New year villain 1980 horror holiday retro review

A man in a mask and jogging suit holds a knife in a scene from the movie New Year's Evils.

Midnight is near!
screenshot: Al-Madfa film distribution

New Year’s Eve: A time to celebrate, reflect and set new goals. Unless you are the killer evil new yearThen it’s time to pick out a new victim when The clock is ticking at midnight In every time zone across America — the terrible but inspiring gimmick that prompted Emmett Alston’s 1980 cult classic.

evil new year is part of a wave holiday themed horror movies which then came out Halloweenwow. There was another 1980 release set on New Year’s Eve starring that movie Jamie Lee Curtis, Terror Train.

But evil new year He has something pleasingly frivolous that goes beyond tearing up the idea of ​​the holiday. Main character Diane (Rose Kelly, also known as Fonzie’s girlfriend Pinkie Tuscadero happy Days) – Stage name “Blaze, rock’s first lady,” a woman who’s not afraid to match her blush, lipstick, and eyebrows to the same shade of pink – a popular Hollywood scene that hosts a wave-shaped New Year’s Eve party broadcast live from the Sunset Strip. There’s a connection element so viewers can vote for their favorite song of the year, which is how the self-proclaimed “Evil” creep (Kip Niven) can tell Diane “I’m going to commit murder in the middle of the night!” He calls from a pay phone using a voice changer – and although he wears a variety of disguises, he doesn’t cover his face with a mask until the last act of the movie, an instant tip that this is someone Diane knows well. Maybe even someone in her family, who seems more likely to spend time with her son, Derek (Grant Kramer), an aspiring actor who feels neglected by his famous mother.

Quite frankly, evil new year Not much of a whodunnit or even why dunnit (while slasher movies like to be about revenge, “he’s just a crazy murder freak” is always acceptable too). One of its biggest strengths is the ticking clock that paces the killer’s crimes—he’s bent on killing as the New Year comes in New York, Chicago, Colorado, and California, where every location is celebrated on Diane’s TV broadcast; He has a grand plan to record every death and then call Diane back in to make her listen.

but put evil new year It’s her real draw: circa 1980’s Los Angeles, seen through the eyes of a low-budget horror filmmaker, is where bad guys pile into convertibles and blast their music as they drive down Hollywood Boulevard, where gangs of Mercedes-driving bikers turn assassins. Serials dressed as druids, where a car engine (shows a terrifying double feature, natch) provides a convenient place to hide, and where a pickup line might involve luring someone with the promise of a “big party at Eric Estrada’s place”.

The stage was on fire.

The stage was on fire.
screenshot: cannon distribution set

The backstage drama is also very interesting—evil new year He constantly backs away from the concert in progress, we see it broadcast on TV sets and hear it on the radio when the action moves elsewhere. Whereas the “year results” aspect is fictional (You won’t hear any of the bands or their songs) It’s undoubtedly attractive, especially the theme of the movie, which we hear about as the opening credits roll and about 10 minutes later when it rolls into the show.

The film’s weary world of pills and glamorous front-facing of the camera is just as distilled into the character of Diane/Blaze, who is as passionate about being pursued by a killer as she is about making sure the action is a career high point. And while her grotesque absent husband is at least partly to blame, there is no character more tragic than Derek, a child who I’ve heard say “I’m sorry, I forgot you were here” so many times until transformed into someone shining masks from pantyhose and talking to himself in room mirrors. the hotel.

While there is a certain attempt to keep it evil new year Rooted in realism – at one point, a conditional psychology character appears for one scene to explain what might have been the killer’s motive – the film is mostly contented, driven by nervous energy, lots of hairspray, intermittent bloodshed, and an inescapable sense that “evil” will Exceeds his goals in the number of the body.

When the killer’s identity is finally confirmed, you won’t be surprised who he is or why he decided to go on a seasonal carnage spree. However, he has an unexpected flash of optimism to say, “This has been a very bad year for me. But midnight begins the first day of my new life!” He’s wrong, of course, but evil new year Still foolish enough to suggest that even a psychic might make some positive decisions for the next year.

evil new year It airs on Amazon Prime and Paramount+.

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