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Film / New Year's Evil

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And you thought Y2K was something to worry about...

"This New Year's, you're invited to a killer party..."

New Year's Evil is a 1980 Slasher Movie from The Cannon Group, directed by Emmett Alston and starring Roz Kelly (aka Pinky Tuscadero).

On New Year's Eve, punk icon Diane "Blaze" Sullivan (Kelly), who has a strained relationship with her husband Richard (Kip Niven) and son Derek (Grant Cramer), is hosting a nationally-televised 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 good 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.

Tropes featured in New Year's Evil include:

  • '80s Hair: This movie is a neat time capsule of the decade, and a lot of characters sport these do's, including our protagonist Blaze.
  • 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 Dude 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 is associated with clocks throughout the film.
  • The '80s: From its diegetic music numbers to the fashion and the hair, this movie is 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: Throughout the movie, Evil taunts Diane through her phone, even playing a recording of his murder of the nurse.
  • 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; when Evil taunts her on the phone for the first time, he actually states that he's saving her for last.
  • Flipping the Bird: Evil gets the finger from a biker.
  • Freudian Excuse: Psychiatrist Doctor Reed assumes Evil has a mother fixation, since the breasts of all his female victims were mutilated.
  • 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.
    • In fact, any death that could potentially involve too much blood uses this. The only onscreen deaths are Sally's and that one biker dude.
  • 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.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Downplayed, but out of the five women Evil attacks before Diane, the only survivor is the youngest one, a teenaged girl.
  • Mirror Scare: Richard does this to Diane, as a prank.
  • 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 misogynistic 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: The film is set on New Year's Eve and features the clock striking midnight in several locations and time zones.
  • No Peripheral Vision: Yvonne somehow fails to notice Evil is standing in her bathtub when she turns off the leaky faucet.
  • Out with a Bang: Evil kills Nurse Jane after seducing her.
  • 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.
  • Please, I Will Do Anything!: The teenager Evil kidnaps at the drive-in becomes even more frightened when he says he doesn't want her money. She says in a quavering voice that she'll do anything if he doesn't hurt her, even promising not to resist if he wants to rape her. That is exactly the wrong thing to say to a misogynistic Serial Killer.
  • 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 had a rabbit fur jacket for going out in the evening.
  • 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.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Nearly everyone in this movie, but particularly Lisa. Seriously, did it ever occur to you your roommate's shoes might've been a trap?