THE NEW KIDS (1985)
Label: Mill Creek Entertainment
region Code: A
Duration: 90 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Cast: James Spader, Lori Loughlin, Shannon Presby, Eric Stolz
Synopsis: Abby McWilliams' (Lori Loughlin, TV's Full House) nightmare begins when she attracts the unwanted attention of teenage psychopath Eddie Dutra (James Spader, TV's The Blacklist). Turned down for a date, Eddie destroys Abby's home, vandalizes her uncle's car and nearly stomps her brother to death. But it's only when he kidnaps Abby from the school dance, that Eddie shows his true feelings. Fueled by cocaine and armed with a shotgun, Eddie's lust turns to uncontrollable rage, as he takes Abby on a date from hell, in this terror-packed thrill-ride from the director of Friday the 13th
Nasty 80's gem The New Kids (1985) was directed by Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th), the film concerns newly orphaned teen sibling Abby (Lori Loughlin, Amityville 3-D) and Loren McWilliams (Shannon Presley) whose parents were killed in an accident. After the funeral the siblings move to rural Florida to live with their uncle Charlie (Eddie Jones, C.H.U.D.) and aunt Fay (Lucy Martin), who run a small-time gas station/roadside attraction called Santa's Funland.
They settle into school there and things looks good at first, they easily make friends and Abby starts dating Mark (Eric Stoltz, The Fly II) and Loren begins dating the Sheriff's daughter Karen (Paige Lyn Price, Silent Madness). things begin to sour when Abby draws the unwanted attention of albino bad-boy Eddie Dutra (James Spader, Wolf), a drug-addicted teenager who is the leader of a group of redneck teen-delinquents, his underlings include Gideon (John Philbin, Return of the Living Dead), Moonie (David H. MacDonald, Joy of Sex), Gordo and Joe Bob.
The delinquents begin to make life hell for the siblings, vandalizing their uncle's amusement park, peeping Abby in the shower, and beating the snot out of Loren in the bathroom at school. This mischief culminates in a violent kidnap of Abby from the school dance, bringing the film to a violent and over-the-top finale that takes place at uncle Charlie amusement park where the teen thugs menace the sibling and their family with shotguns, the threat of immolation and a vicious bloodthirsty pit-bull.
This film is a fun product of the eighties that has some nasty exploitation elements, starring the sweet-faced Lori Loughlin and the always reliable 80's teen-psycho James Spader, the latter appearing here as a pale bleached-blonde with a creepy but not all together authentic Southern drawl. The gang of teen bullies get more than they bargained for though, the sibling's late father (a too short lived Tom Atkins, Night of the Creeps) trained them in self-defense, so they're not about to sit back and take the abuse from the redneck bullies, resulting in some satisfying carnage, including a decapitation by a kiddie-sized rollercoaster ride!
Audio/Video: The New Kids (1985) and has long been on my list of film in need of a Blu-ray upgrade, and we finally get it from budget-distributors Mill Creek Entertainment through their licensing agreement with Sony. The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio in 1080p HD, the image is surprisingly strong, I was expecting serviceable from an older master, but this has the look of a newer HD scan, it's a solid upgrade in regard to clarity, colors and black levels, with a good looking grain levels throughout. I didn't detect much of any evidence of digital tinkering no compression artifacts, this should be very pleasing, especially for under ten bucks!
Audio comes by way of an English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo track with optional English subtitles. Dialogue is always crisp and clean, and the score from Lalo Schifrin (Rollercoaster) sounds terrific, as do the cheesy 80's tunes from Bill Wray, Brock Walsh, Jess Harnell and Miriam Cutler.
Unfortunately there are no extras on the disc, which is a shame, this is a film with an interesting pedigree both behind and in front of the camera, if this had been in the hands of a different distributor there could have been some interesting extras. As it is we get a static menu with the option to watch with or without subtitles. Another distributor giving this an extras-laden release at a later date is not out of the realm of possibility, both Mill Creek Entertainment and Scream Factory have released Blu-rays of hag-sploitation classic Strait-Jacket (1964)and the sci-fi slasher Brainscan (1994), so it might happen, with someone Scream Factory packing on the desirable extras.
The single-disc release comes housed in a standard issue Blu-ray keepcase with a one-sided sleeve of artwork featuring the same artwork as the previous DVD release, plus a Retro VHS slipcover featuring the original illustrated movie poster artwork, the disc artwork is an excerpt of the illustrated slipcover.
The New Kids (1985) is a entertaining slice of highschool teen exploitation, it's a bit uneven as far as tone goes, but I enjoy the trajectory from new kids at school drama to full-on nasty revenger at the end.