Chances are good that if you a horror fan and it’s new year’s eve, you’re searching for something to watch. Most of us hope to find the Twilight Zone marathon running strong late into the evening if we’re lucky, but it’s fickle. Hit or miss. Sometimes SyFy graces us with its presence… sometimes… they put on absolutely garbage and we take it. There are, of course, a few movies that have New Year’s Eve as the focus. Bloody New Year, Terror Train and New Year’s Evil which I can consider to be the pinnacle of New Year’s horror even if Terror Train is far superior movie. Is it any wonder that all three of these features of seen distinct DVD of Blu-ray releases? Fan/cult favorites with varying degree of quality and merit. Aren’t there just a pile of other movies you’d prefer to watch on New Year’s Eve anyway? Strange Days even? Well, I have had a flirting, casual tryst with New Year’s Evil since the first time I saw it. It was the cover really that did it for me and not truly the movie although there are a few noteworthy mentions to peak your interest. IT CAME FROM 1980x is brining you NEW YEAR’S EVIL while you’re still sober enough to read (or hopefully not if you’re one of the fortunate ones).
A Different Kind of New Years Resolution
A Celebration of the macabre… A nationally televised New Year’s Eve punk rock party being celebrated in all four time zones set an eerie stage for “murders at midnight” in the thriller with a twist ending.
New Year’s Evil is a play off the very standardized slasher format, kill by numbers with unique deaths ever so often to keep your eyes on the screen on off your date’s chest. The glue that keeps NYE together, the thing that actually makes it pop is the “punk rock” music in the background crossed with hints of pop culture from just before the iconic 80’s began. Released in 1980, it’s only fitting that it rings in the year and the decade with a movie that focuses on one of the most successful horror genres of the period. That is not to say the film was ahead of its time. In my mind NYE is a Black Christmas homage or rip off or money play. Throughout the whole movie the killer is calling in mysteriously dropping murderous hints and threats. If this ain’t been done before by near every slasher flick since B.C. I don’t know what else has… the knife kill? No wonder it was a failure.
Emmett Alston isn’t exactly the most successful filmmaker in the biz or in the genre. The movie the prepared Alston to make NYE was Three-Way Weekend. It’s exactly what you think it is. After NYE Alston went on to do a pile of generic Kung Fu action pictures. Writer Leonard Neubauer had some success over his year’s as a writer having written the Russ Meyer pictures Black Snake among others. Success is a term we use in this column loosely.
W. Michael Lewis and Laurin Rinder created the original music for the picture. It’s not punk. It’s new wave. In the early 80’s this was a common misconception which has rolled down hill over the year’s and turned multitudes of music lovin’ high school fiends into devious, safety pin hangers. Still I love the soundtrack. I love it so much that I had the little collective known as Hacktivision of which I am a member create an 8 Bit version of the theme music to be used in a future 8 Bit faux video game (next year). The song itself will be available shortly on DOCTERROR.COM. Here’s a track listing:
- “New Year’s Evil”- Written by Roxanne Seeman & Eduardo del Barrio
- “When I Wake Up”- Written by John Pakalenka
- “Simon Bar Sinister”- Written by Clifford White & Ray Leonard
- “Temper Tantrum”- Written by Ray Leonard
- “Headwind”- Written by Clifford White
- “Cold Hearted Lover”- Written by Clifford White
- “Auld Lang Syne”
- “Dumb Blondes”
- “The Cooler”
- “Suicide Ways”
Rozz Kelly as the lead Diane Sullivan did quite a bit of TV work before making it on stage for “the evil” Everything from Kojak and Beretta to the Love Boat. She even went on to appear in Fully Moon High post NYE as well as American Pop and then back to TV for Fantasy Island. Basically watching Rozz act is like watching the reruns of the programs I watched as a kid show up in a slasher flick. Kip Niven as “Evil” was also a TV regular in Hart to Hart, CHIPs and Emergency! He also appeared in Airport 1975 and Magnum Force. This cast was built to succeed.
The murders are absolutely derivative with not a truly creative kill among them. By 1980, few folks had even heard of Jason Voorhees or his mother but they sure knew who Michael Myers was. How could you be scared or shocked by this picture? The killer is barely recognizable once the clever mask is off. This is the reason you’d be better off catching Terror Train with Jaime Lee Curtis.
I love the Paragon VHS box. I love the poster and the music and the camp and the drinking game ideas are pretty much a virtual brain hurricane of ideas, but New Year’s Evil won’t scare you. It might not even entertain you. But it’s an option. How’s that for a ringing endorsement. IT CAME FROM 1980x simply likes to put things out there and you choose your adventure.
Until next year, keep your heads clean.