New Year's Evil (1980) Poster

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Tolerable slasher
Cujo10830 October 2010
A rock show host dubbed Blaze gets threatening phone calls during her New Year's Eve gig. The caller informs her that he'll murder a different person each time the clock strikes midnight in one of the four continental U.S. timezones, and odds are that she'll be his final victim.

One of the few slashers to have eluded me over the years, it was nice to finally scratch this off the list. It's far from a top-tier effort in the sub-genre, however. The killer, played by Kip Niven, isn't the least bit threatening. He only dons a mask towards the end of the film, so he doesn't have that to fall back on either. Also, too many scenes of dancing punk rockers and filth masquerading as music for my taste. Now, there are some quality stalk and slash sequences. Most notable is one victim's unpleasant surprise in a garbage dumpster. We also get a hefty helping of cheese, mainly from the killer himself and Blaze's dopey son. The bit with the former dealing with angry bikers at a drive-in is gold.

Overall, I was entertained, but it's not exactly good. Not even close.
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7/10
Much better than its reputation...
AlsExGal25 December 2014
... and thus I give it a 7/10 rating among its genre, that being the slasher/horror films of the 70's and 80's. This is not a 7/10 when you compare it to an A-List film from the same year such as "Raging Bull". The worst of these slasher films are practically biology lessons as hot to trot teens in some remote location find themselves being bumped off one by one by some unknown lunatic with a literal ax to grind. These films are boring and predictable. That's where this one is different, even with a cast so anonymous you have to wonder why they bothered giving their characters names different from their actual names.

The primary character is a red-headed buxom D.J. who looks north of 30 but MUST be north of 35 since she has a grown son, which she ignores completely and probably has for a long time - she is very self involved, and tonight on New Year's Eve she is supposedly going to get her big break if she can pull off hosting a rock and roll New Year's Eve celebration. It's a phone in show, and at 9PM she get's a phone call telling her that this is EVIL and he has just killed someone close to her and intends to kill someone every hour on the hour until midnight - when he intends to kill her.

At first our self-involved D.J. blows this off as a crank, but when the calls keep coming and bodies start piling up, she and the police become increasingly concerned. You see the killer right from the start as he runs around L.A. killing random strangers in rather novel ways, but the twist in this film is you have no idea who he is and why he has a bone to pick with the D.J. The killer has his own problems along the way, and this film gives you a good idea of just how rough L.A. was even 35 years ago, as the killer runs into some characters who are as bad as he is, and plus there are more of them.

On the dance floor of the New Year's Eve rock show, the dancers are shown moving like mindless zombies among the fog. These guys and gals do not look like Rotarians, so when the police say rather late in the film "I wouldn't be surprised if he walked right up on the dance floor and killed you", I had to wonder - how do you know he isn't already there? There is plenty of suspense right up to the end that still leaves you hanging, and I recommend it if you are a fan of the low budget horror genre. So transport yourself back to not a simpler time, but a different one - when phones still had cords, when there were still drive-in movies, when people still smoked in public places even in California, and when electronic devices were large enough to be shorted out with a screwdriver rather than being controlled by one self-contained microchip.
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7/10
New Year's Evil
Toronto8531 December 2012
A madman vows to murder someone at the stroke of midnight in each time zone in 'New Year's Evil'. Roz Kelly plays a 'Blaze', a famous punk music icon who is hosting a New Years Eve bash at a large hotel. During her television broadcast that night, a callers phones in and says he will kill someone each time the clock strikes midnight around the world. So that means that every hour on the hour, someone is getting killed. This isn't a whodunit slasher film, we know the killer's identity from the start. The movie follows him around as he stalks various women in Los Angeles, making sure he records each murder on a tape recorder. He calls Blaze after each murder and plays the tape leaving her frightened. Eventually, he makes his way to where she is at the hotel leading to a bit of a disappointing ending.

Call me crazy, but I really enjoyed this film. enjoyed it so much so, that it's become a tradition to watch it during the holiday season. I've always loved holiday horror, and 'New year's Evil' delivers. It is full of eighties cheese; the lights, the music, the hair - all of it. And the plot is actually interesting AND original! Having him murder at midnight in each time zone was smart, and it set 'New Year's Evil' a part from other forgettable slashers made at this time. The stalking scenes with the killer was done well too. He disguises himself before each murder, and makes his way around LA to different places (a bar, a drive in movie theatre) to collect his next victim. Some of the scenes with his next victims are pretty tense, and you feel for the women.

Where 'New Year's Evil' fails is with the killer's motive. They give a lame explanation, and I think the whole movie would have been better with a different motive. There is also the sub-plot with Blaze's son, who is clearly deranged. It is never fully explained what is wrong with him. Oh and the ending was sort of disappointing too. But other than that, this is a holiday horror film that all horror fans MUST check out at least once!

