VIDEO NIGHTS: The Drifting Classroom

Never released on DVD — even in Japan! For the lucky ducks reading this who’ve seen Nobuhiko Obayashi’s masterpiece House, you know that the man knows how to make a crazy movie. The normal language of film you’re accustomed to is left for dead, with virtually every aesthetic choice being completely hypnotic and magical. Loooosely based on the manga by visionary Kazuo Umezu (“Cat Eyed Boy”), The Drifting Classroom’s “international high school” is populated by a ragtag team of Annie-esque English-speaking kids of all stripes. During an impromptu jam session of “Here Comes The Bride”(?!), a tornado hurls the entire school into an alternate dimension time-slip — and as the baffled students and faculty (led by ‘50s teen idol Troy Donahue) navigate through a desert wasteland, giant bugs tear through the children like twigs, a gripping madness immediately sets in with the children, and hell breaks loose at every turn! With an impossible Neverending Story-meets-Twilight Zone vibe, the fantastic and the bleak blend together beautifully with this baby; this one is so face-melting your head will be a panini by the time it’s over.
Dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1987, digital presentation, 104 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for The Drifting Classroom!