Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The New Kids (Sean S. Cunningham, 1985)

You know, you're awfully choosy for someone with no booty whatsoever. Let me rephrase that: You're insane! I mean, look at him, he's gorgeous! And to make matters even more ridiculous, he's hitting on you! In case you haven't figured it out yet, I just watched The New Kids, directed by Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th) and co-written by Stephen Gyllenhaal, and I've been wracking my brain for the past, oh, let's say, twenty-four hours trying to figure out what the hell Lori Loughlin was thinking when she decided to shutdown Eddie Dutra's multiple attempts to ask her out. I know, maybe she thought he was a creep. And you know what? I'll admit, Eddie Dutra can come across as somewhat creepy at times. But here's where she loses me. Are you sitting down? Okay, here it goes: Eddie Dutra (simply Dutra to his friends) is played by a cowboy shirt-wearing, platinum blonde-haired James Spader. Did your pussy just explode? Because mine just did. Sweeping aside the jagged shards of recently exploded pussy fragments for just a second, I don't know if I can sustain this level of rage and disbelief for the entire length of a movie review, so, I might have to take a break every now and then. But make no mistake, the amount of misplaced anger I felt towards Lori Loughlin and her misguided taste in men was off the bleeding charts. Well, that might be a tad harsh, as her decision to rebuff the advances of one of Dutra's henchmen in the school's library was actually the correct course of action; Gideon, I think his name was, now that guy's a creep.

Who does Lori Loughlin think she is, Lea Thompson? Well, let me tell you, honey, you're no Lea Thompson. You're Lori Loughlin, the poster girl for Reagan-era blandness. Yet, despite your, how should I put this, flavourless temperament, James Spader has developed a crush on you. Okay, maybe "crush" isn't the right word, but he definitely wants to defile the various holes that pepper your lukewarm anatomy.

If memory serves me correctly, all James Spader did was ask you nicely to go the dance with him. He even wore one of his swankiest cowboy shirts and showed up in his cherry van. (Wait a minute, you didn't mention that James Spader drove a van.) Well, he does. (This doesn't change anything for me, as I was on board with your thesis right from the get-go. But I bet the people out there who weren't sure you were being fair to Lori Loughlin are now completely with you.)

For all of you just joining us, let's recap: A cowboy shirt-wearing, platinum blonde-haired, van driving, pitbull owning, drug dealing James Spader asks Lori Loughlin (from TV's Full House) to go to the dance with him and she says no. Do I need to repeat that... What's that? You're good. Okay, just checking.

How does Lori Loughlin, who plays Abby MacWilliams, get in the enviable position to be asked to go to a high school dance by a cowboy shirt-wearing, platinum blonde-haired, van driving, pitbull owning, drug dealing James Spader? It's simple, really, Tom Atkins, who plays her father, and the actress who plays her mother are both killed in a car accident at the beginning of the film, so, she and her brother Loren (Shannon Presby) move to Florida to live with their  Uncle Charlie (Eddie Jones), who just happens to be the owner and operator of Santa's Funland, a rundown carnival.

(Wow, you weren't kidding. That is simple.) Well, we do get to see Tom Atkins jogging in the early morning hours with Abby and Loren before he is unceremoniously killed off screen. While I can sort of understand why Tom Atkins would want to go jogging, he is, after all, in the military. But what kind of teenager exercises in the 1980s?!? I mean, if I was a teenager in the 1980s, I wouldn't be getting up at the crack of dawn to go jogging. No fucking way, I would be doing tons of cocaine, listening to Front 242 and having as much unprotected sex with transgender prostitutes as humanly possible.

Speaking of chicks with dicks, anybody else hypnotized by the sight of Shannon Presby's flaccid cock swinging back and forth in his shorts as he jogged in slow-motion? Anybody? Just me, eh? Interesting.

(Yeah, so, I hear James Spader wears a different cowboy shirt in almost every scene.) That's right, he does. The first cowboy shirt we see James Spader in is the burgundy one he wears when we first see him at the Florida school Abby and Loren have started going to. Hey, would you look at that, Eric Stoltz is the same algebra class as Abby.

Anyway, getting back to the burgundy cowboy shirt, James Spader's Eddie Dutra doesn't really say anything when we first meet him (he let's his goons do the talking for him - a couple of them get in Loren's face while in line at the drinking fountain), but that all changes when we see Dutra and the boys shooting glass jars off a ledge with a pistol. As Dutra takes aim at one of the jars, we get an excellent look at his cowboy shirt. After the last jar breaks into a million pieces, the idea to start a competition to see who can have consensual sex with Abby first, Dutra or Gideon (John Philbin), is set motion.

What I would like to know is, who in their right mind would bet against Dutra? Nothing against this Gideon fella, but picking James Spader to win seems like a no brainer to me. No matter, each member of Dutra's gang wages fifty dollars, and the contest begins in haste.

In fact, in haste is a bit of an understatement, as James Spader, now sporting a purple cowboy shirt with some mild flourishes on the shoulders, is already making his first attempt to snag his prey. Showing up at the gas station that Uncle Charlie runs in front of Santa's Funland, Dutra watches as his van is being serviced by Abby, who is wearing white shorts. As she's pumping gas, Dutra makes his move. Asking her nicely to accompany him to an upcoming dance, Dutra is shocked when Abby flat-out rejects him. I was all like: What?!? What's wrong with you? When she rejects him a second time, I nearly passed out.

