And you thought Y2K
was something to worry about...
New Year's Evil
This New Year's, you're invited to a killer party...
is a 1980 Slasher Movie
from The Cannon Group
With the new year approaching, punk icon Diane "Blaze" Sullivan (who has a strained relationship with her son Derek, and husband Richard) is hosting a kickass bash in a Los Angeles hotel, which features live performances, a call in segment which allows people to suggest songs and vote for their favorite one of the year, and countdowns for various US time zones. At first, things go well, until Diane receives a disturbing phone call from a man who calls himself "Evil". Evil tells Diane that he intends to kill each time it strikes midnight in a different time zone, and that he will eventually target someone close to her. While Diane is shaken by the call, everyone else dismisses it as a prank, until Evil makes due on his promise, and kills a nurse, playing a recording of the murder over the phone for Diane, who he intends to make his final victim...
A relatively early entry in the Golden Age of Slashers, New Year's Evil
, despite lacking in traditional gore and nudity, has several things that set it apart; its fairly clever premise, its urban setting, an antagonist with more in common with a regular old serial killer (he's a completely average guy who charms his victims, and has a straightforward MO) than a normal slasher, and it also has a badass soundtrack.
This film provides examples of the following tropes:
- '80s Hair
- Abandoned Playground: Sally and Lisa's bodies are placed in one by Evil.
- And That's Terrible: Evil says "And that's not nice!" at least twice during his Motive Rant.
- Asshole Victim: The biker Evil stabs at the drive-in.
- Auto Erotica: A couple try and get it on in the drive-in, only to be interrupted by Evil, who steals their car (and the girl).
- Black Best Friend: Yvonne.
- Black Dudette Dies First: Yvonne is Evil's first victim.
- Breast Attack: Evil's signature is mutilating his victims' breasts.
- Camping a Crapper: Yvonne's death occurs in her bathroom, in the shower.
- Card-Carrying Villain: "Call me... Evil."
- Car Fu: Evil accidentally rams a biker while distracted by some photos in his car.
- Cat Scare: The police officers looking for Sally and Lisa's bodies are startled by a cat that jumps out of a dumpster they investigate.
- Chase Scene: When an intended victim escapes from his hijacked car, Evil chases her through the woods and to a baseball field.
- Clock King: Evil.
- Cool Shades: They're everywhere.
- Creepy Monotone: Evil speaks in it when he makes his phone calls.
- Criminal Mind Games
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Sally is suffocated with a plastic bag... full of marijuana.
- Curiosity Killed the Cast: Lisa is attacked and killed while looking for the (now dead) Sally.
- Death by Mocking: The biker.
- Death by Sex: Evil kills Nurse Jane after seducing her.
- Downer Ending: Wearing his father's mask, Derek hijacks the ambulance his mother is loaded into, and presumably kills her, just as it strikes midnight in Hawaii.
- Drive-In Theater
- Driven to Suicide: Evil, who steps off the rooftop he is chased to by the police.
- Dumb Blonde: Sally.
- The Eighties: So very, very eighties.
- Evil Elevator: Evil tampers with it, and causes it to go out of control. He later straps Diane to the bottom of it, in order to crush her.
- Evil Phone/Harassing Phone Call
- Evil Versus Evil: Evil accidentally drives into a group of bikers, pissing them off and causing them to chase him. While most of them are trashing his car at a drive-in, he manages to knife one of them.
- Final Girl: Diane.
- Flipping the Bird: Evil gets the finger from a biker.
- Genki Girl: Sally.
- Girlish Pigtails: A would-be victim has them.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Nurse Jane's death; she's just offscreen as the switchblade stabs her.
- High Concept: Especially for an early eighties slasher.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Set on New Year's Eve, as the title implies.
- Hospital Hottie: The Crawford Sanitarium nurses.
- Impersonating an Officer: To get into the hotel and to Diane, Evil steals an officer's uniform.
- Knife Nut: Evil's main weapon is a switchblade.
- Los Angeles
- Mirror Scare: Richard does this to Diane, as a prank.
- Mommy Issues: Psychiatrist Doctor Reed assumes Evil has a mother fixation, since the breasts of all his female victims were mutilated.
- Monster Misogyny: Evil has only one male victim, killed in what could be arguably considered self-defense. Every time he has the chance to kill another man, he either just threatens them (the moviegoer and the two drunks) or non-fatally injures them (Sergeant Greene, and the two other officers).
- Motive Rant: Shortly after Evil is revealed to be Richard, he gives a misoginistic speech, claiming all women are selfish, deceitful scum, and that Diane "castrated" him and Derek, and that he did all this to remove her from their lives... yeah, it's lame, but they at least say he has a history of mental problems and was in an asylum.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Evil and Blaze.
- New Year Has Come
- No Peripheral Vision: Yvonne somehow fails to notice Evil is standing in her bathtub when she turns off the leaky faucet.
- Peek-A-Boo Corpse: Shortly after the cops find Sally's corpse, Lisa's body tumbles down a nearby slide. Additionally, on her way up after being chained to the bottom of the elevator, Diane spots Yvonne's corpse.
- Police Are Useless: Up until about the end, when they destroy the elevator control panel, saving Diane.
- Porn Stache: Evil dons one as apart of his second disguise.
- Precision F-Strike: When Evil tries hijacking a car, he screams "Where are the keys?! Where are the fucking keys?!"
- Pretty in Mink: Sally.
- Reaction Shot
- Recycled Soundtrack: What sounds a lot like "ki-ki-ki... ma-ma-ma" is heard in a few scenes.
- Redheaded Heroine: Diane.
- The Reveal: Evil is Diane's husband, Richard.
- Self-Made Orphan: The ending heavily implies Derek kills his mother.
- Sequel Hook: Derek apparently decides to follow in his father's footsteps.
- The Scourge of God: Evil specifically targets "immoral" (i.e. loose) women.
- The Shrink: Doctor Reed.
- Sinister Minister: Evil's third disguise.
- Sinister Scraping Sound: While looking for a victim who got away, Evil taps and swipes his switchblade across some bleachers.
- Slashed Throat: Seems to be how Yvonne and the ambulance driver die.
- Sound-Only Death: Yvonne and Lisa's deaths.
- The Stinger: An ad for Be My Valentine, Or Else..., aka Hospital Massacre.
- Straw Misogynist: Evil.
- Stripperific: Diane's stage wear, which includes:
- Take Me Out at the Ball Game: Subverted, the cops scare Evil off before he can kill the girl he chased to a field.
- Tap on the Head: Outside the hotel, Evil lures and knocks out an officer with a brick. Later, he knocks Sergeant Greene out with a kick to the head.
- Title Drop: "Now, this is your last chance to be bad before you make those New Year's resolutions! That's why we call our celebration New Year's Evil!"
- Too Much Information: Sally mentions her roommate Lisa got over her nervous diarrhea via meditation.
- Totally Radical: Throughout the film.
- Voice Changeling: Evil uses a device to change his voice while on the phone.
- Weapon of Choice: A switchblade.
- When You Coming Home, Mom?: Derek is heavily ignored by Diane.
- When the Clock Strikes Twelve
- White Mask of Doom: Richard wears one during a prank on Diane, and when he commits suicide. Derek later takes it off his body, and puts it on.