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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Three O'Clock High
Three O'Clock High
Universal // PG-13 // September 2, 2003
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted September 28, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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CineSchlock-O-Rama
Short Takes

VICTORY OVER VHS OBLIVION! After only 11 weeks among CineSchlock-O-Rama's Most Wanted, the unyielding vigilance of all CineSchlockers has been rewarded with another capture.

Long before Jack Bauer's madcap "24," cub reporter Jerry Mitchell laced up for his own sprint against time -- and a knuckle sandwich of certain death. Casey Siemaszko stars as the genre's requisite geekazoid student journalist out for the skinny on his high school's newest arrival. Buddy Revell's rep precedes him with whispered rumors that transcend mere bullydom to rival the worst prison yard horrors. Naturally, Lil Jerry does the ONE thing guaranteed to evoke Richard Tyson's deliciously seething rage with a friendly, yet utterly dooming, pat on Buddy's leather-clad shoulder. Then it's all about the ticking, torturous wait as Jerry desperately tries to scheme his way out of a three o'clock brawl with destiny. Along the way, landing crossways with "X-Files" baldie Mitch Pileggi's overzealous campus security goon when he tries to skedaddle off campus, becoming the subject of a repressed teacher's lust when a raunchy book report fails to earn him detention and even knocking off the student store to pay a football player to deliver a surrogate hide tanning. It's all backed by a tick-tock soundtrack of syntho tunes from Tangerine Dream and Sylvester Levay (of "Airwolf" theme fame), but what CineSchlockers will grin most over is the pilfered It's A Wonderful Life finale. Shame this sucker hasn't quite achieved the nostalgia factor of its '80s classmates. That's probably due to the lack of a central female character (a.k.a. Molly Ringwald), given more often than not, it's typically the gals who make their beaus revisit these dippy little time capsules on gropey Blockbuster nights. However, Anne Ryan does an admirable reverse Duckie as Jerry's vaguely randy pre-goth gal and Liza Morrow wisely avoids bitchery as the campus hottie. No breasts. Shirt nuking. Gratuitous urination. One human pinata. Puking. Fainting. Gratuitous "permanent record" talk. Phony fire alarm. "Wonderful World of Insects" footage. Pushy documentarians. Finger snapping (of the highly painful variety). Buddy Revell speaks: "You made me mad, Jerry. Now I'm gonna 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 and I'm gonna track you down. You go to a teacher, it's only gonna get worse. You sneak home and I'm gonna be under your bed. You and me ... three o'clock." (1987, 90 mins, 1.85:1 anam, DD surround, No trailer or printed insert.)

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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.
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