As he's about to leave, Abby adds insult to injury by calling Dutra crazy. To which he responds, "You want crazy? I'll show you crazy." Oh-oh, you done fucked up big time, Lori Loughlin. Now, if any other actor had said that, I would have probably shrugged my shoulders and said, whatever. However, this is James Spader we're talking about. Meaning, when he says he's going to show you crazy, buckle your seatbelt, Lori Loughlin, you're about to experience some serious ass crazy.

Realizing that he probably didn't completely blow his opportunity to court Abby utilizing conventional means, Dutra takes another stab at her in the school's cafeteria. This time wearing a checkered cowboy shirt (one that employed the colours yellow, black and grey to great effect), Dutra approaches Abby's table and apologizes for his churlish behaviour the previous day. After the apology has been administered, Dutra goes back on the offensive. Unfortunately, the result is exactly the same as it was at the Funland gas pump. Only this time, he's rejected in front of an audience, one that includes her brother (who, according to Dutra, is "made out of mouth") and Eric Stoltz (who is currently wooing Abby using a more stealthy technique - in fact, his technique is so stealthy, I don't think Abby realizes Eric Stoltz is in the process of wooing the living fuck out of her boney ass).

Since adding insult to injuries is what people do best in this town, Eric Stoltz calls James Spader "unpleasant" after he leaves. Can you believe that, "unpleasant"? Um, hello, it's called a personality. I love you in Some Kind of Wonderful, but you're seriously getting on my nerves Eric Stoltz in The New Kids.

After vandalizing Funland with graffiti, the next day, Dutra and the boys wait in the middle of town for Abby and Loren to show up. How did Dutra know Abby and Loren would arrive in the middle of town? It's simple, really. He knew they would have to go to the paint store to pick up some paint to paint over the graffiti they sprayed all over Funland. And where's the paint store? That's right, it's in the middle of town.

Taking their uncle's red 1960 Cadillac Eldorado convertible into town to get some paint, Abby and Loren are in for a nasty surprise. Even though we don't actually see them do it, it's obvious that Dutra and the boys scratched Uncle Charlie's car while Abby and Loren were inside getting paint. As you would expect, this act intensifies matters. But more importantly, check out the floral cowboy shirt James Spader is wearing during the paint run scene, it's simply divine.

Note to self: Make a trip to Kensington Market to pick up some new cowboy shirts, as the ones I currently own are not only old, their not even close to being Spader-esque.

The scene that features Loren breaking into Dutra's house after dark and holding a knife to his throat demanding he pay for the damage he caused to his uncle's car is famous within the James Spader appreciation community because we get to see James Spader in nothing but a pair of skimpy briefs. Yet, my cowboy shirt obsessed ass can't help but notice that this is the scene where we get to see inside Dutra's closet. I'm not kidding, every shirt on the rack is a cowboy shirt.

Just before the point of no return is about to be reached, we see James Spader in a grape-coloured cowboy shirt, a black cowboy shirt and a white cowboy shirt.

When that point is reached, The New Kids starts to resemble a horror film, as Dutra and the boys take on the role of psychotic rednecks who are out to destroy a couple of wholesome outsiders. The film's biggest flaw is just that, Abby and Loren are just too damn wholesome. Hell, they make Lawrence Welk seem edgy. And I didn't buy for a second that their parents were dead (a scene that showed them being all distraught and junk would have been helpful). No, the real reason to seek out this film, in case I haven't made it clear already, is to bask in the cowboy shirt-attired tour de force that is James Spader. Despite the fact the chances of his character coming out on top are pretty slim, you still can't help but admire the zeal in which he applies his scumbag art.


  1. Hmmm, I've actually never heard of this! Your review sounded very good. This definitely sounds like something I'd check out.

    1. Last year was when I first heard about it... some James Spader fan I turned out to be.

  2. I had some real problems with this movie; I think the constant violence against animals was what pushed it beyond the pale for me. Incidentally, I recently watched a movie called Neon Flesh on Netflix and I think it's a movie you'd be interested in. Love to hear your thoughts on it.

    1. This Neon Flesh flick definitely looks sleazy. I'll keep an eye out for it.

    2. You can stream it on Netflix. I saw it because it has Macarena Gomez, who I fell in love with in the movie Dagon.

  3. "But what kind of teenager exercises in the 1980s?!? I mean, if I was a teenager in the 1980s, I wouldn't be getting up at the crack of dawn to go jogging. No fucking way, I would be doing tons of cocaine, listening to Front 242 and having as much unprotected sex with transsexual prostitutes as humanly possible."

    You'd burn some calories that way. For sure.

    1. Yeah, that's true. But my nose would be always bleeding, my ears would be always ringing, and it would burn like a motherscratcher every time I took a piss.

    2. Point. But all the coke would suppress your appetite and give you energy to burn. For dancing to Front 242 in sweaty rooms with transsexual hookers.

      Personally, my pussy explodes harder for Spader in "Tuff Turf." Or Count Udo in anything back when he was younger.

  4. No way was there enough tight-pants, bleach-blonde hick psycho Dutra in this movie. Also all the serious maybe-bi undertones in this movie? You know the guy who almost gets kicked out of the gang for speaking up and then actually gets bitch-slapped by Dutra was hard by the end of that transaction. And the blue-briefs bondage scene?! Talk about explosions. It must have been difficult for James Spader to be the only actor with any talent on the set, and to still be so under-used. Maybe the excellent cowboy shirts made up for it.