Resolutions take a turn for the worst in the holiday horror flick New Year’s Evil.
Movie: New Year’s Evil (1980)
Plot: During a live rock broadcast of New Year’s Eve in Hollywood, a deranged killer calls in with recordings of his victims, one for each hour of the New Year across the time zones.
Killer: A nondescript white guy. We don’t know who he is until the end, but only because of his relationship to the other main characters.
Scene of Awesomeness: There’s no one scene that screams “awesomeness,” but the soundtrack to this movie is a continual stream of rock awesomeness, even if we have to hear “New Year’s Evil” by Shadow a hundred times.
Scene of Ridiculousness: Who’s Shadow? Exactly.
Body Count: 7
1 vague shower kill by switchblade
3 switchblade stabbings
1 death by asphyxiation via plastic baggie (Awesomely Overkill Award… by default)
1 head bashed in with a brick
1 dive off the roof of a building
1 pair of nipple-less breasts
1/2 a nipple
Actors/Actresses of Note: If you think Grant Kramer looks familiar, you probably remember him in Killer Klowns from Outer Space. It may not make Kramer an actor of note, but it’s as close as this film gets to having a star.
Quote: “And that’s not nice!”- Evil
Sometimes a holiday horror movies seems like a good idea, but fails to deliver due to odd choices. New Year’s Evil is one of those movies.
The setting of a rock n’ roll New Year’s Eve in Hollywood is great, especially when an 80’s horror movie isn’t an 80’s horror movie without a hair metal band or two on the soundtrack. The idea of a serial killer offing his victims at the exact stroke of midnight for each time-zone in the United States is also an awesome theme. It would give a sense of foreboding as the seconds tick down to the hour.
The problem is that the film just doesn’t deliver on its themes. For one, we know almost right away who the killer is. We don’t know who he is in relation to other characters until later, but we could pick him out of a police lineup easily enough. He wears a mask, a pretty creepy mask, too, but the mask doesn’t come out until the movie is almost over. It was almost as if the killer, the director, and producers forgot to film him wearing the mask and threw it in at the last second. That awesome theme of killing at the stroke of midnight in each time zone? It fails. There’s only one kill at midnight. Every other kill is bungled, sometimes happening5 minutes to a half-hour later, other times the kill having a +1 attached to it.
If there was some sort of suspense to the identity of the killer, and the killer succeeding in what he was supposed to do leading up to the climax, this movie could have been, at the very least, decent. For now, all it has succeeded in doing is becoming a New Year’s Eve horror movie to match and laugh about after a heavy night of drinking and celebrating.