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"HIGH SCHOOL HIGH"
(1996) (Jon Lovitz, Tia Carrere) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Heavy Minor Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None None Moderate Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild None Mild Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A white bread teacher takes a job at an inner city high school and attempts to reform the place and its students.
PLOT:
Richard Clark (JON LOVITZ) is a white bread teacher working at a private academy who wants a teaching challenge. So he gets a job at Marion Barry High, a school where chaos reigns and the students are apathetic. Principal Doyle (LOUISE FLETCHER) tries to rule her school by force, but it's her assistant Victoria Chapell (TIA CARRERE) who wants to help Clark make changes. He finds that hard, however, as Griff (MEKHI PHIFER), a former drug runner, still holds the students under his spell and they won't make a change unless he approves it. Griff and others students such as Natalie (MELINDA WILLIAMS) eventually see Clark as cool, and they begin to learn as he teaches them in ways they can relate to. But Paco (GUERMO DIAZ), the new drug runner and gang leader, wants no part of that and tries to undermine Clark's goal of teaching the students.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
A good many of them will. Jon Lovitz will be a draw as will the farcical high school story line.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For crude sexual humor, partial nudity and some drug references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JON LOVITZ plays a caring teacher who wants his students to learn, and he goes above and beyond the call of duty to teach them in ways they can relate to. He also sleeps with Victoria.
  • TIA CARRERE plays the principal's assistant who sleeps with Clark, but who also wants to help the students.
  • MEKHI PHIFER plays a former gang leader who wants to go to college and get out of the gang life.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    Made by the Zucker brothers, this tongue-in-cheek movie isn't as funny as their previous efforts (the "Airplane" and "Naked Gun" series), but still provides enough laughs to make it worthwhile for audiences who like this type of zany, exaggerated humor. Like Leslie Nielsen, the Zuckers' other funny straight man, Jon Lovitz proves he's equally as capable of being oblivious to his surroundings, thus providing most of the film's humor. The plot's pretty much a throw away (as in the other Zucker films), but that's not really the point. For parents, the movie even throws in a pro learning message to end the story. We give this one a 5 out of 10 rating.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Things come fast and furious in this movie and much of the humor is sophomoric in approach. Nearly none of it is intended to be taken at face value, but parents should consider whether their kids will understand that. Somewhat disturbing is an attempted rape that's played for laughs (note: the "attack" isn't played out as scary or graphic and many kids might not understand what was really being attempted). Humor lies in the eye (and funny bone) of the beholder, so what some might find as funny, others won't and might be disturbed by the violence and/or sexual innuendo. There is a heavy emphasis on gangs and a drug trade industry, both of which are used quite often at the end. As always, parents are cautioned to examine the content of each category before allowing their children to see this one.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • (A great deal of the material listed in each category is meant to be viewed as humorous and not to be taken at face value. Still, you should consider whether or not you and your children will see it that way.)
  • The academy staff drinks wine with lunch.
  • Students place a bong into a statue's hand.
  • A teacher makes martinis in the lounge. Clark comments that it's early to be drinking and the teacher responds, "Early? Who stops?"
  • A student refers to "blazing up a fat blunt" that's probably a reference to marijuana.
  • Several students spike the punch at a dance.
  • A malt liquor vending machine dispense a beverage in a brown paper bag that a student retrieves.
  • People are seen drinking and smoking at a strip joint.
  • A man is poured a shot of liquor at a restaurant.
  • Victoria finds Clark very drunk.
  • After Clark finds out that Doyle is the head of the drug trade, he poses as a buyer. She then asks him if he's getting high and he replies "Yeah, who doesn't?" A gang member says that he doesn't see any "track marks" on Clark who says that he "shoots it up the ass." They then make him "shoot up" to test the quality of the heroin he's about to purchase. He hides a rubber ball in his bent arm and injects the dope into it, but then acts high to fool the others.
  • A gym teacher drinks champagne.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • (A great deal of the material listed in each category is meant to be viewed as humorous and not to be taken at face value. Still, you should consider whether or not you and your children will see it that way.)
  • A student carves the phrase "Die Scum" into his arm with a knife.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • (A great deal of the material listed in each category is meant to be viewed as humorous and not to be taken at face value. Still, you should consider whether or not you and your children will see it that way.)
