By Mike Vaughn
When I first viewed New Years Evil on VHS so many years ago I bloody hated it.
Granted I was also in my teens and could not really appreciate the film and its camp appeal. On one level though I wasn’t wrong, it isn’t a good movie, but as most of us know that doesn’t make for an unwatchable even enjoyable outing.
On New Year’s Eve a local DJ hosts a punk rock party for her rough and rowdy listeners. But just as the party goes into full 80s mania she gets a call from a man with a weird computer voice. The strange voice on the other end proclaims that he will kill one person from each time zone, and of course she quickly dismisses it as one of her strange fans, that is until the bodies start piling up. Now detectives scramble to find out who it is.
New Years Evil fills a much needed gap in Holiday horror movies starting with Halloween, Blood Rage at Thanksgiving and a sleigh full of Christmas based horror films. I could spend the entire article picking apart the flaws in this horrible dated film but as I said above I really dig it.
First off the plot is solid enough and I’d even venture to say it’s cleverer than what people may give it credit. Having the killer dispatch his unlucky victims in different time zones is really ingenious and also ties the New Year theme rather nicely.
With big hair and loud (and bad) punk music NYE is a pure treat for those who like a nice blanket of warm 80’s nostalgia goodness. Indeed its “dated quality actually works in the films favor and since its riding high on the slasher wave, we get all the troupes fans have come to love about the genre. Also you gotta love the killer with a robot voice that sounds very similar to William Finneys in Phantom of the Paradise.
One also wonders if the voice changer device was maybe used as inspiration for Wes Cravens slasher love letter “Scream”. All this is great but NYE is also kind of unhinged in a brilliant way and watching Grant Cramer character totally lose his mind throughout the film really makes for fun viewing. Cramer is probably best known to cult fans as the lead in Killer Klowns from Outerspace.
Yeah this movie is kind of a cinematic dumpster fire but damned if I wasn’t still entertained anyways. With Scream Factory having done a nice new blu some years back its really high time to see it if you haven’t.
Tell them Evil sent ya.