Saturday, 27 December 2014

Holiday Horror: New Years Evil (1980)

New Years Evil (1980)
Director: Emmett Alston
Starring:  Roz Kelly, Kip Niven, and Chris Wallace
Running Time: 90 min

  This one is a no brainer when looking for horror movies for a New Year's watching, it's in the title and it has the word evil, so it's got to be scary, right. Also it has Roz "Pinky Tuscadero" Kelly from "Happy Days" in this so, if you're old like me, you'll think that's a plus.  So, let's see if thing can avoid jumping the shark.

  It's new year's eve and the queen of punk rock and new wave music, Blaze, or to her friends Diana Sullivan, is getting ready to do her televised countdown celebration.  This year, it will be simulcast across the the country for all four time zones.  She's excited for the show but is a little sad, just a little, because her husband, Richard has gone on a drinking bender and won't be in town to celebrate this achievement with her.  Her teenage son, Derek is there with some really good news, but it's not that important and it can wait until mommy is done with her show.  This is Mommy's time!
  Anyway, the show starts off great, the band is rockin and Blaze is answering phones listening to people talk about there new year's resolutions.  That is, until she gets a call from a strange man who  calls himself, Eeeeevil, while using a shitty voice modulator.  He tells her that is is going to commit a murder every hour to ring in the new year.  This freaks Blaze out and calls him a jerk, hangs up and considers it a bad prank.  However, our friend Eeeevil isn't fuckin around and walks out of the pay phone booth and into a mental institution, where he kills a really hot nurse.  He also records it with his "high tech" tape recorder and calls Blaze again, so she can hear just how serious he is.  He also tells her where the body is, so the police can retrieve it and they have proof that he is doing it.
  By the time the police arrive and confirm the murder, Eeeevil has already changed into a new disguise and is searching out his new victim.  Can Blaze and the police stop this madman before the new year's hits the coast or will the police drop the ball and the new year will be covered in fresh sparkling blood?

  This was better than I thought it was going to be, all things considered.  Writer/Director Emmett Alston (Nine Deaths of a Ninja, Force of the Ninja, 3 Little Ninjas & the Lost Treasure) puts together an interesting slasher film before he goes into his Ninja themed filmography.  I'm actually sad now that there wasn't a ninja in this.  It could have been a "New Year's Ninja Evil".  
  Anyway, it's a pretty simple set up, there is a crazy person killing people but what makes it interesting is that you kind of know who the killer is and you ride along with him while he murders people.  It's like a behind the scenes thing, watching him get ready for his next victim and putting on his new disguise.  The weird thing too, is that when he screws up later in the film and is getting chased by a biker gang for accidentally smashing one of their bikes, you actually want him to get away.  Which is weird right but by that point the film has shifted so much focus on him, he is now the main character, the person who's journey you're on and who've you now been engrossed by.  What adds to this character's likeability is the unlikableness of the Blaze character, played by Roz Kelly (Full Moon High, American Pop).  She's an awful mom, more concerned with her career than her kid, has an arrogant attitude and comes off really selfish.  She is not very sympathetic character, so when the killer comes a knocking, it's hard to get behind her and root for her to escape.
  Also, I like the way the killer says his name Eeeevil.  It's a real hoot!  Sadly he only does it a couple of times at the beginning but it made me laugh a lot.

Issues with the film..., well whoever wrote this has never worked in television because the host of the show seems to spend way more time off stage than on.  Eeeevil wouldn't be the only person on a killing spree in this film, the director and the producers of the simulcast would be killing every PA and set person in sight trying to get his/her star back on stage for this LIVE event.
  Also, some of the music that was chosen doesn't really fit what the theme of the "TV show" and is just shoehorned in to work with the script.  For instance, there is a real bluesy number playing on TV while the killer is sexing up his first victim.  This is a punk rock/New Wave concert, I don't think those dudes on stage would be playing anything like that.  It just doesn't work and takes you out of the picture.

 This film isn't going to change your life but it has some fun B-movie scenes that are pretty enjoyable.  It's got some good killings, some silly voices and disguises and a somewhat interesting twist at the end, although you could see it a mile away.  Still, this is a great film for spending the day on the couch nursing that New Year's hangover.

1 comment:

  1. The nurse who gets stabbed in this film is the same actress as the the woman who gets raped by the worm in Galaxy of Terror...Taeffee (Sp?) O'Connell