Happy New Year! :D

7/10
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"This is Eviiilll!"
Slasher-1030 December 2002
This is one of my favorite bad 80's slasher flicks with bad acting and an even worse script. Diane Sullivan, aka Blaze, a television vj hosts a New Year's Eve rock concert. When she isn't working her middle aged, unattractive self onstage, a psycho is calling her everytime he kills someone when New Year's strikes in each US time zone. The director has no desire to hide the killer's face, it's his motive for killing that's the mystery here. If you can't figure out who he really is, you'll be kicking yourself for not figuring it out earlier or because you actually sat through New Year's Evil in its entirety. The average viewer will hate this movie because it is inept, not scary, or bloody or exciting. Lovers of bad 80's slashers can sit back and enjoy this silly horror flick which boasts bad acting, non-believable situations (killer vs. bike gang), and an array of ugly, comical characters (Grant Cramer of Killer Klowns as one of them). If anything, its most redeeming feature is a typical 80's heavy metal theme song that you can rock out to at least three times during the film! (e-mail me if you know where I can find it!)
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6/10
Goofy cheese ball slasher does have some good moments.
Hey_Sweden31 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
It's New Year's Eve, and DJ Blaze Sullivan (Pinky Tuscadero, a.k.a. actress Roz Kelly) is hosting a night long dance party / concert celebrating supposed "new wave" music. Somebody else is celebrating, but in their own macabre way: a dude named EEEE-vil (Kip Niven) is calling Blaze's show and following through on his threat to murder someone every time the clock strikes midnight in a time zone. The clueless cops can't do much to stop him, as he goes through one masquerade after another - pretending to be a doctor, a priest, a business agent - while in the act of slaughtering unfortunate women.

"New Year's Evil" was an early production for producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus and their Cannon Group company; written by Leonard Neubauer and directed by Emmett Alston, it's mostly good for the laughs it provides. "Evil" speaks through a voice modulator and it's a hoot when he calls Blaze, remaining deadly serious while his voice sounds so funny. Still, as mentioned, the movie isn't without its moments, such as "Evil" having a surprise in store, inside a dumpster, for a young lady. Also, it's interesting the way the movie focuses so much on its killer, not bothering to obscure his face, and following him just as much as it follows the activities of Blaze. It's quite amusing when "Evil", while in his priest garb, incurs the wrath of some bikers and is forced to abandon his mode of transportation. Also entertaining are the hilarious extras in the dance sequences, busting some of the most lethargic and priceless dance moves one is ever likely to see. In fact, all the extras and bit players in this thing are worthy of chuckles. Adding a creepiness factor is Blaze's odd ball son Derek (Grant Cramer, "Killer Klowns from Outer Space"). Co-starring are Chris Wallace ("Don't Answer the Phone!") as the not terribly efficient police detective, and lovely ladies Louisa Moritz ("The Last American Virgin") and Taaffe O'Connell ("Galaxy of Terror") as victims. Niven is a standout, giving his all to a killer with a thin, not very convincing motivation. Kelly's character is clearly not meant to be sympathetic, but it would help if she weren't so damn annoying in the part. The music is insidiously catchy, especially that title theme song which we get to hear a couple of times. The finale, however, falls short of being really satisfying, at least in terms of the killer's comeuppance.

Overall, an underwhelming slasher, with limited gore and no nudity, but it is entertaining in spurts.

Six out of 10.
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Not Bad, Just EVIL!!!!
thefountainmenace12 July 2002
My, this has always been one of my faves of the genre. It is really quite ridiculous, but fairly 'twisty' for a run-of-the mill slasher. Kip Niven is in my opinion, very good as the killer who switches personas to fit in different environments in order to kill on his timetable. Grant Cramer, who was destined for nothing more than soap fame, has a handsome yet creepy face, especially after he forces that red hose over it. Roz Kelly does look truly unattractive - but then look at her audience! Those 'LA punkers' bobbing and weaving in the audience are unintentionally reminiscent of George Romero's creations...check out their 'dancing'!

Yet I have always found the best part of the film to occur in the beginning, the first time the killer calls into the radio show. He announces that his name is "Evil" in a very odd voice courtesy of a voice manipulation machine. He is dead serious, and Roz on the other end is slightly chilled, but tries to play along: "Yeah, you're bad, you're real bad." At which point he cuts her off, still deadly serious: "NOOOO! Just EVIL!!!" It's truly hilarious if you appreciate that sort of thing.

