Hot Times at Montclair High

(Jose Altonaga, USA, 1989)


Teen Movie Revision Checklist


‘Hollywood Studios’ and ‘Vesmark Pictures’ present ‘A Mark Simpson Film’ (he’s the writer-producer, not the director).


Start: pan along bedroom; a collective up-in-the-morning montage.


A sport vs. learning problem for the hero, blonde Sean (Ross Hamilton).


Bespectacled nerd (Johnathan Gorman as Ziggy), a little like Eddie Bracken from 1940s Preston Sturges films.


Fantasies about the science teacher (cf. Martha Coolidge’s Joy of Sex, 1983).


School corridor, with lockers.


Girls who love to party.


A rock star and his “bad” world (= anti-drug message); bad influence on Sean’s girlfriend, Jenny (Kim Valentine).


Ensemble cast.


Slightly lascivious teachers and Principal (= guest: Troy Donahue).


Nice Guy teacher.


Japanese photography teacher?!


Metal-ish theme song.


Safe Sex gag: small, medium and large condoms. (Somebody brings extra-large.)


Friendship forms between the tough (Brent Jasmer as Jason) and Ziggy, and eventually between Sean and Jason, thus forming a trio.


Phrase for fight-baiting: “Bring it on!”


Perving on the girls’ showers.


A nice girl’s shame: sex & drugs.


Sexual paradoxes & transformations: nerd to stud; virgin to whore; cad to romantic.


Violent proletarian father of the tough kid: he eventually mellows.


Transformation of the nerd Ziggy into a cool stud.


Thriller/action/criminal world element: boat raid.


German repairman and Spanish secretary (“Big lich / leak” joke).


Homo perv and an ignited fart.


Communal resolution on Graduation Day.


Big lead-up to final gag: usual disruption of order; throwing of hats into the air.



Postscript 1: IMDb user comment (2007): “It’s a lot like all the other teen films”.


Postscript 2: Director Jose Altonaga has most recently made the horror film Reawakened (2018) and the music telemovie Take it from the Top (2017).

© Adrian Martin October 1990

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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