Plot: Jerry (Casey Siemaszko) is not having a good day, as he woke up late, almost wrecked his car, and now, he has been assigned to conduct an interview with new student Buddy Revell (Richard Tyson). The rumors about Buddy have swarmed all over the school, with talk of him being kicked out of numerous schools and fighting anyone who touches him. A nervous wreck, Jerry approaches Buddy in the bathroom and in a moment of carelessness, gives him a pat on the arm. Buddy smashes Jerry into a mirror, then lets him know that at 3 o’clock, he is going to beat him to a pulp and even if he tries to run, he will track him down. Now Jerry is even more of a mess and plots how he can get out of this fight, with potential plans involving diplomacy, framing Buddy, and even hiring a bodyguard for protection. But with the clock ticking down and Jerry getting into one disaster after another, things don’t look good. Will he survive this showdown or will he be the next victim on Buddy’s hitlist?
Entertainment Value: A teen comedy spin on High Noon, Three O’Clock manages to retain a lot of the charm of the 80s teen comedy, but also avoid most of the cliches and carve out a unique spot in the genre. Jerry and his desperation to not be killed in the school parking lot lead to one humorous situation after another, sinking him deeper into the abyss with each failure. Siemaszko is an ideal fit for the anxiety riddled Jerry, while Tyson is equally well cast as the mysterious Buddy. The two are especially fun to watch when they interact with each other, which happens just enough and builds so well toward that epic showdown. The movie hits a lot of the teen comedy tropes as well, such as the disciplinarian school officials and lusty literature teacher, but keeps things out of cliche territory, at least in most instances. This is also more reserved than some of the 80s teen movies, not leaning on slapstick or over the top characters, though these elements are present to a lesser extent. I think Three O’Clock High deserves a place among the upper tier 80s teen comedies, as it captures the essence of what made the genre so good, but also retains a unique feel. So if you’re a fan of 80s cinema, teen comedies in specific, you should have this one in your collection.
No nakedness. Just an awkward urinal scene where Jerry breaks several rules of basic bathroom etiquette. A little fight related blood, but not much and really not even enough to rack up a point. The fight scenes are quick and simple, never graphic and as such, don’t need a river of crimson involved. The dialogue here is well written and a lot of fun, with some great quotable lines, awkward exchanges, and some cliched, but humorous school cliches. Jerry is just such a nervous person, even casual interactions have him on edge, so seeing him deal with Buddy or even his quirky female friend is fun to watch, as he just crumbles under the pressure. Even more fun is when he tries to play the bad ass and get detention, which of course, doesn’t go as planned. So fun, well written lines that never fail to entertain. In terms of craziness, the movie has a few quirky moments, but not much in terms of balls out lunacy or over the top moments. But the colorful band of characters help put one point on the board, at least.
Overall Insanity: 1/10