Here at 52 Bad Stories, I consider it my job to watch bad movies so you don't have to. And with today being New Year's Eve, I just watched a real stinker. You're welcome.
Filmed in 1980, New Years Evil was part of the wave of cheesy slasher films that followed on the heels of Halloween where the murders were centered around a particular date on the calendar (Cf Silent Night, Deadly Night, April Fools Day, My Bloody Valentine, etc,) This one, of course, centers on New Years Eve. It follows a killer who is calling into New Years Eve punk rock call-in show (oooh, so edgy) and commits murder as New Years falls on each US Time Zone, promising the host that she will be killed at midnight Los Angeles time. He does exactly that, and then there is a big twist ending (which one could have guessed about 15 minutes into the film) where we learn who our killer is and a set up for a sequel that never came. Pretty standard early '80s slasher fare.
It starred absolutely no one you have ever heard of and the only person you might recognize is the host of the show, who was played by the same actress who played Pinky Tuscadero on Happy Days a few years earlier.
It was a terrible movie, full stop. However, it wasn't without some redeeming qualities. The first is that the killer seemed to be very human, it was weirdly realistic in that aspect. He didn't go around in a mask (the trailer shows him in one, but there was a reason for that), he made mistakes, he wasn't bulletproof and he couldn't magically teleport to always be in front of his victims. At one point, he has lured a victim into his car under false pretenses and has a definite look of exasperation on his face as she babbles on incessantly about Transcendental Meditation and other such subjects. He also gets annoyed at his schedule being thrown off. He is definitely not some superhuman murder machine like Jason or Micheal Myers, and frankly, I appreciated that.
And the end doesn't come down to some virginal "final girl" killing him at the end a type of ending that was already well on its way to being a cliche even in 1980. Nope, the person he was threatening actually (GASP!) called the cops, and the police did their job and figured things out, and THEY took care of the problem.
Would I recommend this movie? Not really, I mean not as an "Oooh, this is some classic that any horror fan must see" anyway. But if you want to watch a bit of 80s slasher cheese that is thematically appropriate for a night like tonight, check it out.
Happy New Year from 52 Bad Stories and More.