Sometimes I stumble on a gem and can’t believe that I haven’t seen it before. New Year’s Evil (1980) is one of those movies. The movie starts with brief character introductions and the pace continues to move quickly throughout, unlike many horror movies currently being made where they take a long pause throughout most of the movie before anything happens.

When the killer calls into the television station from a payphone, I’m overwhelmed with nostalgia. He uses a strange device to distort his voice, too. The suspense is intense as we try to figure out who this crazy is calling into the New Year’s Eve Party, telling Blaze that a “Naughty Girl” will be punished in each time zone at the strike of midnight. To confirm he’s not messing around, he records the sounds of the punishments and calls Blaze and plays it for her.

I’m impressed with the solidness of this movie. One other thing that’s great about this movie is the music performed at the party by Shadow and Made In Japan, both are great Punk/New Wave bands that got little attention, even after this movie. And now comes the caveat; I wish the killer would’ve had a consistent disguise, he was always creepy, but the Laurel Hardy mask was the creepiest.

I give New Year’s Evil 4 out of 5 Stars.

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