NEW YEARS EVIL
New Year's Evil was made by Israeli-born, US-based producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. Golan-Globus made a heap of films during the 1980s, including a number of Chuck Norris and Charles Bronson action vehicles, a handful of fantasy films including Masters of the Universe (1987) and the notorious Italian Hercules (1983), and the odd gem like Runaway Train (1985) and Tobe Hoopers Lifeforce (1985). During this time Golan-Globus also made several slasher films including Schizoid (1980) and X-Ray/Hospital Massacre (1982).
Like most of these abovementioned slasher films, New Year's Evil uses a holiday as part of its title. It at least does this with some ingenuity the film is set in L.A. during a live cross-country New Years tv broadcast where the killer promises to kill someone on the hour as each US time zone counts down to midnight. As with most slasher films, New Year's Evil is made with a basic technical competence and is certainly a somewhat better film on the technical side than most slashers but little in the way of style. On the plus side, there is a nail-biting scene at the climax with the heroine chained to the underside of an elevator as it uncontrollably races up and down. The film is padded out with a number of banal performances from rock bands that have been long forgotten indeed, were not even known at the time of the films release.
The script produces some okay surprises particularly the surprise revelation of the killers identity. The killers motivation is also intriguing [SPOILER ALERTS] where it is revealed to be the heroines own husband who believes she has become so absorbed in her own celebrity that she is ignoring their sons achievements and wishes to kill her before she poisons their son. A much more interesting film would have used the idea to carp at the self-absorption of Hollywood celebrity but instead the film ends up sympathising with the heroine and this is largely dismissed. There is an improbable twist ending with the father dead and the son now putting on the mask.
Full film available online here:-