Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Evil - Auld Lang Sayonara!

New Year's Evil
Directed by Emmett Alston
Written by  Leonard Neubauer & Emmett Alston
Starring  Roz Kelly, Kip Niven & Grant Cramer

The Cannon Group
Rated R - Approx. 90 Min.

 - A celebration of the macabre.

 - This New Year's, you're invited to a killer party...
 - Don't dare make New Year's resolutions..unless you plan to live!

Alternative Titles:
Reveillon Maldito  (New Year's Eve Cursed)  Brazil
Teuflisches Neujahr (Develish New Year's)  Switzerland
Fin de año maldito (End of Fucking Year)  Spain
Dodici rintocchi di terrore (Twelve Strokes of Terror)  Italy

Rocknacht des Grauens (Rock Night of Horror)  West Germany

"I can hear your heartbeat.........I don't like that"

It may be cliched and a bit trite, but how could I NOT start the New Year with a review of this little gem?  New Year's Evil is another one of those films that I would always see at the video store but somehow never get around the renting.  Something else would always catch my eye instead.  But now, thanks to the miracle of Netflix, I've had a chance to watch this fun little slasher flick.

What we've got here is some New Wave Punk Clown Car Action!

Diane (aka Blaze) starts the New Year's Evil party off with a neon bang!

First of all it's got one of my favorite 80's camp actors in it:  Grant Cramer.  You know Grant from such classics as Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Hardbodies and Auntie Lee's Meat Pies!  He plays Derek, son of a Diane Sullivan (a celebrity hosting a punk/new wave New Year's Eve party).  As the televised party gets underway, Diane receives a call from a man using a voice processor to change his voice.  He calls himself Evil.  He tells Diane that at the stroke of midnight, Easter Standard Time, he will commit murder.  He will then commit another murder as the new year rings in across the time zones culminating in her death in L.A. where she is hosting the show.

....and the clock struck twelve

She clearly wanted to get.....wait for it.....ahead in show business!

Sure enough at 9pm Pacific time (midnight on the east coast) he calls and informs Diane that he is right on schedule and has committed his first murder.  He then plays an audio recording he made of the murder and tells her exactly where police can find the first victim's body.  The manhunt is on and we watch as the killer dons different disguises as he makes his way through the city killing innocent women edging ever closer to the stroke of midnight.

I had a lot of fun with this one.  There's a great vibe to it and it's got a pretty sweet 80's soundtrack that includes the New Year's Evil theme song!  There's plenty of musical interludes as we watch two bands, Shadow and Made In Japan perform live for a group of new wave punk rockers.  The new wave punks crack me the hell up as they mull around like zombies.  Their idea of dancing is pretty much flailing around like they're having a seizure and bouncing off one another.  It's even better when a band plays a song with a slower tempo!  Pure hilarity watching these kids sway around in a drug fueled stupor.

Ah....the drive-in's!

Evil lurks in the bathroom apparently....

Midnight Cinephile Totals:

Death Toll:  Not a high body count in this film.  We get six deaths total.

Nude-O-Meter:  Two pair.  A quick flash in the beginning and then another set in the final third of the flick.

Things That Go Bump In The Night:  As is often the case, the monster here is quite human.  Charismatic and fun to watch as he changes disguise and personality for each murder.

Best Death:
Best Death goes to a ditsy blonde who gets suffocated by a bag of weed!!!!!  You just can't make that shit up!
They say drugs will kill ya, but this is ridiculous!

Final Thoughts:
As I said before, I had a lot of fun with this one.  The characters for the most part are pretty one dimensional, but honestly are you looking for depth in your cannon fodder?  No, I didn't think so.  The Killer is easily the best part of the film besides the music.  If you're into early 80's New Wave Punk then you would more than likely enjoy the soundtrack which was released on LP and cassette from Cannon Records and Tapes!

Final Rating:
Three Out Of Five Pizza Rolls!

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