Friday, April 23, 2010


With hands saturated in goat’s blood, James Spader drops to his knees, hovering at an eye-level inch away from Becky from Full House’s white cotton panties. Smeared with barnyard gore, her legs tremble as he moves in for a closer inspection. Nearby, a frothing pitbull loses its shit as the stink of hemoglobin hits the air. He wipes his fingers across her teen mond, smearing crimson across her underwear. Becky squirms, prompting Turtle from North Shore to cinch his arms around her, holding her in her place. Holy shit, did I just see that?

Okay, imagine you buy a Twinkie. You bite into that Twinkie, and instead of the usual sweet, bright cream filling, you get some gross, black materialization of sexual tension oozing down the back of your tongue. And even though it’s not what you expected, it’s still really fucking good! A bastard hybrid of after school special and 80s slasher film, The New Kids (1985) is one of those gems that continually compels me to keep cramming obscure 80s VHS into my already brimming den.

Not surprisingly, The New Kids’ writer Stephen Gyllenhaal (Jake and Maggie’s dad) was responsible for some of the CBS After School Playhouse stuff. But, in spite of the script’s edginess, it is director Sean Cunningham’s presence that turns this into a surreal cultural mash-up. Even the music sounds like it was lifted out of one of the Friday the 13th films. Totally badass 80s-update of JD schlock chockfull of familiar faces, including Eric Stoltz, James Spader, Lori Loughlin, and the incredible John Philbin. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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