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New Years Evil

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    Ian Jane
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  • New Years Evil



    Released by: MGM Limited Edition Collection

    Released on: June 28, 2012.

    Director: Emmett Alston

    Cast: Louisa Moritz, Jed Mills, Taafe O'Connell, Roz Kelly, Kip Niven

    Year: 1980

    Purchase From Amazon


    The Movie:


    Directed by Emmett Alston (who made a few ninja movies in the eighties) in 1980, New Years Evil is one of the countless slashers that followed in the wake of Black Christmas and Halloween set around a holiday or special occasion. It's entertaining enough and an interesting product of its time, but is it any good? No, not really. It's fun though if you're in the right mood.


    The story follows a popular L.A. disc jockey named Diane 'Blaze' Sullivan (Roz Kelly) who is hosting a KROQ bash to celebrate New Year's Eve - the theme? They're going to ring in the new year four times this night, once in New York, once in Chicago, once in Colorado and then last but not least, in real time once it hits midnight in Los Angeles. The hottest punk/new wave bands are playing live and the whole thing is being broadcast on TV. It all starts to get weird though when Diane takes a call from a listener (Kip Niven) who tells her how evil he is and that he's going to kill a woman each time the arrival of the new year is celebrated.


    She figures it's a hoax or just some random nutjob messing with her but once Times Square lights up at twelve, this caller plays back a recording he made while murdering a nurse he hoodwinked into fooling around with him at an insane asylum he broke into. From there, he continues his killing spree, taking out a poor teenage girl and then coercing a girl to be alone with him by putting on a fake moustache and inviting her to a party at Erik Estrada's house (huh?). As he closes in on Blaze, the cops are looking for him but all they know is his voice…


    While this movie isn't in the least bit scary it is packed to the gills with early eighties goofiness. Loads of scenes of dancing 'punkers' pads the movie out to feature length while Kip Niven's bizarre performance as the 'eeev-villl' serial killer on the loose is more comical than it is frightening. Most of this has more to do with the script than with his performance but he's definitely deserving of some of the blame. The movie is fun though - there are a couple of moderately interesting kills, even if the film doesn't really show us anything new here, and the unintentional comedy that's offered up by all of the bad eighties everything is amusing, particularly to those who have been around long enough to remember just how horrible much of that decade was as far as fashion was concerned.


    Video/Audio/Extras:


    New Year's Evil looks pretty good on DVD by way of MGM's 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Grain is moderate throughout but it adds to the atmosphere of the film and isn't ever a problem. Only minor print damage shows up here and there in the form of the occasional speck, there's nothing serious to note in that regard. Skin tones look nice and natural, black levels are strong and there are no compression artifacts or edge enhancement problems to complain about. The neon lights and tacky dayglo colors are well replicated here as well.


    The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track sounds just fine, offering up clear dialogue without any noticeable background hiss or noise. The levels are well balanced, the score sounds good and if it's a bit limited in range, that stems back to the source. No problems here.


    Sadly, aside from the standard static menu and chapter stops that we get on these releases, the only extra is the film's trailer - but it's a good one and honestly, at this point in the whole MOD game, it's doubtful anyone expected anything more than that.


    The Final Word:


    About as goofy as a slasher film can get, New Years Evil isn't scary or particularly intense but it's entertaining enough in its own stupid way that fans of the era's stalk and kill films will get a kick out of it.






















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