When it comes to holiday themed genre films, some holidays have it easier than others. Christmas is by far the champ while St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and Arbor Day have to scrape by with a few selections. When it comes to New Years, you’ve only got a couple of choices, most popularly 1980’s New Year’s Evil and 1987’s Bloody New Year. I really wanted to see New Year’s Evil, but since it’s out of print and runs between 15 and 30 bucks for a VHS copy, welcome to my review of the British holiday sensation Bloody New Year. Directed by Norman J. Warren, the auteur behind Inseminoid(1981) and Terror (1978) brings us a New Year’s horror set in the middle of the summer. Hey, I said it was a holiday sensation, but I didn’t say what kind.
After a group of young adults runs afoul of a group of carnies at an amusement park, they get on their boat and take to the sea. They get shipwrecked on a nearby island, and find a seemingly abandoned hotel decorated for a New Year’s Eve party. Strange things start happening around them, and the group soon encounters unseen stalkers, demented zombies, and seaweed monsters. Eventually they learn that they are trapped on an island that’s caught in a time warp, forever existing on New Year’s Eve, 1959. They must find a way to leave the island before they become part of the celebration forever.
There are a few things you’ll notice about this review. The first of which is that it’s going to be fairly short. I just don’t have much to say about this one. The second of which is that, unlike most of my synopsis, I didn’t bother to list any of the actors in the description of the film. That’s because there’s really no one interesting or memorable in this film. The only one that comes close is Nikki Brooks, and that’s only because she’s cute as a button. Other than that, no one made enough of an impression to need anything else said about them.
I do have a few general things to say about the film. First off, who pisses off carnies? Living in the Southern United States, I’ve seen my share of scary carnies, but the trio of British fair workers that the protagonists tick off definitely is not a bunch that I would mess with. Not only are they mean looking, but they’re apparently expert trackers. The kids leave them far behind before they go out to sea, and the carnies still manage to find their way to the island. That’s a talent far beyond working a tilt-a-whirl, but I suppose when you look like a pack of greasers and carry chains to beat people with, there was just not a lot of good choices for occupation in late ‘80’s Britain.
Next up, why can’t people get out of nets? One of the ladies in the film gets a net dropped on her, and it’s game over. There’s just no way out of it. Once a character in a film gets a net dropped on them it’s like they’re trapped in the most complex trap known to man. This gal, she even had someone there to help her out of it, and he can’t get her to stay still long enough to get out of it. So the lesson to take away here is that if you find yourself trapped in a net. Take a moment. Take a deep breath, realize that nets are open on the bottom, and you’ll be okay.
That’s really all I have to say about BloodyNew Year. It’s not a film I could recommend unless you were throwing something on for a background film. It might be a little bit of fun to laugh at with some friends or to drift in and out of the bizarre sequences that make up this patchwork of a film. It did however make me come to a resolution for 2010. By the time this New Year ends, I will get a copy of New Year’s Evil.
Happy New Year, everyone! Come on back tomorrow because I have a big announcement to make about January, and I’m going to need your help. So after you nurse the hangover, come hang out in the Lair. I promise there are no nets or carnies involved.