Chalk it up to the flu. When you're really sick, you'll watch anything as long as it passes time. Hence my viewing of this gem from 1980.
So many things about this reeked of shit, but I was so entertained in so many wrong ways. New Year's Evil is about a middle aged woman with way to much blush on who hosts a weekly "rock and roll" show on TV. She is named Blaze and is played by Roz Kelly from Happy Days - yes, Pinky Tuscadero ladies and gentlemen.
It's New Year's Eve and she is hosting a special edition of the show ("Hollywood Hotline") where two "New Wave" bands are playing as they count down to the new year. Every hour she gets a call from a guy calling himself "Evil" (pronounced "Eee-vel") who speaks through a voice modulator which makes him sound like Stephen Hawking. Evil goes around dispatching young ladies with a switch blade (and occasionally a plastic bag) because (as we later find out) he just hates women. It's that simple. It turns out that that Evil is actually Blaze's husband and he attempts to kill her, but winds up killing himself instead when cornered by the cops. But, in a strange twist (ahem), Blaze's son, who's been taking drugs and trying on mom's pantyhose up in his hotel room the whole time, decides to take over dad's business and the last scene is of Blaze being loaded into the ambulance only to find out that the son is behind the wheel with the driver dead on the passenger side floorboard. The end. Or is it??
This is an awful movie, even by 1980's slasher standards. There is no blood or gore, very very little in the way of surprises or scares and the acting and script would insult even the most die-hard slasher fanatic.
Still, there are some fantastic MST3K moments. The two bands performing on "Hollywood Hotline", Shadows and one other whose name I forget, are fucking amazing. Shadows are not a new wave band, but are instead a very bad heavy metal band dressed up to look like The Weirdos circa 1978. At one point they are playing a slow blues song to a crowd of Hollywood, postcard punks who are slowly, gently slamdancing to it. It's mind boggling.
Oddly, for an 80's slasher film, the killer does not hide his face (though at the end he does put on a silly looking rubber mask). This works for me because it's 1980 and everyone on the planet was terrifying to look at period. I am convinced that history books will eventually refer to the period of 1970-1980 as the ugliest period in the history of mankind. Evil, the killer, does change his appearance as he goes around picking up women to kill, but this involves things like a fake mustache and a priest shirt. Otherwise, it's all him and his feathery locks blowin' in the winds of freedom.
Check out the trailer below and tell me you aren't intrigued by this.
- Complaint Department