Enjoyable for the genre.
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6/10
"Crazy tricks. Must be a full moon."
lost-in-limbo23 July 2011
Cannon's Golan / Globus productions join the low-budget slasher party. Another significant day of the year. Means a psycho going on slaughter spree. But actually the novelty of "New Year's Evil" is cleverly planned out (even with the usual staples, vague descriptions and contrived aspects) as the killer murders someone exactly at the strike of the new year. However this includes the different time zones across the country. When he does it, he calls in to a new wave rock TV special speaking to the hostess and then plays the recording of his female victim's death. This is the same memo, one after another. Because of the set-up, just like many horror outings during the 80s we get plugged by a couple of bands playing their music while we watch fans aimlessly mosh about. It's padding, but at least there's a purpose behind it. Although the constant cutting between the TV special and the killer did make the suspense a bit inconsistent, but still it all boils down to a preposterously intense finale and there's no hiding how compulsively nasty it can be. Watching the killer going about his business is rather amusing in a reckless way, because it never seems to be smooth sailing as he encounters difficulties of some sort in trying to achieve his goal. In all, while smart it does fall on the daft side. The killer stays in plain sight, no hiding behind anything although the film's well disguised twist took me by surprise and the motivation for our killer is rather grey. Maybe something to do along these lines ("Ladies are not very nice people")? Kip Niven is a treat as the sicko known as Evil. It's worthwhile for just his fun twisted performance and those phone calls. Roz Kelly is tolerable, but far from likable as the self-centred TV hostess Blaze and Grant Cramer keeps it unusual as her son. Chris Wallace plays the well-worn cop on the case. Also there's bubbly support by Louisa Moritz and Taaffe O'Connell. Director Emmett Alston's sturdy style keeps a raw edge to it and keeps it moving forward at a good pace, despite the moments of filler. Also the music score leaves a stinging shutter with the bone rattling cues Trashy, but enjoyable oddball slasher offering.

"The show must go on."
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Kip Niven Rules
phlflip15 May 2003
This film is one of my favorite slasher flicks.It,s not really gory but it has some great murders,especially Louisa Moritz,s death.It was hysterically funny.I have to say that what made this slasher flick better than most was the excellent performance of Kip Niven as Evil.He played the psycho part very low key, until midnight, and then he was frightening and threatening.The look in his eyes actually gave me an eerie feeling.He was a good looking guy on the outside but totally sick and evil on the inside.In a way Roz Kelly had it coming with her selfish,self centered attitude where she even neglects her own son.I thought a few of the murders were inventive and I would definitely recommend this movie for a late night when you just want to relax and be entertained.
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6/10
New Year's Evil
Scarecrow-8824 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I was very fortunate, unlike a lot of my 80s peers, to see "New Years Evil" on Turner Classics this morning (honestly, I think this film is best viewed after Midnight) instead of some terrible, badly beaten up VHS copy that would be incredibly difficult to find unless you were willing to fork of 60 bucks like some desperate slasher fans might. Some might say that this is the way to view any slasher for the first time, but a clear picture really maybe helps one appreciate the print for some of the stylistic touches that are here even if the more titillating and gory details the genre is known for are absent. I think at best, "New Year's Evil" will be considered by genre aficionados as a middle-of-the-pack slasher.

I do think, even if it is ludicrous and implausible, the plot gives us a novel premise: the psychopath who taunts the host of a New York New Wave radio New Years studio show about killing a woman every Midnight across the country in different time zones, leaving her as his last victim. I can't really swallow the premise that Niven can get from Florida to NY (driving through several time zones throughout the country) in like a couple hours, while getting into disguises, setting up murders, carrying them out, escaping, and making it to his destination with only a few hitches along the way. I do consider an interesting premise which strays from the typical formula something somewhat noteworthy.

I think Kip Niven, his handsome and friendly looks, is actually a wise casting choice because you can see how he might trick females by gaining their trust. What I found fascinating by this movie compared to countless others is that the lead protagonist, Roz Kelly's music personality/celebrity, Diane Sullivan, isn't a sympathetic figure in the least. She's self-absorbed to an extreme degree, only concerned with her own success, worried about how this New Year's Eve music show will benefit her own career (completely ignoring her son's announcement of getting a lead role on a television show, just ruining a moment of pride for the kid, further illustrating how wholly involved in only her own world this bitch is), and even as the killer phones in his crimes, she's worried about how they will infect the show. I will be honest: the ending, where she is bound to the bottom of an elevator where it appears she will be squashed ("Get smashed."), I was rooting for her demise to be epic. If only they had gone that route, I would bump up my rating for "New Year's Evil". I just flat hated her, I won't lie. Every time she's on screen, I just despised her more, I won't lie.

