Thursday, December 31, 2015

Movie Review: New Year's Evil (1980)

New Year's Evil (1980) - USA - Horror Thriller - Rated R
Directed by Emmett Alston
Starring Roz Kelly, Kip Niven, Grant Cramer, Chris Wallace, Louisa Moritz, Teri Copley

An Americanized Giallo in the guise of a slasher flick that despite an interesting premise at best comes off like a made-for-TV movie.

Roz Kelly stars as Diane 'Blaze' Sullivan, a celebrity diva of new wave rock music. It is New Year's Eve and Blaze is the host of a New Year's Eve concert party counting down to the New Year across 4 time zones in the USA. In addition to her career and hosting responsibilities, Blaze has to deal with her estranged son, a missing friend, and a caller to the program calling himself Evil and promising to murder someone at the stroke of midnight for each time zone.

Though New Year's Evil came out at the beginning of the glut of slasher movies in the early 80s, it is not really a slasher movie but more of a thriller or giallo. We see who the killer is throughout the movie, though the identity is unknown, as well the rationale, until a revelation later in the movie.

The weakness in New Year's Evil is a lack of characterization. There is a plot with actors dropped into roles. Generic dialogue is just as much, if not more so, at fault for some poor acting in this as are the actors. Kip Niven gives the best performance in the movie, but then he has the most to work with. Grant Cramer, an otherwise fine actor, is pretty much wasted in this. Roz Kelly has to be sexy and be terrified.

With mostly two dimensional characters, a killer who is the center of the story more than the star of the movie, and a plot that does not deliver anything satisfactory, New Year's Evil comes off more like a made-for-TV movie but can be tedious to watch without any commercial breaks to re-energize your attention span.

My Rating: 2 Fingers

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