NEW KIDS BLU RAY REVIEW

The genre ‘High School revenge’, ‘Rape Revenge’ or plain old ‘Kids getting even’ was a thing in the early 80s.  The best known of these is THE CLASS OF 1984, a grim piece about a high school in the inner city that just might explode into anarchy. The best of the bunch is still SAVAGE STREETS. It features Linda Blair or The chosen vessel of Satan and a crossbow. NEW KIDS from 1985 is at the tail end of the genre and it shows.

Director Sean S Cunningham (He of the Friday the 13th fame) unleashes a tamer and restrained version of the punk nightmare. Two kids, Brother Loren McWilliams (Shannon Presby) and Sister Abby (Lori Loughlin) parents are killed in an accident and they are sent to live with their uncle (Eddie Jones) in Florida. Sunshine and golf courses are good things right? Look at what they did for Trump. Well for these two its meeting a gang that breed fighting dogs and are led by evil blond haired Fascist wet dream Eddie Dutra (James Spader). The gang want to take Abby and her virginity as they take everything but she likes Mark (Eric Stoltz). This will not end well. But what surprised me was that it the film never really questioned us or the expectations within. We get the aggravation, fights, pranks and sadistic acts but Cunningham never packs the film with even grit to make it uncomfortable. Earlier films made you shift in your seat. The failing is that it wants to be a teen movie without being a tough movie…

EXTRAS

A lot is on offer for 101 Films release. The interview with Cunningham stops short of being very insightful but gives a lot to the layperson. Gyllenhaal interview is more interesting. Sadly more people link his to his offspring then his work, which ranges from good to great. The commentary however is pure and simple gold. Hogan is the better side of the duo but Sharp gets the measure of the genre and the tropes. Hogan guns down who did what, why theis film matters and ribs a little at the silly nonsense onscreen. Great fun.

Extras/Episodes
•    Interview with director Sean S. Cunningham
•    Interview with writer Stephen Gyllenhaal
•    Commentary with film experts Sean Hogan and Jasper Sharp
•    Limited edition booklet: Includes ‘80s Gang Violence Movies and The New Kids by Jon Towlson and Pushing the Envelope: Sean Cunningham by Barry Forshaw

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