CANNON MONTH: New Year’s Evil (1980)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We originally watched this movie way back on December 31, 2018, which is a pretty appropriate date to cover this early Cannon film. PS — what came first, the poster for Midnight or the German poster for this movie?

By 1980, every holiday was taken. All writer and director Emmett Alston had left was New Year’s Evil. It would have to do.

TV’s most beloved punk, Diane “Blaze” Sullivan (“Pinky” Tuscadero from TV’s Happy Days) is getting ready to count the night down from a Hollywood hotel. Things are great until Evil himself call, saying that in each timezone, he’ll be killing a naughty girl, with Diane being the last to die.

In an insane asylum nearby, a nurse is the first victim, with the killer audiotaping each kill and replaying them. Who is he? A crazy fan? A religious nut? Her son? Her husband?

Whomever it is — I won’t tell — he dies by jumping off the roof of the hotel. But as Diane is loaded into the ambulance, her son (Grant Cramer, Killer Klowns from Outer Space) is at the wheel, wearing the mask of the killer.

The big selling point of this movie for me? Fake 1980’s punks. There is nothing like the Hollywood mainstream ideal of what punk rockers are like, because it is always far from the truth and always awesome.

This is fine, I guess. I wanted it to be something more, but maybe I demand too much from 1980’s slashers.

You can get this on blu ray from Kino Lorber, who have released it a new 2K version of this movie on blu ray with lots of extras, including audio commentary by director Emmett Alston, moderated by Code Red’s Bill Olsen, The Making of New Year’s Evil, a trailer and new art by Vince Evans.

You can listen to The Cannon Canon review and watchalong here.

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