The New Kids (1985)

Have you ever said to yourself, “I’d like to watch a super young James Spader with weird looking bleach blonde hair menace a super young looking Lori Loughlin to the point that I worry for her safety?” If so, you’re a maniac. But hey, you’re on our site, so we have to be nice and tell you that this movie exists. It’s Sean Cunningham’s (Friday the 13th) 1985 opus, The New Kids.

No offense to our friends from Horror and Sons, but Florida is the most frightening state in the nation. Just ask Abby (Loughlin) and Loren McWilliams (Shannon Presby, who quit acting after this movie). Their parents (Tom Atkins is their military hero dad!) have been killed in an accident and they’ve moved to Glenby, a small town that seems way more hell (and not happiest place) on Earth. Their uncle Charlie and Fay take them in, getting them to help them operate a gas station and amusement park, which is based on Santa Claus. If you’re willing to accept this entire paragraph and still say, “I’d watch that movie,” congratulations. You’re as goofy as me.

The kids do pretty well in their new life, with Loren instantly hitting it off with Karen, the vivacious daughter of the local sheriff. And Abby starts seeing Mark, who is played by Eric Stoltz, who also made Mask and lasted five weeks as Marty McFly in Back to the Future the same year this movie was made.

What gives us the dramatic reason for watching this movie? Eddie Dutra (Spader) and his gang suddenly intrude and remind us that Flordia may be the home of Disney, but it’s also the nexus for American death metal. These boys just randomly do coke and make bets as to who will have nonconsensual sex with Abby first.

Dutra and his gang gradually grow more and more vicious, keying cars and even throwing Abby’s beloved pet rabbit’s bloody corpse at her while she attempts to take a shower. Finally, there’s a showdown at the amusement park that the kids call home, with Dutra covering Abby in lighter fluid and throwing lot matches at her (!) while his gang holds her down and fights over who gets to molest her.

It all ends with the bad guys attacked by dogs, thrown from the Ferris wheel, electrocuted and beheaded by bumper cars, and finally, Dutra lit ablaze by a gas pump that he has turned into a flamethrower. No, I don’t think that gas pumps work that way, either.

Becca woke up and came downstairs to watch some of my late night viewing of The New Kids and said, “This is one of those movies where they just show you stuff that happens to people and it’s all horrible. In fact, this movie is horrible. Who would even like this kind of movie?” That’s probably the best summation I can think of, but I also loved James Spader in this and it confirms my theory: no one can be that good at being a lunatic without being a lunatic. There’s some dark stuff in Spader’s closet, right?

If you want to watch The New Kids, it’s streaming for free on Amazon Prime.

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