  • A receptionist answers the phone, "Wellington Academy, are you white?"
  • Students spray paint Clark's car and later the walls and lockers of the high school.
  • Students direct Clark to drive over a tire puncturing grate that flattens his tires.
  • A student gives Clark "the finger" and later the school librarian does the same and screams out "You suck" to him.
  • On his first day at school, the students steal Clark's car and briefcase right behind his back.
  • Clark asks Griff where he sees himself in ten years. Griff responds "Living in your home with your crack ass buried under the porch."
  • The phrase "Mr. Clark is a homo" is seen written on the chalkboard many times.
  • Griff stares at Natalie's (clothed) breasts as she talks about guys only being interested in staring at women's breasts.
  • It's learned that Griff was previously in juvenile detention for "running the game" (gang related drug running) that Paco now is in control of.
  • Natalie mentions that Paco previously held up a convenience store and the only reason the clerk is still alive is that he was wearing a bulletproof turban.
  • The students don't listen to Clark as he tries to teach them.
  • Paco looks down on Griff's attempt at going straight and shows him a wad of money to compare to the life of "flipping burgers" and how that just won't pay.
  • Victoria is grabbed by one of the male students and dragged into the library. "I know you want this. I've read Mike Tyson's book."
  • Phrase: "I'll bounce you out of here faster than a homo at Fort Dix."
  • Paco and his gang steal the students' proficiency tests and replace them with ones guaranteed to fail, thus ruining both Clark and Griff's goal.
  • A metal lamp shade falls onto a Chinese man's head, thus causing him to look like the stereotypical "Chinaman" (wearing a rice paddy hat).
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • (A great deal of the material listed in each category is meant to be viewed as humorous and not to be taken at face value. Still, you should consider whether or not you and your children will see it that way.)
  • Paco and Griff compete in a "chickee run" (playing chicken). The objective is to drive at high speeds toward the edge of a cliff and whoever jumps out first loses. Clark drives up (trying to talk them out of this) and barely gets out of his car long after the other two have jumped. Their three cars fly off the cliff and explode upon impact, later causing a large brush fire.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • (A great deal of the material listed in each category is meant to be viewed as humorous and not to be taken at face value. Still, you should consider whether or not you and your children will see it that way.)
  • All sorts of weapons (guns, knives, rocket launchers) are seen as students empty their pockets as they go through the school's metal detectors.
  • Knife: Used by a student to carve the phrase "Die Scum" into his arm.
  • Knife: Used by Paco to threaten Clark and held under his chin after he steps between rival gangs.
  • Natalie mentions that Paco previously held up a convenience store and the only reason the clerk is still alive is that he was wearing a bulletproof turban.
  • Some students dress the school statue as a gang member, complete with hooded sweatshirt and machine gun.
  • Knife: Thrown by a student during a fight where Clark is defending Victoria from a student assailant. The knife lands and stands erect in a magazine cover (in Bob Dole's crotch) that reads "Bob Dole running hard."
  • Handgun: Used by Clark in a wagered game of Russian roulette. He takes the gun, places it to his head and fires, but misses. It turns out to be a drunken dream.
  • Handguns: Aimed at Griff when he announces that he wants out of the gang
  • Handgun: Hidden by Clark in a dish of pasta sauce. The dish is then placed into a microwave where the gun later goes off.
  • Knife/Chainsaw/Gun: During the final sequence, there's a fight and Paco threatens Victoria with a knife. Another bad guy comes after them with a chainsaw, but Griff punches and knocks him out. Doyle then holds a handgun on everyone and later holds it to Clark's head.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • (A great deal of the material listed in each category is meant to be viewed as humorous and not to be taken at face value. Still, you should consider whether or not you and your children will see it that way.)
  • Phrases: "Bite me," "Slut," "Pinhead," "Shut up," "Bitch," "Suck," "Hoes (whores)," "Die Scum," "Pickle d*ck," "Jack off," "Idiot," "Punk," "Homo," "Piss me off," "Busting my balls," "White punk," and "You suck."
  • Students put a "Bite me" sign on Clark's back.
  • Students spray paint Clark's car and later the walls and lockers of the high school.
  • A student gives Clark "the finger" and later the school librarian does the same and screams out "You suck" to him.
  • There are several scenes showing gang and drug dealing behavior as attractively lucrative.
