New Year’s Evil (1980) Review: Ringing in the New Year with a bland slasher from the Cannon Film Group.

New Year’s Evil. Released in 1980. Directed by Emmet Alston. Starring Roz Kelly and Kip Niven.

I see that my writing partner decided to review Pixar’s Soul, a movie that sounds quite delightful and probably features complex emotions and stunning visual moments; I went in the opposite direction. My final film review is for New Year’s Evil, a trashy low budget slasher from the Cannon Group, known for iconic classics such as Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

New Year’s Evil features a misogynistic killer who targets women on New Year’s Eve. He calls into a New Year’s Eve party, entitled New Year’s Evil, and tells the sexy lady host that he is Evil (how he actually refers to himself) and at every stroke of midnight from around the USA, he will kill a different woman. The New Year’s Eve party features zombie-like dancing from the drugged-out punks in the audience and multiple repetitions of the same song that we hear during the opening credits.

You get what you expect from New Year’s Evil, a cheesy slasher that was more than likely trying to cash in on the slasher craze created by John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978). The kills in the movie are not very memorable. The moments that stuck out to me were the awkward exchanges between characters and the incredibly stilted and bland acting. None of the characters seem emotionally invested in the situation at hand. The cops and the people that are harassed seem more bored and inconvenienced than terrified by the crazy slasher going around murdering women. One amazing exchange occurs between one of the killer’s soon to be victims and a normal clerk at a liquor store. As they are exchanging goods and money he wishes her a dramatic Happy New Year; the woman nods her head, almost in lamentation rather than joy for what is to come, and I related to that so deeply and on so many levels. This sequence ends with the woman discovering Evil in the dumpster, which gives us the best shot of the movie with his face being illuminated by his lighter.

New Year’s Evil is nothing special, but the cheesiness and bizarre exchanges between characters made for a slightly memorable experience. Honestly, New Year’s Evil makes a perfect final viewing of 2020; after it starts you kind of want it to end so you can move on to the next thing. Happy New Year!

Rating 2/5

Author: vranpentar

I am a creative writer who enjoys writing short fiction, poetry, short scripts, critical essays, and film reviews. I have been described as a “film slut” because I spend the majority of my life trying to watch every movie made.

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