The Curator of Schlock #104 by Jeff Shuster

The Substitute 2: School’s Out

(There is no substitute for Tom Berenger.)


Okay, I think I’m going to have to temporarily change my title of Curator of Schlock to Curator of Made for Video Movies. Do you think The Substitute 2: School’s Out made it to theaters? I don’t think so! I can’t imagine watching this thing on an IMAX screen. Imagine 72 feet of Treat Williams


Yeah, we get Treat Williams this time instead of Tom Berenger. I have to say that I don’t know if this is an improvement or not. Tom Berenger was in Oliver Stone’s Platoon and he was especially scary as Sgt. Barnes screaming, “Take the pain! Take the pain!” to one of the new recruits that gets shot. Treat Williams isn’t scary. He played the dad on the CW’s Everwood, a family drama. No, he’s not particularly scary. Yeah, he played the villain in that Phantom movie with Billy Zane, but he’s just too low energy to play a villain or a hardcore mercenary.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Treat Williams. I’d go on a fishing trip with him. He seems pleasant enough. It looks like he’s starred in other movies, too. Let’s see. Oh, he was in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America. That movie made no sense to me. Was the whole thing an opium dream?


If it was, how could De Niro’s character predict what the future would like? I got the extra long version that starred the actress who played Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and that evil alien Pope on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She played some cemetery proprietor bugging De Niro in the cemetery. I forget what she was bugging him about. Was the whole thing an opium dream? The movie makes no sense.

Oh. I guess I need to get around to discussing The Substitute 2: School’s Out at some point in this review. I like the credit sequence. You see a bunch of chalkboards flying around screen done to a cover of Alice Cooper’s School’s Out for Summer. I guess they had to jazz up the Alice Cooper classic for the Jamba Juice generation. Hey, at least they got the rights to the song.

This movie is like the first Substitute, but instead cocaine being trafficked out of the school by the principal, we have an illegal chop shop being organized by the shop teacher! Who knew?


B.D. Wong plays the shop teacher. He also played the geneticist in Jurassic Park, and more importantly, he played the geneticist in Jurassic World, the best movie of the summer! Pterodactyls were attacking the park guests! It was wonderful.


John King tells me B.D. Wong played Song in the original production of M. Butterfly, a play written by David Henry Hwang and the psychologist on Law and Order.

Anyway, Treat Williams stabs B.D. Wong in the stomach with a rusty pipe putting an end to his reign of terror. What else happened in the movie? Treat Williams smashed a student’s orange soda bottle with a yo-yo. That was neat. I just need thirteen more words to get to 500 and I’m done!


Five Things I Learned from The Substitute 2 School’s Out

  1. When you ask carjackers to peacefully hand over their guns, they tend to shoot you.
  2. Bring enough orange soda for the rest of the class!
  3. A yo-yo is a deadly weapon.
  4. M&Ms are a deadly weapon.
  5. A light bulb is a deadly weapon.


Photo by Leslie Salas

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida.