Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Year's Evil (1981)

Directed by:
Emmett Alston

Obviously made to cash in on both HALLOWEEN (1978) and on the emerging early 80s punk movement, this is one party you'll want to skip out on. California glam gal (and self-absorbed bitch) Diane Sullivan aka Blaze (Roz Kelly) hosts a televised New Year's Eve bash where a bunch of annoying, gothed-out morons bounce around with all the enthusiasm of Forrest Gump on valium to the pathetic sounds of New Wave nobodies Shadow and Made in Japan. The show in question is hounded by a mysterious phone caller who calls himself Evil and announces he's going to kill when midnight hits in each time zone across the United States, and after he's done he's coming after Diane. No, it's not Dick Clark getting revenge for putting a dent in his Nielsen ratings, but the actual revelation of the killer an hour in is one of the few mildly interesting moments in this loud, stupid, grating film. The dialogue, consisting of such deep psychological insight as, "He's mutilated the breasts of most of his women, that's a common characteristic of a psychopathic killer..." is good for a laugh or two, though. The cast includes Kip Niven as Blaze's husband, Grant Cramer (KILLER KLOWNS) as Blaze's son, Chris Wallace as a policeman, Louisa Moritz, Jed Mills, Taaffe O'Connell, Jon Greene, Teri Copley and John Alderman.
Despite the fact director Emmett Alston made both one of the worst martial arts movies (NINE DEATHS OF THE NINJA) and one of the worst slasher movies (this) of the early 80s, he didn't have a totally worthless career. Check out his nutty exploitation-horror flick DEMON WARP (1987), which hits just the right note of lunacy to be really entertaining. Much better than this piece of trash.

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