The New Kids has a bit of a reputation.
Growing up, I was aware of the film. Yet it seemed like something that always eluded me at the video store. Given the cast (Lori Loughlin, Tom Atkins and James Spader), I should have ate this up. That’s the weird thing about discovering older gems as an adult. Depending on the part of country you originate from, you learn that certain older movies kinda hated you. While I hate identity politics and looking for victimhood status in our narrative fiction…there’s something here.
Sean S. Cunningham has always had this nasty streak through his work. A real distaste for rural areas and how urbanites have to arrive to educate them. It’s not uncommon to see in the work of a particular subset of Northern originating directors. That doesn’t mean that I want to see them wax poetic on the work of William Faulkner and sip a Mint Julep. However, it means that it’s been 48 years since Ned Beatty took the worst rafting trip in history. What was an anomaly back then was dated even in 1985.
That being said, The New Kids is a fun lesser-known romp from Sean S. Cunningham. My favorite future convict Lori Loughlin and Shannon Presby shine in the lead roles. The best way to depict the movie is like a Hardy Brothers/Nancy Drew team-up in Central Florida hell. It’s not Hell because they’re from the South, it’s Hell because it’s Central Florida Trash going all Florida Man before the term existed.
However, the best part of the movie remains James Spader. This was one of the first times where the future Robert California let us know that he was a deity walking among humans. So, thrill to Aunt Becky having to fight for survival from a white kid gang chasing them into a Carnival midway. Mill Creek didn’t put any special features on The New Kids. But, getting a deep cut horror movie released onto Blu-ray is enough for me. Especially because that 1080p transfer is so crisp.