Happy New Year’s Evil! Forget January 1st, February 24th is apparently the horror-thriller new year with the Scream Factory release of New Year’s Evil. This film was considered something of a throwback or homage even when it was new (in 1980) and not terribly well regarded. Time, however, has improved ‘EVILs’ standing as a campy little time capsule and it’s amusement value. Let’s take a look:
New Year’s Evil (Click the title to order)
It’s new year’s eve and punk rocker Diane Sullivan is having a big countdown party in a club. She’s taking requests when a man calls in and tells her that he’s going to murder someone when it strikes midnight in each time zone all across the country. They take it for a prank until midnight strikes EST and a nurse is killed across town. Then they are in a race against time to unmask the killer
This was an early production of Globus/ Golan and their now famous/infamous Cannon Group. It is low-brow production that more or less steals a lot of scenes from earlier 70’s gory thrillers. Even so it’s pretty entertaining. Big hair, bright costumes, and too much makeup give the film a retro style and pull attention from the hit and miss dialogue. Clichés of the era give the movie a fascinating dated-plot interest when watched today.
Scream Factory secured a hi-def transfer that I am sure is far better than this film has ever looked before; including, most probably, its initial release. You will not be disappointed with their continued commitment to preserving these films. There is also a director’s commentary and an extensive ‘Making of’ featurette. The reverse cover features alternate art for the film.
- Audio Commentary with director Emmett Alston
- The Making of New Year’s Evil featuring new interviews with actors Kip Niven, Grant Cramer and Taaffe O’Connell and director of photography Thomas Ackerman
- Theatrical Trailer
1080p Hi-Def widescreen 1.78:1
DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
English-only Audio & Subtitles
Original Release: 1980
Runtime: 90 minutes
Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.