Anyway, the film goes back and forth between Niven stalk and hunting girls while the high rise studio rock show with Roz worrying about dying as kid punks with an "F-U" attitude bump and grind in a mosh pit where they seem to be spaced out on coke or pills, in a zombie-like state bouncing off each other. The film actually opens with a group of punk rock fans, dressed the part, and sold out to the lifestyle, including ugly behavior to anyone who drives by their open convertible. As a 80s artifact (if you were of the mindset that NYC was becoming a cesspool, this movie probably gave you ammunition), I think this movie will be of interest. Grant Cameron, as Roz' pretty son harboring issues with Mommy, has some great scenes if you like seeing one of the beautiful people going off the deep end after dropping three pills, pulling a stocking over his face and rambling demented things, eventually jamming an earring through his ear. The violence is rather underwhelming--the usual switchblade slash-stab off-screen jazz--but the way Niven gets into killing his girls adds some impact to them just the same. I have to say, Niven makes this film for me; it could've been so much less tolerable.
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7/10
Great if you dig garbage...which i definitely do!
epeteet12 December 2007
If crappy, dated, unrealistic horror flicks aren't your cup o'tea then forget it but if you like late 70's early 80's trash horror then i'd say NEW YEAR'S EVIL is definitely worth a look. The sweet beginning of the film mislead me to expect this to be one of those great outlaw punker movies perhaps like CLASS OF 1984 with a horror twist. This would have been a dream come true...and while unfortunately this was not the case i gotta say any movie with rebellious punk rock sluts flashing their boobies for the sole reason of being offensive is worth any other lameness it could possibly put me through. So anyway what we get instead is a decent yet cheesy slasher where some nutzo calls the host of a hilariously ridiculous new wave concert to inform her that he plans on killing at midnight(not just one murder but one at midnight for each timezone). On the low end this movie isn't all that gory but it's definitely entertaining and it's got some pretty good twists. I especially loved the biker gang scene (always a plus when you're talking bad exploitation flix). Oh yeah don't be fooled by the movie description claiming the movie has much to do with punk rock...its almost total new wave but i'll settle for some 80s new wave any day over today's lame trends...so anyway i dug this movie which means you'll probably hate it
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4/10
Happy new years evil
acidburn-1025 November 2009
"New Years Evil" is about a woman named Blaze whose presenting the countdown a new years bash at an extravagant posh hotel a show with call ins and rock bands playing through the late night, where she gets phone calls from a deranged man who tells her that he's gonna kill women at in each different timezone locations throughout the city and he makes pretty good on his promise too and calls Blaze immediately after he snuffs his victims so he can replay the scene of the crime via an archaic looking tape recorder. This takes up a lot of Blaze's time (as does her hilarious banter with an investigating cop), so she ends up ignoring her son even more as he begins to reveal a very sinister side of himself. Well, sinister if pulling a pink stocking over your head is scary. As the clock ticks down to midnight Pacific Time, Evil joins the party as he tries to take Blaze down in all her flaming glory.

Okay before I saw this movie, mostly every review that I read for this was actually quite bad, but again like other holiday slashers I really wanted to see this and when I did, I actually quite liked it.

Okay this movie isn't exactly brilliant, though the murders are quite tame as is the acting. The killer's voice when he says "Just call me Eevill" was funny as hell, he sounded more Kermit the Frog than menacing and Kip Niven who plays him was quite charming one of the only believable performances in the film. Roz Kelly who plays Blaze the final girl doesn't quite shine, I found her unlikeable but her outfits were a hoot as were the cheesy rock bands that played in-between each murder, obliviously just there to pad out the running time. And to be honest the son's little psychotic act was strange and over the top, I found a bit pointless as it wasn't explored enough during the movie.

The climax was disappointing as there was no chase scene between Roz Kelly and Kip Niven, she just played the helpless victim and plus I found the plot twist rather unsurprising, I basically figured it out anyway.

But all in all this movie wasn't half bad and definitely another highlight in the ever brilliance of holiday slasher genre such as (Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, Happy Birthday To Me, Black Christmas, The Stepfather, Mother's Day and etc.
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5/10
For tolerant genre fans.
gridoon17 February 2002
Yet another entry in the "psychotic killer on the loose" genre. The premise of this one is somewhat original, but apart from that it has nothing else to distinguish it from dozens of similar films, so you're just sitting there waiting to see how it will tie everything up in the end. It does come up with an unexpected, out-of-left-field plot twist, but the "motivation" part is fumbled. Still, if you're tolerant of low-budget early-80s thrillers, you'll probably have an OK time. (**)
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9/10
Criminally Underrated
velvetkevorkian61023 December 2014
I just finished watching this movie and it wildly exceeded my expectations. I have a lot to say about it, but to make this review useful for the greatest amount of people possible, I'll summarize first: This movie is awesome for anyone looking for a fun, campy horror flick with crazy elements at every turn that keep it fresh and interesting. The most perfect example I can think of of riding the line between believable and over the top. For well-versed fans of horror history and genre tropes, simply a must see.

What makes this movie so great for me is a combination of two things. The first thing is obvious talent and knowledge on the part of the filmmakers who put so much thought into this film. I went into this movie thinking it was going to be pure trash; a slasher film with a gimmick to cash in on the trend gaining steam during this time. But it's so much more. The people behind this film didn't just see "Friday the 13th" and think, "Psh, I can do that," and pump out a piece of crap like many movies from this era. The film is full of homage to its inspirations, some of my favorites being the black leather gloves of Italian Giallo films, a direct reference to what has to have been a huge inspiration to the filmmakers, Hershall Gordon Lewis' "Blood Feast," and even pretty much straight lifting the "Jason's near" sound effects from Friday the 13th. For a rabid horror fan with solid knowledge of certain motifs, this film has something for you in every scene.

The other thing that will make this film enjoyable even to those who aren't necessarily horror enthusiasts is the perfectly executed comedy. I feel no shame calling it comedy because if these guys loved "Blood Feast" enough to literally name drop it in this movie, they knew exactly what they were making and how funny it was. The movie is actually completely played straight, to the point where you could reasonably believe everyone was serious throughout the filmmaking process. That's what I mean about it perfectly riding the line between believable and absurd: its not plain goofy to where you know its a big joke, but everything that occurs on screen is absolutely wild. The characters are ABSURD. Every one of them is strange and funny in some way. The situations they are put in are almost even better. Our killer will don quite a variety of disguises in his quest to get the perfect midnight kill, and the hijinks that ensue are practically fit for a straight comedy film. I can't think of one scene that I didn't find entertaining. The camp is just oh so perfect.

