Reviews & Counting
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The New Kids(1985)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Sean S. Cunningham

Shannon Presby/Loren
Lori Loughing/Abby
James Spader/Dutra
John Philbin/Gideon
6 10
After a tragedy, ass kicking brother/sister duo Abby (Lori Laughlin) and Loren (Shannon Presby) move in with their uncle in Florida. Shit goes tits up when a group of moron bullies, led by silk shirt abusing James Spader, gets on their case. It eventually gets ugly.

WARNING: This drivel was written with 3 Jack and Cokes and the Rise Against Endgame album blaring in the background. Readers discretion is advised.

Sean Cunningham’s (director of Friday the 13th of course) THE NEW KIDS was exactly what the Doctor ordered on this "man people suck sometimes" day. I needed a good dose of 80’s schlock to give me a couple of cheap laughs and inject me with some positive energy and The New Kids delivered on them fronts. Upon its initial release, this sucker got less screen play than Cunningham’s next effort DEEP STAR SHIT in 1989. Am talking 102 theaters for a week. The result? It grossed like 200.000$ which is a bit of a shame cause I kinda dug it and I would’ve gotten into a sequel (it's hinted at) if there was to be one.

The film itself sprung off a simple initial premise, one that pretty much everybody can relate to on some level. Kids move to new town, bullies get in their faces, driven by their peckers, and the whole thing becomes a game of tit for that which escalates, escalates and escalates till events go too far. Now I had a lot of fun with this one, often for the wrong reasons. For starters, the 80’s fashion had me in stitches; especially James Spader (who had a blast with the role) as the coke snorting and wannabe suave Albino (?!?) villain. If he wasn’t killing me with his tight pants and his tendencies to abuse silk, it was his flower laced shirt murdering my ass, or him wearing sunglasses at night to look all menacing and shit. I was on the floor. The rest of the tinker-toy bullies were also a laugh riot i.e. a bunch of douches with no game in terms of the ladies (these guys couldn’t pick up a penny, yet alone a chick) and wayyyy too much time on their hands. One of my illegitimate kids that walk the earth somewhere, could’ve back-handed these bitches in a twat beat. Lalo Schifrin's score which played the Kenny G/John Tesh card was so inappropriate in terms of the tone of the film that it made the whole she-bang even more kitsch. This dude did the score for Dirty Harry? What happened here meng? And Mitra bless 80's montages! This one was filled with them, with tacky slow-mo moments in the house to boot! That put out an extra layer of cheese that I devoured fervently. NOTE: I love how in 80’s movies; a hero often makes his comeback via a healthy training session set to a pop tune (with lyrics that go with what's happening no less). Nothing like a set of chin ups to get back in the game! Awesomeness!

On a more serious note; the affair was engaging throughout while the chain of events was INCREDIBLY predictable but badass nonetheless. I adored Lori Loughing and Shannon Presby in the leads, both were credible, and likeable and they gave me two cats to root for. Furthermore it was great to see THE AWESOME Tom Atkins and Eric Stoltz kicking it here. Bummer the latter's role inexplicably got abandoned for the last act, but hey, I still appreciated it. The flick sported a handful of mucho mean spirited moments and creative kills that deserve some accolades as well… so there ya have it… that was my f*cking accolades. Behind the lens Sean Cunningham’s style was serviceable, nothing fancy, lots of point and shoot, some dolly shots and crane action. On the stale side of the blade; the film had all kinds of “dumb moves to serve the plot”. The worse being the lead chickadee always wandering alone somewhere when SHE KNOWS and her brother KNOWS that the bullies are a threat and want to rape-tap that ass. The lack of gore also surprised me; I mean this was Rated R and had some pretty nifty kills in it; but for some reason, blood was on the super low jive. Today this would have been a PG 13 at best. And what was up with all the story's moves being telegraphed so early? I called everything that was gonna happen early in the game, yes, even the rabbit! Although it made for a groovy Mystery Science Theater 3000 like experience with my bud; some more left field turns would have been swell. Finally one fight choreography fell flat on it ass, nothing severe, but I had to mention it cause I’m THAT asshole.

On the whole THE NEW KIDS made for an easy, retro, unintentionally hilarious fun time! With more gore, a less dated score and more threatening villains this could have been a badass motherf*cker, as-is, it’s a blast for the right and the wrong reasons. Dig in!
A little bit of blood, that’s it.
T & A
Lori Loughing in her underwear and naked through a foggy shower curtain. The ladies and gay dudes get a cut James Spader in his tidy whities.
It gets a 2.5 rating from me, but it's a 3 on 4 rating when it comes to all of the yuck-yucks for the wrong reasons! THE NEW KIDS gunned out a simple initial premise and then built off it, upping the nastiness and the severity of the circumstances as the clock ticked forward. The actors were solid, the kills novel and James Spader (and his many different flamboyant outfits) was amusing as the leader of the sad-sack-pack. And yes; I laughed a lot AT THE FILM, but for me that’s not always a bad thing, specially when it comes to 80’s stuff. On this round I esteemed the added entertainment value. Bummer that the bullies were bitches, the gore non existent, Lalo Schifrin’s score off the mark and that the ride was so predictable. So you in the mood for some effortless, 80’s genre fromage? Find this sucker and you’re all set! PS: Am surprised that this wasn’t remade yet…
The flick is also known as Striking Back.

Today Shannon Presby is a Deputy Dist. Attorney.

Lori Loughlin was also in Amityville 3-D (1983) and is of course known for her role of Becky Katsopolis in the popular sitcom Full House (1988-1995)