This is a bit of a late entry in my Halloween-themed “Before They Were Stars”, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to showcase a young James Spader’s performance as a bleached-blonde teenage redneck psycho with a fondness for silk shirts. This clip is from a 1985 thriller called The New Kids, directed by Friday the 13th creator Sean S. Cunningham and written by Stephen Gyllenhaal (yes, he’s Jake and Maggie’s father). It tells the story of a pair of teenage kids (one of them played by Lori Loughlin of Full House fame) who move to a small town in Florida and find themselves being tormented by Spader and his local gang of bullies. What’s funny is that the film starts off as a bit of a cheesy Karate Kid knockoff about underdog teens being forced to fight back against bullies, but then turns into a pretty damn violent horror flick! Just imagine if Mr. Miyagi had taught Daniel to defeat the Cobra Kais by burning them alive or decapitating them with a roller coaster! The New Kids is pretty damn silly, but it’s never boring and I have to admit it’s a bit of guilty pleasure of mine. As a vehicle owner, I almost had to weep during this scene because Spader is able to fill up his entire van with gas for only FOUR DOLLARS!
Behind the Curtain