Besides these specific areas in which the film excelled, there are plenty of more general compliments to give it. For one, I really enjoyed the pacing throughout. Many of the more obscure slasher flicks I've seen rely so hard on just one gimmick, it can get really dull really fast, but this one stays fresh with plenty of things that mix up the circumstances throughout. The pacing is also helped by the fact that the killer actually has a goal. He's specifically after just one person, and each other person is just a step towards his endgame, creating anticipation and tension. He's not picking off kids one by one for no reason. Rising action is good for plots. Other horror writers of the time should have taken note.

That's ultimately one of the big ideas I'm left with after watching this film. Why didn't this film have more of an impact than it did? Why is it so obscure? Why is it not a major cult classic? The only answer I can think of is that too many people had the same expectations as I did before seeing this film. Everything about the way it looks on the outside makes it seem like it's just another gimmicky cash-in slasher of the time; nothing special. Maybe if it wasn't advertised so strongly on the New Years gimmick it would have a larger cult following. Whatever the case, you absolutely have to trust the old cliché in this case and do not judge this film just by the cover. It's a hidden gem.
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10/10
One of the funnest movies ever
MrMantis2 January 2019
This is definetely a movie I had a lot of fun with especially watching this on new year's eve
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6/10
Passable slasher with a time capsule quality
udar556 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Diane Sullivan (Roz Kelly) is hosting a happening New Wave New Year's TV countdown under her hip sobriquet of Blaze. All is going well as she prepares to countdown across four different timezones with New Year's crawling toward L.A. Of course, some dude calls in named Evil and has to be a total bummer by saying he is going to kill someone close to Blaze every time it strikes midnight. Like, gag me with a spoon! The only interesting thing about this might be the fact that it was the first slasher film produced by Golan & Globus. I'm not quite sure what they were thinking casting Kelly in the lead, when the film clearly would have benefited from a younger, hipper actress. The film also bizarrely tries to mislead the viewer into thinking Blaze's teenage son is the killer, which is crazy because it clearly shows the killer (Kip Niven from MAGNUM FORCE) doing his thing. It was only up from here for director Emmett Alston as he did the Sho Kosugi vehicle 9 DEATHS OF THE NINJA and the great genre-blender DEMONWARP over the next few years.
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6/10
Cheesy New Year's slasher.
HumanoidOfFlesh4 January 2010
New Year's Eve is coming.Diane Sullivan is holding a late night countdown celebration of crappy punk music and partying called Hollywood Hotline.During the concert Blaze receives a phone call from an odd sounding stranger claiming his name is Evil,who announces on live television that when the clock strikes twelve in each time zone,a 'naughty girl' will be murdered,then the killer signs off with a threat claiming that Diane will be the last one to die.Sleazy low-budget slasher flick which is perfect to watch during New Year's Eve.Punk rockers are dancing like zombies,the killer stabs to death horny nurse,the cops are bitching,the biker gang with knives is making trouble,etc."New Year's Evil" is relatively bloodless and it never tries to hide the killer's face.Kip Niven is pretty convincing as a misogynistic serial killer.6 out of 10.
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6/10
What did I see? A wacky night comedy with a slasher as the main character
getconedproductions092 January 2019
New Year's Evil: Directed by Emmett Alston and written by Leonard Neubauer and Emmett Alston

Welcome to 2019. Twenty years from 1999. Fight Club is now a 20 year old movie along with American Beauty. What better way to ring in the new year than an 80s slasher movie themed after the holiday! I'm thinking a masked killer stalking a new year's eve party and offing them one by one. Nope. It's not that movie at all. It tries something else entirely. It shows you the killer right from the get go. The killer is the main character. It felt like a comedy where this killer was going through a wacky night trying to achieve his goal and having obstacles thrown in his way the entire time. It's Adventures in Babysitting or the Hangover but with a serial killer at the center. It's insane.

What's even more insane than that is the fact that this movie was made and released the same year as Friday the 13th. There wasn't a whole bunch of slasher films at this time. I think the formula might not have been established at this time. This could be the reason it deviates and tries this bat crazy insane movie idea. They sure weren't trying to make it scary. There was no suspense. There were no surprises. It doesn't even try to go in that direction. I'm not even sure it knows how much of a comedy it actually is.

It could go for the gore factor but it doesn't. The aftermaths of the kills are theatrical and shocking in a silly sense. I'm not sure it's trying for those clever kills either. It also has no clue what punk rock is. It dresses extras up how you imagine punk rockers should look like. It then plays the goofiest 80s music it can find to have them having a seizure on the dance floor. It's like a cartoon slasher. He plays around with an elevator using a screwdriver. It's all over the place.

