BMD Picks: Bad Education

In celebration of Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish's NIGHT SCHOOL, the gang gathers a gaggle of underclass goofballs.

Getting your learn on sucks, especially when you’re surrounded by a class of clowns. Then again, we probably wouldn’t have some of our all-time favorite comedies if it weren’t for these unruly ruffians of higher education. Animal House. Back to School. Summer School. All contain bad students who make for big laughs.

In honor of Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish’s Night School, we put our heads together and came up with four great moments in the history of horrible classrooms. Enjoy!


Screwballs [1983] (d. Rafal Zielinski, w. Linda Shayne & Jim Wynorski) 

Screwballs isn't so much a movie as it is a collection of absurd, post-Porky's hi-jinks, co-penned by schlock legend Jim Wynorski (The Return of Swamp Thing). Gleefully raunchy, the students at Taft & Adams High (get it?) are probably some of the horniest in the annals of Canuxploitation. If you've spent any time watching these late '70s/early '80s teen sex comedies, you know that's certainly saying something. 

Each character isn't so much a human being as they are a walking cartoon. There's the good girl name Purity (whose pants everyone wants to penetrate), the jock who never leaves his tennis racket at home, the fresh-faced transfer (who you know is going to be defiled by the final reel), the nerdy science geek who rigs mirrors to look up girls' dresses, and even a portly cafeteria dude named (wait for it) Jackofski. Just like every other slapstick descent into sunny Erectionville, their main adversary is a bespectacled principal who just cannot wait to toss them all into detention for life (where nobody gets laid). 

Choosing a favorite from these spanktastic shenanigans - which are presented more like Kentucky Fried Movie-style vignettes as opposed to an actual narrative - is tough, but the bowling scene is probably one of the weirdest in the sport's cinematic history (and yes, I'm including that time convicted pederast Jesus Quintana fellated his own ball). In a boys versus girls game of "strip" rolling, things get literally out of hand as one of the big breasted contestants lets go of her ball at the wrong moment. Naturally, it ends up on another player's particular pin (if you know what I mean, and I think you do). Really not sure how to score that one on an official card, but it certainly screams strike to me. - Jacob Knight

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory [1971] (d. Mel Stuart, w. Roald Dahl) 

Pure imagination isn't welcome in Mr. Turkentine's classroom.

After blowing things up with a little experiment involving a "secret mixture" this terrible teacher makes Charlie Bucket's life even more unbearable. The educator's unorthodox methods ensure his students never know what they're in for from one week to the next, since he's prone to changing the schedule around on a whim. Turkentine's lessons reduce the act of learning to the sort of nonsense that would leave even the wisest man scratching his head. To make matters worse, he turns Charlie's pathetic attempts at finding one of Wonka's golden tickets into the world's most embarrassing math lesson. Class dismissed, indeed!

Cheer up, Charlie! Your lucky day and a teacher truly worthy of your time are just a Wonka bar away. - Emily Sears 

E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial [1982] (d. Steven Spielberg, w. Melissa Mathison) 

School sucks, but being pals with E.T. does not. While poor Elliott is stuck dissecting frogs in science class, his extra-terrestrial friend is free to rummage through his suburban house like a kid home sick with the flu. Due to E.T. and Elliott’s symbiotic link, however, everything E.T. takes in affects Elliott at the same time. This includes beer.

So when a drunk E.T. gets inspired by a heroic comic strip, it causes the equally drunk Elliott to suddenly rescue all his teacher’s dissection frogs. To the delight and disgust of his classmates, Elliott leads a chaotic but effective revolt against the cruelties of education. It all ends with one of cinema’s most awkward kisses as Elliott smooches a classmate so much taller than him that he must stand on a classmate to reach her lips. Even when it comes to broad comedy, Spielberg makes genius look easy. - Evan Saathoff