NEW YEAR’S EVIL (1980)
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New Year’s Evil is yet another Halloween inspired early 80s slasher that’s only points of interest…if they can be called that…are that it stars Happy Days’ ‘Pinky Tuscadero’ Roz Kelly, Killer Klowns’ Grant Cramer and Galaxy Of Terror’s Taaffe O’Connell. The uninspired story has rock personality and TV hostess Diane ‘Blaze’ Sullivan (Roz Kelly) harassed during a televised New Year’s Eve concert over the phone by a strange man with a grudge. This demented individual threatens to murder someone at each midnight in the four time zones with ‘Blaze’ being his final victim. Who is this mysterious killer and why has he targeted the popular TV personality?
This formulaic and forgettable slasher is directed by Emmett Alston (who?) and co-written by Alston and Leonard Neubauer. The film has no real suspense or tension and thanks to making it’s lead character, Blaze, a stereotypical self-centered and self-absorbed TV star, we have absolutely no sympathy for her or the killer’s generic victim’s for that matter. The killer (Kip Niven) is also completely uninspired and the fact that we see his face from the first moment, robs him of a more mysterious persona despite his penchant for unconvincing disguises. He’s just some average guy and the big reveal of his identity really doesn’t seem all that surprising since we are given few suspects to choose from. The cast are all fairly wooden, the kills are routine and dull and there is very little cinematic about the look and feel of this slow-paced flick. The only reason this might be worth watching, familiar faces in the cast aside, is the heavy 80s nostalgia especially from the music played during Blaze’s show and the classic 80s Hollywood stereotype of punk rockers, which had them wearing more make-up than showgirls.
This is another holiday set slasher that has very little to recommend and isn’t worth talking about much. It’s dull and forgettable and gives us no suspense, scares or even blood and gore to entertain the horror lover in us. A very formula slasher that has only some 80s nostalgia to lure us into tuning in. No surprise it comes from schlockmeisters Cannon Films, who made a career of unremarkable exploitation flicks.
2 champagne toasts.