The New Kids


“The new kids learned three things about southern hospitality: blood, sweat and terror!”

When a teen rebel and his goody two shoes sister move to a redneck town in southern Florida, they attempt to quietly matriculate into the local high school, only to run afoul of swaggering albino jerk James Spader and his gang of hillbilly swamp trash goons, and the sleazy/cheezy result is something like Deliverance as directed by John Hughes. From Sean S. Cunningham, the man responsible for the original Friday the 13th, The New Kids is a lost trash classic, a garish, ridiculous, yet still highly effective, teen revenge horror thriller which proves that southern hospitality really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sexy yet wholesome teen Abby (played by sexy yet wholesome teen Lori Laughlin, smack in the middle of her B-list ‘80s teen queen run which also included Secret Admirer and Rad) and her dull as dirt brother Loren (played by some guy named Shannon Presby) just can’t seem to fit in when their military dad (played by Tom Atkins, star of such Mondo classics as Night of the Creeps and Maniac Cop) drops dead and they’re shipped off to live with some distant relatives who run a crappy amusement park in the middle of a Florida swamp. And when a reptilian albino redneck psychopath named Dutra (played by a douche bag-era James Spader, rocking platinum hair and a pair of embarrassing black bikini underpants) decides that he wants Abby to be his girl, he and his slobbering gang of gator bait idiots make Abby and Loren’s life a living hell … but you can only push a pair of squeaky clean preppies so far before they snap, leading to explosions, dog fights, an amusement park massacre and an Eric Stoltz sighting. So authentically ripe you can almost smell the scuzzy swamp gas rising from the screen (the film features un-credited dialogue by the great Southern writer Harry Crews), The New Kids is more loaded with pulpy goodness than a carton of Florida’s Natural Premium Orange Juice. (Dir. by Sean S. Cunningham, 1985, USA, 89 mins., Rated R) Digital