Bluray Review: NEW YEAR’S EVIL

SCREAM-FACTORY-LOGONow this is definitely a slasher great that warrants a proper Bluray release, and by George (who is George in the “by George” saying?), fans of this 1980 slasher fun-fest gets just that, with Scream Factory’s brand new Bluray release of the Emmett Alston-directed, Roz “Pinky Tuscadero” Kelly led slasher great, NEW YEAR’S EVIL (Available today 2/24).

While a lot of slasher films from the era relied on a mystery-figure dispatching victims left and right, NEW YEAR’S EVIL did  the bold move of showing the film’s killer pretty soon, into the movie, with Kip Niven (MAGNUM FORCE) ‘s demented murdered using a voice-altering box to terrorize Diane Sullivan (Kelly), a popular host of a punk and new wave dance show and using disguises to get closer to her. It’s a fun film, filled with some over the top performances, mixed with ones that scream “this dude is crazy” (and I’m not even talking about the killer). When Sullivan’s young son, Derek (a great Grant Cramer, KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE, in a whacked out performance) informs his hip mom about his recently scored role in an up and coming show, she barely shows any attention to him, leading to the character having more and more mommy issues as the film goes on. If the killer was revealed so early on as Niven’s character, then Derek would be a definite suspect as the killer (though the film is filled with its shares of twists and turns).

The HD transfer looks great, with it not looking overly HD to the point of it looking like it was made today like a lot of updated titles get from various studios, NEW YEAR’S EVIL looks like it was made in 1980, as it was, but in great enough definition that it makes the release well worth picking up. It’s an underrated gem of a slasher, full of inventive and fun kills, yet was unfortunately placed alongside many of the post-HALLOWEEN knockoffs that were instantly discounted upon release. Kelly is an absolute blast as Diane Sullivan and the accompanying music that serves as a backdrop for the punk rock/new wave club adds a carefree spirit to the film.

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·         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.- As always, the gang at SF go all out with their making of docs. What’s rare about this one, is that you can tell that every single appearing in the doc is very happy to have appeared in the film, and have nothing but positive stories to tell about the making of the film. Kip Niven, especially, who tells stories of various other roles he played prior and also goes into detail on how he developed the killer’s voice. A great standout on the, disc, this is a doc that will make you enjoy the film even more after watching it, as it’s awesome to hear people speaking so positively about a project so many years later.

·         Theatrical Trailer

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