B-Movie Corner: Ring in the New Year with a slash

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First Posted: 12/30/2014

While many holidays have been explored in the horror genre in abundance like Halloween and Christmas, there aren’t many that have tackled the New Year’s Eve theme. Thankfully films like “New Year’s Evil” fill that gap with a wonderfully trashy 80s slasher feel.

New Year’s Evil was released theatrically in 1980 and experienced a fairly short release before being relegated to video store shelves. The film’s popularity has stayed grounded firmly as a middle of the road slasher with few claiming to completely love it or hate it, but many do enjoy it for what it is, a paint by the numbers 1980s slasher film.

The plot is very straightforward and begins New Year’s Eve following the famous punk rock lady icon Diane Sullivan, or Blaze as her fans call her, holding a late night countdown celebration of music and partying.

All is going well until Diane receives a phone call from a stranger claiming his name is Evil. Evil proceeds to announce on live television that when the clock strikes midnight in each time zone, a ‘Naughty Girl’ will be punished. The killer then signs off with a threat claiming that Diane will be the last Naughty Girl to be punished.

While trying to play the call off as a prank Diane is visibly shaken and takes the call seriously. The rest of the crew at the station also takes the call seriously and increase safety measures and alerts security to the threat.

However, it turns out the caller wasn’t joking and at the local insane asylum a nurse is found viciously slaughtered at the stroke of midnight EST. The killer records his victims as he murders them and calls back the station each time playing the tapes to prove he’s serious.

There are many suspects as to who the mysterious killer is: a crazed fan, a religious psychotic, or maybe it’s someone much closer to Diane than anyone could have ever expected. This is where the film begins to pick up and falls in line with many other slasher films.

While the film is a bit bloody for the time period, by today’s standards it is fairly tame. New Year’s Evil also serves as an 80s time capsule in many ways with stage sets and clothing, which also makes this film even more enjoyable.

The film plots along with many being bumped off in one form or another. The killer closes in on Diane along the way until their inevitable showdown.

The ending also features a “twist” that many have come to expect from 80s slasher films. While much of this film feels recycled from other better films, it is still great viewing with friends.

Final Verdict: New Year’s Evil is far from a classic and the plot is so thin it may inflict a wound. However, the holiday theme around it is what draws many in as a way to celebrate in an offbeat manner. Fans of the slasher genre will certainly enjoy this movie, while others may simply find it boring, it does have its moments and deserves at least one viewing and with New Year’s Eve upon us, why not watch it now?

Where can I get it?: New Year’s Evil is available on DVD and Blu-ray at many online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, Walmart, and FYE. It is also currently streaming on Amazon and Netflix.