This is a fascinating film in its own right. It fails miserably as a horror movie. It fails as a comedy which I'm not sure its intent was. I have no idea what they were thinking but damn it's so bizarre. I have to recommend it on that alone. I give it a C.
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6/10
A Wasted Premise
jamesmorgan-0411413 August 2019
As far as holiday horror goes, a few holidays have gotten the shaft, such as New Years. With that holidays love of parties and new beginnings, it seemed inevitable that, somewhere, an exploitation maven would craft a horror film about a bunch of party-loving teenagers or college kids who are terrorized by a crazed madman wanting to make a clean slate for the next year. Besides maybe Terror Train, there aren't a whole lot of horror films that take place on this holiday.

Here comes New Year's Evil to help us out. It's not the usual teen or young adult oriented slasher film and, instead, focuses on mostly adults and the seedier side of adulthood. It feels much more Maniac than Friday the 13th with it's big city locations, slice of life plotting, and mostly adult cast.

A radio DJ keeps getting mysterious phone calls from some psycho with a voice box who says he's going to kill someone in every time zone where it turns midnight. He's a lofty fellow.

New Year's Evil deserves some credit for remaining fairly entertaining in spite of it's wacky plotting, uninteresting characters, and surprising lack of gore. It's not one of the 80's slashers that you'll remember much about after seeing it, but at least it's not one you'll never be able to forget because how much much of your time it wasted.
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6/10
New Year's Evil
ryan-1007521 January 2019
Punks lead us to the biggest New Year's bash going on to bring in 1981. Roz Kelly plays Diane Sullivan or Blaze who is going to be the host for the New Year's Eve party in Los Angeles. Three other time zones are linked in to the party from New York City, Chicago and Aspen, Colorado. A dark and mysterious stranger (Kip Niven) calls the show and tells Blaze that he will kill at the stroke of midnight, then leading to the cops trying to catch the madman before he kills in each time zone.

I enjoyed the movie even though there was no question as to who the killer is, but there are a couple twists later in the movie, that yeah I could see coming, but I still enjoyed it. I thought Niven did very well as the homicidal maniac and makes me perhaps want to watch it again sometime. The acting in general was I thought above what you see in average slashers. In addition I thought the music was very good by bands like Shadow and Made in Japan. Catchy title song with same name as movie as well.

Must say the ending was sort of setting up for a sequel and it never came. Not sure if the writers set it up for a sequel and the movie did not perform well enough at the box office to have a sequel made. Anyways, you may find it passable entertainment if you give it a chance.
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2/10
New Year's Drivel
Skutter-24 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
New Year's Evil is a dull and thoroughly unentertaining slasher. The premise doesn't sound too bad, even if a little contrived but it is on the whole a joyless and drab affair- it goes through the required mechanics of the plot with no sign of life or spark from any of the cast or in the writing or direction. There are about two quasi-effective scenes and one actor who shows a spark of life and that's it. Everything else is dull and or annoying.

The closest thing there is to a main character is Blaze (Roz Kelly) the host of Hollywood Countdown, who is the recipient of the phoned in threats from Evil, as the killer dubs himself. She isn't on screen all that much and comes across as far too boring and uncharismatic to be the host of a supposedly hip and popular music show (Though I actually think the same of many real life TV 'Personalities' so what do I know?) She is equally boring off-screen and Roz Kelly has all the acting chops of a potato. Also, without wanting to sound shallow or cruel, she seems far too old and unattractive to be hosting this kind of show- I guess maybe she is meant to be a long established TV personality but this doesn't wash either. Given the way she dresses and acts she seem more like she would be more at home hosting games of bingo than a music show that seems to aimed at the punk rocker set. The movie early on establishes the studio audience at this show being hard core punk types, all sneering, leather clad and knife wielding but the music they are so into, it sure ain't punk. More like bad eighties soft rock- the movie would have worked better following the premise of some angry and violent punk gangs hunting down and killing the purveyors of musical dreck after a misadvertised concert. The bad news is the movie is heavily padded out with scenes of the band playing and the audience dancing around like idiots in some sort of mosh pit. That they are so deliriously enthused about music this generic makes it seem all the more ludicrous.

The other slightly less painful half of the movie, follows the exploits of the killer as he selects and kills his victims. The killer, as played by Kip Niven, who is eventually revealed to be the husband of Blaze, actually gives a good performance. He is low key and creepy and his homicidally misogynistic tendencies are all the more believable for it. As is often the case with these movies he only gets hammy toward the end when he has to start ranting for his final victim to show how insane he is. Even so, watching him pick up his victims and kill them is rather dull. There is no discernible logic to the killings when he rantingly explains his reasons for the killings toward the end- something generic about being emasculated by the wife. He doesn't even follow the new year's eve time zone pattern he set for himself. He kills some woman working at the studio before it would midnight in any time zone and fails to kill anyone at another time. He is a pretty inconsistent killer, he goes to the bother of setting himself a gimmicky and elaborate modus operandi and doesn't stick to it and alternates between victims he has some connection to and random strangers. There is also a long and pointless sequence that is pure running time padding when he accidentally runs down a biker whilst in his car and spend ten minutes eluding them whilst trying to find another victim. If the makers were going for the ineffectual killer angle, as opposed to the more familiar unstoppable killing machine model, good for them but they could picked a less silly way to go about it.