  • A student carves the phrase "Die Scum" into his arm with a knife.
  • Clark asks a student why she's late and she responds, "Because the bell rang before I got here." Paco and Griff compete in a "chickee run" (playing chicken). The objective is to drive at high speeds toward the edge of a cliff and whoever jumps out first loses. Clark drives up (trying to talk them out of this) and barely gets out long after the other two have jumped. Their three cars fly off the cliff and explode upon impact, later causing a large brush fire.
  • Some students dress the school statue as a gang member, complete with hooded sweatshirt and machine gun.
  • Paco looks down on Griff's attempt at going straight and shows him a wad of money to compare to the life of "flipping burgers" and the latter just won't pay.
  • Clark is seen participating in a wagered game of Russian roulette. He takes a gun, places it to his head and fires, but misses.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • There is a moderate amount of rap music that's relatively hard to understand. Thus, there's a good possibility that more objectionable material is present than is listed here.
  • Minor profanities are heard (such as hell) and a reference ("big booty") to female butts is heard.
  • A remake of the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" includes the lines "...I just killed a man. Put a gun up to his head. Pulled my trigger, now he's dead...I don't want to die. I just wish sometimes I'd never been born at all..."
  • PROFANITY
  • 5 "s" words, 7 hells, 6 "ass" words, 2 slang terms for male genitals (the "d" word), 1 slang term for female genitals (the "p" word), 1 damn, and 2 uses each of "My God" and "Jesus" and 1 use each of "Oh my God" and "Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • (A great deal of the material listed in each category is meant to be viewed as humorous and not to be taken at face value. Still, you should consider whether or not you and your children will see it that way.)
  • Clark, responding to his father's statement that Clark will return to them with his "tail between his legs," responds, "I never intend on crawling back here with anything between my legs."
  • The school nurse is handing out free condoms and a pamphlet of how to use them (stapling them together through the condom) and tells a girl who takes one "Here you go, you slut."
  • There's a reference to masturbation (when Clark asks a student what he likes to do in his free time).
  • Griff stares at Natalie's (clothed) breasts as she talks about guys only being interested in staring at women's breasts.
  • Griff and Natalie do some "dirty dancing" where they simulate oral sex on each other and then bump and grind pelvis to behind and pelvis to pelvis. Griff then hops on top of Natalie and simulates having sex with her from behind on the floor.
  • A student's bare buttocks are seen in the background of a shot as a student tries to hop up some stairs with his pants pulled down.
  • Natalie is the "flag girl" for the beginning of a drag race and as she prepares to lower the "flag" she begins to do all sorts of sexual/sensual body movements. She feels her breasts and runs the handkerchief down inside her legs.
  • Clark's bare butt is seen as he turns around after the seat of his pants have been burned away.
  • Victoria is grabbed by one of the male students and dragged into the library. "I know you want this. I've read Mike Tyson's book." Later, the student pulls out and throws a knife that sticks and stands in a magazine cover (in Bob Dole's crotch) that reads "Bob Dole running hard." The innuendo is the erect knife and the word "hard."
  • After a fight in the school library, Clark and Victoria are at her place. He asks her where it hurts and then touches her breasts to see if they hurt. He then moves his hand and asks "What about here?" She replies that she doesn't feel anything, to which he says "That's because I was feeling myself."
  • Clark tells Victoria that their students aren't much different from when they were students when they went to the prom and "begged for sex."
  • Clark mentions that the phrase he heard most often when he was dating was, "What are you doing in bed with that other woman?" And he was referring to hearing himself say that, implying lesbian sex.
  • Clark and Victoria kiss and he says "I'm scared" to which she replies "That's okay, you can be on top." Later he refers to "busting my balls" and she says "That's okay. Your balls are safe with me." They then turn off the lights and the following is heard. "My God, you're still a virgin!" "No, I've still got my pantyhose on." (pause) "I still can't get it." She says "I'm over here," and then we hear her cat screaming implying that he mistakenly got intimate with the cat.
  • As Clark tries to talk some sense into Griff at a strip joint, a stripper comes over to him. She then puts her mostly bare butt in his face, then her pasty-covered breasts (the sides of which can be seen) and then lies down and spreads her legs before him.
