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The New Kids: Retro VHS Look (1985) - Blu-ray Review

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The New Kids (1985)

Bloody rabbits do not belong in the shower!  That’s one lessen to learn here with this flick.  The other is that you simply do not mess with a bleach-blonde James Spader.  You are simply asking for a whole hell of a lot of trouble. 

Directed by Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th), The New Kids arrives on HD right in time for the start of the school year.  This movie, about a horny gang of thugs that get their rocks off by terrifying one small town in Florida, remains a full-throttled kick to the throat thanks to its suspense and its rising action.  This horror flick is tense as their threats are palpable; their anger is visceral and so too is their sexual angst. 

"is never once not exciting and edgy, turning several action sequences into straight up horror thanks to its slasher-like vibes"


Of course, when the main baddie is James Spader (Tuff Turf, Pretty in Pink) as Dutra, well, all bets are off when it comes to predictability.  His performance is unforgettable.  Nothing happens in this small town unless this gang – featuring out of control performances from John Philbin as Gideon, David MacDonald as Moonie, Vince Grant as Joe-Bob, and Theron Montgomery as Gordo – creates it and, in a place where nightly dog fights are the routine, they feel the need to top the bloodshed with lots more rounds of violence and sex. 

Thanks to the youthful performances from the brother and sister team of Shannon Presby (Strike Force) as Loren and Lori Loughlin (Full House) as Abby, we have a believable set of tragic circumstances that see these two being sent to Florida after the sudden deaths of their mother (Jean De Baer) and their father (Tom Atkins).  While rocked by the accident, their happy faces are suddenly crestfallen and so their Uncle Charlie (Eddie Jones) and their Aunt Fay (Lucy Martin) invite them to help them with their gas station and their amusement park.

But the kids, after becoming targets for the gang, are soon in over their heads.  They get bullied at school and their Uncle’s fine ass car gets scratched while they are in town responsible for it.  The police aren’t up for taking the gang down and so, obviously, this gang of thugs get away with it . . .

. . . but the kids have ideas of their own and decide to take the law into their own hands.  This pushes Dutra to the edge.  He’s attacking everything and everyone, including his own gang.  They push back against the kids and the kids retaliate again, taking the bullying to a whole new level.  The result is a stunning and rather shocking finale involving the theme park, a mission to kill, a whole lot of suspense, and one hell of a bucket of blood and gore.The New Kids (1985)

And, thanks to Cunningham’s mission to keep things in motion and suspense, The New Kids is never once not exciting and edgy, turning several action sequences into straight up horror thanks to its slasher-like vibes, its mutilated rabbit-slinging, and an unwillingness to relent from the terror. 

Unfortunately, Mill Creek has done this awesome movie a disservice with their bare-bones handling of this kickass flick.  No special features.  No new transfer.  Nothing special here but the “retro” packaging.  I am going to tell you that the movie is great.  If you are fan, scoop this up, but be prepared to purchase it again when it comes out with a sparkling NEW HD transfer.

Trust me, when the beatings are this brutal, the New Kids on the block, even if there is an amusement park involved, aren’t going to be hanging tough for very long. 

4/5 beers

The New Kids (1985)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Mill Creek Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray
- August 13, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Mill Creek Entertainment presents The New Kids on blu-ray with a 1080p transfer that is on par with their previous releases: murky and not fine at all.  The aspect ratio is 1.85:1.  The picture is clean and the packaging is a slim sort of retro-looking slipcover.  The black levels are a bit uneven, but that’s probably due to the transfer.  Skin tones are saturated well and sweat beads are visible throughout the film.  Interiors are weakest still.  The sound is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • None

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 1/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

The New Kids (1985)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
110 mins
Director
: Sean S. Cunningham
Writer:
Stephen Gyllenhaal
Cast:
Shannon Presby, Lori Loughlin, James Spader
Genre
: Crime | Drama | Horror
Tagline:
They are alone. On their own. Without parents. Without friends. Trying to make it in a new town. Facing a dangerous new enemy. A gang that will stop at nothing to add one new word to their lives. Terror.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Crazy? You want crazy? Well, I'll show you crazy."
Theatrical Distributor:
Columbia Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 18, 1985
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 13, 2019
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.

The New Kids (1985)

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