There isn't a lot going for New Year's Evil. When Evil catches Blaze the method of dispatching her is at least original. He ties by the neck with wire to the bottom of the lift in the studio so that as the lift goes up and down the shaft she is jerked up and down but sadly she is rescued promptly and lives. Evil doesn't even warrant a decent death scene, merely throwing himself of the studio building when he is confronted by the police. None of the kills are memorable or inventive so gorehounds will be disappointed and there is only one even half way suspenseful sequence as Evil chases down one of his victims about two thirds in and that is being generous. There aren't even any memorable cheesy moments or dialogue, unless you count the lines utter by Evil over the phone via his electronic voice disguising gadget which makes him sound like the offspring of a union between Kermit the frog and Dr. Claw.

Everything about the movie is cheap, scuzzy and ugly. The music as mentioned is annoying, everything has that grimy early '80s look, which can sometimes be used to good effect but just makes this movie look ugly, all the fashion and clothes are ugly and dated (And not in a fun way) and even all the actors are homely. Maybe this was all done intentionally to give the movie a grittier, more realistic vibe but that seems pointless given how dumb and unrealistic most of the proceeding on screen actually are and if you're going to cast annoying ditzy females to be the slasher fodder in this kind of movies you might as well make them attractive.

Being made by Cannon films, under the eye of the infamous Golan and Globus, who brought us such gems as the Masters of the Universe movie, the Death Wish sequels and numerous Chuck Norris movies I would have hoped for something entertainingly cheesy but New Year's Evil is just bad.
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3/10
End your year with a better slasher
BandSAboutMovies31 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
By 1980, every holiday was taken. All writer and director Emmett Alston had left was New Year's Evil. It would have to do.

TV's most beloved punk, Diane "Blaze" Sullivan ("Pinky" Tuscadero from TV's Happy Days) is getting ready to count the night down from a Hollywood hotel. Things are great until Evil himself call, saying that in each timezone, he'll be killing a naughty girl, with Diane being the last to die.

In an insane asylum nearby, a nurse is the first victim, with the killer audiotaping each kill and replaying them. Who is he? A crazy fan? A religious nut? Her son? Her husband?

Whomever it is - I won't tell - he dies by jumping off the roof of the hotel. But as Diane is loaded into the ambulance, her son (Grant Cramer, Killer Klowns from Outer Space) is at the wheel, wearing the mask of the killer.

The big selling point of this movie for me? Fake 1980's punks. There is nothing like the Hollywood mainstream ideal of what punk rockers are like, because it is always far from the truth and always awesome.

This is fine, I guess. I wanted it to be something more, but maybe I demand too much from 1980's slashers. There are good ones out there. This isn't one of them.
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6/10
"Hey! You Wanna Smoke A Number?!"...
azathothpwiggins4 November 2018
Radio DJ / distracted mom, Diane Sullivan (Roz Kelly) has no time for her fully-grown, pout-y son. It's New Year's Eve and she's got a vital job to do. Yep, Diane's got to count down the latest "new wave" bands. Unbeknownst to her, a madman (Kip Niven) has just begun a killing spree. Said maniac calls Diane, live on TV to announce his diabolical plan. Thus, begins NEW YEAR'S EVIL, a different sort of holiday-themed slasher film. How different? THIS DIFFERENT: #1- Instead of 22 year old "teenagers", most of the characters are 30-40! #2- The killer's face is shown almost immediately, though he does use various disguises! #3- Rather than the usual hunt-'n'-slash method, the murderer has a rather novel, drawn-out approach to homicide! While certainly not the best of this type of film, NYE is a lot of fun to watch! Made entirely of Limburger, almost every scene is performed as though the "actors" have just read their lines for the first time! Of special interest, are the hilarious, shambling, "punk" crowd at Diane's New Year's event, and the -look-at-us-we're-craaazy!- patients at the mental hospital! Then, there are the bikers, the bumbling cops, and the rest of the languid masses! Just wait until you hear "expert" Dr. Reed (John Alderman channeling William T. Shatner) pontificate about the killer's motivations! Whew! Yesiree folks, this is heaven on earth!... P.S.- Nothing can prepare you for the big twist finale!...
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6/10
Dated, flawed slasher effort
While hosting a New Year's Eve show on TV, a hostess tries to stave off a psycho caller's increasingly twisted calls informing her friends are being murdered at midnight in all four time zones until she's the final victim of his slaughter.

