Bloody New Year (1987 - Norman J. Warren)
Review By Rob Vertigo
Now here's a turd in the punch bowl. Norman J. Warren was involved in a few shitty-yet-endearing UK flicks during the late 70’s and early 80’s - but this ain’t one of ‘em. Our adventure starts with a group of lame-stain teens hanging out at a small seaside carnival, only to be harassed by a gang of Sha Na Na rejects. During a carousel ride, these hooligans focus their “reign of terror” upon a vacationing American girl for no apparent reason. It’s really just some stupid high school level teasing, but heavy duty violence erupts nonetheless.
Her friends try to put a stop to this bratty attack - and perhaps a small scuffle would make the most sense - but total annihilation of the fun park ensues with cars crashing through thrill rides, explosions and innocent bystanders getting killed. It all seems a tad much. Anyhow, our heroes quickly hi-tail it away in their 4x4 with a sailboat in tow.
Cut to the nearby water where this crew of misguided youth set sail to nowhere, again without any real apparent reason (this here is an ongoing theme, folks!). What seems like only a couple of feet from the shore, the boat crashes into a rocky ford and slowly begins to sink. Their only option is being beached Lost style on a nearby island, even though one could assume they might have just as well doggy-paddled back from whence they came.
|Cotton Candy and Neck sweaters are a Bitchin' combo|
Quite rapidly, our dimwitted survivors find that this island is home to the Grand Hotel and its lost-in-time inhabitants. Ghosts, demons and other rubber-made nonsense have set up shop here and this is where the fun supposedly begins. These wayward teens get picked off one by one, by shoddy greasepaint ghoulies that would honestly even embarrass the yokels volunteering at a small town haunted house. Lot’s a colored lights flash (there’s even some Christmas trees to add to the effect!) and the occasional pool table floats about. Every eighties horror cliché gets a nod - swiping bits from The Shining to The Evil Dead and so on - in a sadsack attempt to scare or gross you out. And (surprise) all of this seems to happen for NO APPARENT FUCKING REASON. The gore is in abundance, but doesn’t punch balls hard enough to leave even the slightest sting. Joke shop store-bought body parts litter the scenes. Hapless victims run back and forth from the fields outside and back into the hotel again and to the fields outside and then back into the hotel, over and over. We all know they’re trapped here, but c'mon. Running in circles like this does no favors for anyone. Viewers will struggle with nausea, leaving some sad-sacks incapacitated. All the plot holes are failed to be filled during a long winded explanation set against a sock hop turned spook show. A very low attended sock hop, mind you - it only features one spook. A spook suffering from a horrible curling iron catastrophe. This frazzled spectre weaves together a haphazard tale of a crashed plane and a mysterious time shifting device that has stalled the lives (and plot) of all involved for eternity. This sounds like an Eagles song. Check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Honestly, the song is better. Big goddamn whoop. All hell breaks loose and the carny ride, Elm Street bubblegum walls and hokey mirror tricks continue. A couple of good ax wounds to the head spring forth and an elevator offers up some juicy amputations, but nothing is gonna’ lift this from the crud-swamp it’s sinking in...
|Bargain basement Elm Street effects|
This Bloody New Year vibes a bit like another big box fodder of video store past - Class Reunion Massacre - but it's nowhere near as classy (!?!).
It’s bad, but not as bad-golden as it needs to be to keep things entertaining. If yer a glutton for punishment or have high tolerance for trash like Attack of the Beast Creatures (reviewed right here by Steve Fenton) - then by all means, seek this out. As for me, I want off this crazy ride. A well deserved kudos goes out to the filmmakers for pushing the shit-pop soundtrack band Cry No More over mention of cast and crew. Someone was definitely sleeping with someone. Gack.