.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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