January 1, 2014

Critical Capsule: New Year's Evil

All the major holidays seem to have a themed horror film, even Thanksgiving has the recent turkey Thankskilling, so how about New Year's Day? It's horror movie of note dates all the way back to 1980 with a movie appropriately called New Year's Evil and this is the one time a year it is acceptable to watch this movie. It really is not a good one. I guess you could say it packs a little nostalgic charm, but it seems to go out of its way to be mediocre. It leaves very little behind, not bad enough to really rip on, not good or even cheesy enough to rally behind. It just seems to be, begging to be left alone and only dug up around the holiday. It is not like Halloween or Black Christmas that beg to be watched more often.

New Year's Evil does not take long to get going. Blaze (Roz Kelly) is hosting a big New Year's Eve party, celebrating each of the midnights across the country, culminating with the big shindig in LA. Entertainment is provided by a couple of lame punk bands, but not real punk, the punk that was being turned into a pop commodity (Shadow, Made in Japan), no Sex Pistols to be found here. As the show is beginning Blaze invites viewers to call in and vote for their favorite song. One of the callers identifies himself as “Evil” and says he is going to kill someone at midnight for each time zone. He is quickly revealed to the audience, so there is no suspense there.

Well, the killer begins killing random strangers as the night marches on, each time donning a different disguise, including nurse and priest. Meanwhile Blaze is freaking out that she might be one of the next victims, in between the playing of some crappy song. The police are on an ineffectual hunt for the killer and the killer just marches on his path. Sure, the killer has a couple of roadblocks thrown in front of him, most notably a biker gang he crosses when dressed a priest which leads to a chase through a drive in!

Of course, it all ends up, predictably, with Blaze being a target, a shootout with police, a chase through the hotel, and a conclusion that leaves an opening for a sequel. There is also a subplot about Blaze's son who is up in her room mumbling about going crazy and playing with a knife and wearing his mother's stockings over his head.

New Year's Evil is a collection of missed opportunity. It is never scary, or atmospheric, it is unintentionally silly and commits the cardinal sin of being terribly forgettable. The movie is notable only for being one of the only New Year's set horror movies that puts it in the title.

Not Recommended.

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