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SEAN S. CUNNINGHAM'S 'THE NEW KIDS' WITH LORI LOUGHLIN

Lori Loughlin & Shannon Presby are The New Kids YEAR: 1985
Sean S. Cunningham's THE NEW KIDS is a different kind of high school bully movie, especially as the two picked-on title characters, a brother and sister, effectively fight back early on...

Sister elbows one guy in the gut and turns down two others flat as brother sneaks into group leader James Spader's house, knife in hand, mounting the rich blond bastard in his (Spader's) underwear...

That's not the only unintentionally homoerotic scene. Another bully, standing next to brother at the high school boy's room urinals, turns and, scooting extremely close, crosses streams: marking territory where hundreds piss every day... A rather odd, random choice for a supposed campus tough guy to make a point, but these kids (and the whole town) beats its own extremely bizarre drum throughout...

Lori Loughlin in The New Kids
Beginning as a family story, much too upbeat to be interesting, with Tom Atkins as a military hero who, during the opening credits, takes a morning jog with son Loren and daughter Abby, played by soon-to-retire Shannon Presby and future-sitcom-starlet Lori Loughlin. By the time Cunningham's director name is shown, the trio's done an entire workout, a sort of jovial mini boot camp you know they do each and every morning; but then, in the next scene, heard from a phone call, dad and mom are dead...

James Spader aims at The New Kids
THE NEW KIDS are new in a Florida high school, and those scenes are random. Most of the film takes place at a locale screaming to be part of an action-packed finale as their uncle just happens to be renovating a small theme park that includes a rollercoaster primed for bloody tracks; a ferris wheel the perfect height for a villain to fall from; and a fun house with a very familiar roomful of distorted mirrors...

Making Orson Welles's LADY FROM SHANGHAI imitated for the millionth time. But here, at the inevitable point where brother and sister turn the tables on the bad guys, it's not really revenge since the game's been pretty much dead-even with all the gutsy and successful protagonist retaliations along the way...

Lori Loughlin in The New Kids RATES: ***1/2
James Spader was beginning his career of creepy bad guys, although that same year he played the friendly new kid in TUFF TURF, a movie that's similar, and better...

But with Cunningham in control, the iconic horror director of the original FRIDAY THE 13TH, there's an exploitation vibe and a few horror aspects...

Including a body count albeit in the 11th hour, and before that a palpable sense of fear along with a chilling soundtrack whenever something's about to happen. In fact, if the bullies were replaced by soulless ghouls, the music would fit perfectly and hell, the bad ass siblings would at least have stronger, genuinely formidable adversaries. But what's here is pretty darn good if standard, filler, popcorn entertainment.
North Shore's Turtle John Philbin and Lori Loughlin in The New Kids
Lori Loughlin with movie dad Tom Atkins in The New Kids
Lori Loughlin with Shannon Presby in The New Kids
Lori Loughlin in The New Kids
Lori Loughlin in The New Kids with Eric Stoltz as the shy nice kid with a crush
Lori Loughlin in The New Kids with James Spader watching
Lori Loughlin in The New Kids with James Spader and an 80's van in The New Kids
James Spader plays crazy in The New Kids
Lori Loughlin in The New Kids
Lori Loughlin in The New Kids
Paige Price aka Paige Lyn Price with Shannon Presby THE NEW KIDS
All The Right Moves starlet Paige Price The New Kids Paige Price
Shannon Presby bullies bully James Spader in The New Kids
Finale fight at the theme park what it's made for for The New Kids
Lori Loughlin and Shannon Presby The New Kids Lori Loughlin
Shannon Presby Lori Loughlin The New Kids Shannon Presby Lori Loughlin
Paige Price and Lori Loughlin The New Kids Paige Price
Lori Loughlin and Tom Atkins running in THE NEW KIDS
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