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New Year's Evil (1980)

During a New Year's Eve celebration, a Los Angeles disc jockey receives a phone call saying that when New Year's strikes in each time zone, someone will be murdered - and she will be the last one.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roz Kelly ...
Diane Sullivan
Richard Sullivan
Chris Wallace ...
Lt. Clayton
Derek Sullivan
Jane (as Taafe O'Connell)
Jon Greene ...
Sgt. Greene
Teri Copley ...
Teenage Girl
Anita Crane ...
Jennie Anderson ...
Nurse Robbie
Alicia Dhanifu ...
Wendy-Sue Rosloff ...
Make-up Girl (as Wendysue Rosloff)
John London ...
Floor Manager
Dr. Reed


New Year's Eve is on it's way and TV's most famous punk-rock lady icon Diane Sullivan is holding a late hour countdown celebration of music and partying. All is going well until Diane recieves a phone call from a odd sounding stranger announcing on live Television that when New Year's strikes in each time zone, a 'Naughty Girl' will be murdered (punished), and the killer leaves a threat saying she will be the one to die last. The studio crew takes precautions and highten security, but on the other side of America, a hospital nurse is found brutally butchered. Who could be behind these murders? A crazed fan, a religious psychotic, or perhaps it's someone much closer to Diane then the police (or audience) could have ever expected. Written by Wallace Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A celebration of the macabre. See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ano Novo Sangrento  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Emmett Alston has a Hitchcock style cameo as a bearded camera operator. See more »


Co-producer Yoram Globus's name in opening credits is mis-spelled "Yorum". See more »


Guy in elevator: What is this... fucking SHIT going on here?
See more »


Referenced in Halloween: 25 Years of Terror (2006) See more »


Temper Tantrum
Performed by Shadow
Lyrics & Music by Ray Mega
© Man-Yor Music
See more »

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User Reviews

More thriller than slasher, more novelty than horror
28 February 2015 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

"New Year's Evil" has a punk rock icon hosting a New Year's Eve bash at a Los Angeles hotel filled with party hardy new wavers. During the television broadcast of the show, she receives a series of phone calls from a man with plans to murder someone as the new year dawns on each time zone. The problem? She's the target for Pacific Standard.

This film eluded me for years as it was scantly available on home video, which was a minor annoyance as an ardent horror fan. A recent Blu-ray release has afforded me the chance to finally see it, and it was certainly not quite what I was expecting.

While the film has been dubbed as a slasher flick, I'd actually argue the opposite— it feels more in the vein of a thriller, for two reasons: firstly, the killer's identity is not concealed from the beginning. We see him in action, so there is a face to the villain; secondly, there is a minuscule body count and almost all of the violence is off screen. This is not to denigrate the film at all, but because of these reasons, "New Year's Evil" feels much more like a thriller as opposed to a stereotypical '80s body count flick.

As the film progresses toward the finale, there is a clever plot turn that is very slyly implemented from the get-go in regards to the killer, which is one caveat here that was especially memorable for me; the flipside is that the villain, portrayed by Kip Niven, is not particularly menacing. In fact, he's almost goofy in demeanor at times. Aside from this, there are some pluses here: a few fantastic murder scenes that are really well shot and constructed with suspense above all else in mind. The "New Year's murder for each time zone" plot device is clever, and the ball-dropping countdown to the first crime is particularly compelling.

There is plenty of eighties novelty here, especially in regards to the New Year's bash— think "Prom Night," except the music culture of choice is L.A. new wave & neo-punkster as opposed to disco on its last breath. Roz Kelly plays the punk goddess who is hosting the party, and is fantastic in the role, while Grant Cramer plays her Oedipal son in a bizarre and hammy part. The finale is fun and absurd, and the last jab at the end is definitely smile- worthy.

Overall, "New Year's Evil" is a respectable novelty film that is great as lightweight entertainment. As I said, it works more as a thriller than a horror flick, but some well- designed stalking sequences and plot twists give it an edge. Definitely an oddball in the genre, but it's surprisingly enjoyable with all the quirks. 7/10.

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