  • Clark is seen using a variety of direct marketing gadgets. A vacuum cleaner hair cutting device slips and attaches itself onto his crotch. Later he uses a "Scrotum Isolater" that he lowers to his crotch causing a satisfied expression to cross his face.
  • Victoria mentions (in front of the students) that she and Clark slept together.
  • Clark refers to he and Victoria "slapping skins" (having sex).
  • A drug lord's bodyguard seems to find pleasure in repeatedly frisking Clark (with implications that he's gay). Clark mentions that if he keeps frisking him "...one of us is going to have an orgasm."
  • SMOKING
  • The academy staff smokes pipes and Clark's father makes him smoke one "to be one of the boys."
  • Paco smokes a cigarette.
  • People are seen drinking and smoking at a strip joint.
  • DeMarco's assistant smokes a cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • That nearly everything in the movie it meant to be funny and not taken at face value.
  • Younger kids won't understand the sexual references listed in "Sex/Nudity."
  • Gang and drug dealing lifestyles.
  • VIOLENCE
  • (A great deal of the material listed in each category is meant to be viewed as humorous and not to be taken at face value. Still, you should consider whether or not you and your children will see it that way.)
  • Clark asks a student how a biology class castration went. The student replies, "You're next."
  • An explosion blows out a window at the high school.
  • Students spray paint Clark's car and later the walls and lockers of the high school.
  • A student gives Clark a throat slitting gesture.
  • Paco's gang roughs up Griff.
  • Paco tells Clark, "I'm looking for the rest of the posse that will keep me from ripping you a new *sshole."
  • Principal Doyle hits students with a baseball bat to get them to go to class.
  • Victoria informs Clark that another teacher "retired," meaning that he was "beaten to death."
  • In the auditorium, students are fighting and throwing things at one another and then Doyle mentions that the Michigan militia will be recruiting new members later that day.
  • The students throw lots of gum at Clark on his first day.
  • Clark asks Griff where he sees himself in ten years. Griff responds "Living in your home with your crack ass buried under the porch."
  • Clark puts out a fire on his desk that evidently was set by the students and it's seen that they've chained his leg to his desk.
  • There is a great deal of slapstick violence. Clark's foot falls through the floor and a floor board raises up and hits him in the face. And Clark opens a card file drawer that accidentally smacks Victoria in the head.
  • Victoria mentions that the last time police were called to one of their dances, four officers ended up in the hospital.
  • Paco threatens Clark with a knife to his chin after he steps between rival gangs.
  • Natalie mentions that Paco previously held up a convenience store and the only reason the clerk is still alive is that he was wearing a bulletproof turban.
  • Paco and Griff compete in a "chickee run" (playing chicken). The objective is to drive at high speeds toward the edge of a cliff and whoever jumps out first loses. Clark drives up (trying to talk them out of this) and barely gets out of his car long after the other two have jumped. Their three cars fly off the cliff and explode upon impact, later causing a large brush fire.
  • Victoria is grabbed by one of the male students and dragged into the library. "I know you want this. I've read Mike Tyson's book." She then elbows him and breaks free but he jumps on top of her on the floor. She sprays Mace into his eyes as Clark enters the room. There's slapstick violence as Clark accidentally elbows Victoria in the face and then fights with the student with exaggerated punches and a book falling and hitting the student in the crotch. The student then pulls out and throws a knife but it doesn't hit anyone.
  • A stripper punches Clark after he's demeaning to her profession and the people who frequent strip joints.
  • The vice principal (recently released by his abductors) is abducted again.
  • Clark is seen participating in a wagered game of Russian roulette. He takes a gun, places it to his head and fires, but misses.
  • When Griff announces that he wants out of the gang, the other members pull guns on him and convince him otherwise.
  • There's a final fight sequence between Griff and Paco's gangs. There are punches thrown and Paco threatens Victoria with a knife. She then hits him with a frozen animal leg. Another bad guy comes after them with a chainsaw, but Griff punches and knocks him out. Clark then fights with Doyle and has his arm around her neck but she escapes. He catches up and jumps her, knocking her and a table down, but it turns out he jumped the wrong woman. Doyle then holds a handgun on everyone and later holds it to Clark's head. After the police arrive, she threatens Clark by saying, "I'm gonna hold you down and beat you like a circus monkey."



  • Reviewed October 7, 1996

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