Overall this one doesn't have all that much going for it. One of the many problems here is the fact that this one comes off as a bland, boring thriller which just takes so much out of the film. The fact that the premise doesn't really hold up that much is the main element against this one which is the biggest problem against this. By using a series of utterly obnoxious story lines is where that tends to fall as the different story lines really don't make any sense. There's really nothing about the killers' motive that makes any sense as to why that would initiate a slashing rampage of this caliber as the psychotic reasoning is just inane, seems to make even less sense the longer it's presented and tends to hold off plenty of uneventful moments. The fact that the premise isn't really all that spectacular enough is the prime motivator here which requires a lot of excess scenes along the way to hold itself up, some of which is found by it being dragged out indefinitely with a series of endless and utterly innocuous songs that really aren't that great as well as the fact that there's just not a lot of suspense to be wrung out of the film makes this one feel all the more boring. There's hardly any real interesting stalking here as these not only show off the killer's identity from the very start which leaves no mystery about that part of the storyline, the set-ups for the most part aren't that thrilling and the method of being killed with a small knife doesn't inspire loads of fear or provide this with tons of gore. As these are the main scenes here for the majority of the movie, that only hampers this one by keeping its main storyline from being all that interesting and enjoyable. These here do damage the film enough that the few bright spots aren't all that impressive either, starting with the big series of action and stalking in the movie-theater parking lot with the bikers being quite fun for the extended action chasing on display. There's some tense moments woven in as well, while the procedural efforts to contain him result in some rather entertaining efforts. The other area for this one was the stalking and tormenting featured in the finale which managed to get some great times here with the utterly cruel and equally ingenious tactic of wrapping a steel chain around the neck and tying it off to a moving elevator along with the fine stalking of the police against the killer to be found here is about all that works here. Otherwise, there's not a whole lot to get worked up over.

Rated R: Language, Violence and Brief Nudity.
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4/10
Did I get punk'd? Call this movie evil, more like call it dumb
ironhorse_iv1 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Call me evil, but this movie after a long anticipated wait trying to see it and I must say that this film came off as horrible instead of horror. New Year's Evil is another in a long line of slasher movies based around major holidays. New Year's Eve is on its way and a famous punk rock star will host television's late night countdown full of music and partying. Blaze AKA Diane Sullivan (Roz Kelly) host the party, and a number of local bands plays throughout the film at it. Most of them are pretty awful. The only one worth noting will probably be Shadow due to it's heavy soundtrack. The hard rock/punk soundtrack based around the theme song to the movie, get old after a while. All is going well until Diane receives a phone call from an odd sounding stranger claiming his name is Evil, who announces on live television that when the clock strikes twelve in each time zone, a 'Naughty Girl' will be punished (murdered),then the killer signs off with a threat claiming that Diane will be the last Naughty Girl to be punished. How on earth does a killer travel through every time zone in time while killing and avoiding police. It's near impossible. The killer known as Evil sounds like the dark side of Fozzie Bear.You would think that a voice changer would actually change the person's voice instead of forcing him to talk like Frank Oz. The acting is horrible no matter what. The studio crew takes safety measures and heightens security, but a number of victims are piling up. The film has some of the most unintentionally funny Slasher-movie kills, I've seen in a while. The killer has to be the luckiest killer to ever get the chance to kill people. The actor who's playing the killer, Kip Niven, thinks he's doing this big theatrical part, but he's too nerdy to pull it off. His body is tiny, and teeny and yet he can kill women larger than he is. He happens to be in the area where his target victims are and it gets worse: according to the movie, he didn't plan this. Yeah, he was planning to kill some people, but the manner in which he killed victims was completely thought-up on the spot. Something tells me the killer in this movie was part of an Improv Troupe at some point in his life. Every single killing seems likes it edited.There is a lot of logistics problems in the kills in this film. I smell lack of good writing here. The killer records his victims as he murders them and calls back the station each time playing the tapes back to prove he's serious. There are many suspects ranging from crazed fans to someone much closer to Diane, but the only feature the killer has is a mask. The Richard Nixon/Ed Sullivan mask is probably the scariest part of the whole movie. With a sort of 'Maniac' approach to the story, we know who the killer is all throughout the movie and follow his progress as he moves from victim to victim. The ending has a twist that I saw coming from a mile away, so I don't know what all this fuss is about eluding to some 'great twist ending.' The jump scare is just bad, it's literally cheap and laughable enough. The killer pointlessly posed the bodies (in ways that have nothing to do with New Year's Day or New Year's Eve, the whole theme of the movie). The results are as inept and artless as can be expected. Disappointingly, they are not inept in an entertaining manner. New Year's Evil ends up being one of the most lifeless, dull films that the Cannon Group ever produce. Watch it at your own risk. The fact that you're immune to higher-quality mediocre movies just means that you have a higher tolerance for bad movies now. Thank god a sequel wasn't made
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8/10
New years evil
peterlisa-218 December 2007
I remember watching this highly enjoyable feature around 1987.I wish I could obtain this film on DVD as all search attempts have failed. The film is very typical of it's time being a slasher pic from the early eighties ,however there is one notable scene which stands out and that is the murder of Sally played by Louisa Moritz. It really has to be seen to be believed but Moritz puts her heart and soul into being murdered and it is quite possibly one of the loudest and longest death scenes ever put on film. Kip Niven plays the evil EVIL to perfection and there are good back up performances from Roz Kelly and the adorable Louisa Moritz. This is a great night in with the lads type of movie and i recommend it for this coming new years eve......enjoy
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