New Year's Evil (1980) *
D: Emmett Alston
C: Roz Kelly, Kip Niven, Chris Wallace, Grant Cramer, Louisa Moritz, Jed Mills
P: A serial killer murders a new victim each hour as the clock strikes Midnight in various time zones on New Year's Eve with a TV host intended as his final victim.
REVIEW: In my opinion, a modern day anti-hero needs a certain level of charisma or something about them, that makes them stand out and causes audiences to take note. Some great modern day anti-heroes include Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th series or Pinhead in Hellraiser.
The anti-hero of New Year's Evil is a gravely voiced serial killer whose modus operandi, in part, is that he kills based on when the clock strikes Midnight, in various time zones. His greater purpose is revealed in a twist ending. There's nothing about the way, that this villain talks, that makes him come across as charismatic. In fact, his voice is quite off putting. He doesn't have any kind of swagger. He doesn't have any kind of charm. And there's nothing particularly innovative about the carnage, that the killer engages in. In fact, the carnage, is quite grisly and tough to stomach (at times).
A large part of the film is told from the killer's point of view. He kills, but we don't know why and that is the central mystery behind New Year's Evil. The possibilities were endless. There were so many different things they could have done with this material. The writers could have let their imagination run wild with this one, but at the end of the day, when the killer's ultimate motive is revealed, as it turns out, he's just another ordinary serial killer. New Year's Evil may not have been the worst slasher film to come out of the 80's slasher boom, but it certainly is one of the most disappointing films of that era, especially when you consider that they wasted such a great opportunity on a film that doesn't amount to much. [R] 90 mins.
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