Welcome to Horrible Films for Horrible People. Clearly the director of Bloody New Year was high on Sharpie Markers or White Out because this film was way out there! I guess it was supposed to begin back in the late ’50s. Then it then cuts to the present where we meet a group of loser British teenagers, two girls and three guys. The teens are spending a summer afternoon hanging out at a nearly deserted carnival when two guys from the group notice Carol, an American teenage girl being harassed by three super old, greasy guys. (We never really find out why Carol was being harassed by these random gents or why the carnival was empty). Anyway, the teens rescue Carol after a ridiculously wild chase in which they escape to their truck and then their sailboat.
The teens hit a rock, damage their boat and end up on an island which is home to the deserted Grand Island Hotel. Upon coming to the hotel, they notice the establishment is embellished with Christmas/New Year’s decorations. What’s strange about this? Well…it’s July. Not only that, but everything looks completely outdated. Does that stop these silly teens? Not at all! They just assume that it’s a theme party and decide to change into some random ’50s style clothes that are lying around. It’s crazy and disgusting that they just put these clothes on because they don’t even know where they came from. Gross.
As time goes by, there are ridiculous sound effects, outrageous dialogue, an annoying girl who doesn’t stop screaming, random laughter, strange people in the mirror and even a man leaping his way out of the projector, killing people with a mere scratch! These teens eventually realize they’re being chased by ghosts and supernatural creatures in the hotel. Can they escape this abyss or will they all suffer a terrible fate on this Bloody New Year? More important, do we even care what happens to them? I know I didn’t.
The storyline of Bloody New Year really isn’t that bad; however, the execution is completely wretched! This film has neither direction nor vision. It seems like the director only had two pages of the script done and the rest of the picture was just made up as he went along. The setting of the film is beautiful. I absolutely loved the island and adored how creepy the hotel was. And I wasn’t even that bothered by the fact that the whole film takes place in daylight. But there’s lack of anything scary going on. And not to mention the fact that there is a lack of gore and lack of actual zombie make up. Instead, they just used flour and dirt.
Working in the favor of the film, the soundtrack is unusual and it fits pretty well with the setting. Also, there is plenty of cheese. Those two things do lend a certain charm to the production, though not enough for me to want to re-watch it. Moreover, there are plenty of memorable WTF moments: A table cloth that turns into a green monster, a head twisting scene that leaves you baffled simply because of the stupid look on the guy’s face, ghosts that leave footprints on the beach, etc…
In spite of what little the film has going for it, all the characters are typical and completely forgettable. The only two people’s names I remember are Carol and Rick. And the only reason I remember Rick’s name is because a girl kept on screaming it out, so it’s practically imprinted on my skull….maybe for life.
I still don’t really know what the point of this film was. I kind of wish I would have watched my lawn instead. Overall, this picture actually had some unique ideas but that’s all it amounted to: ideas that were scattered and ultimately dull. I say if you want to bring in the New Year, choose a different a horror feature to do it with.
[Editor’s Note: Call me crazy but I love this film. Sure, it’s kind of out there but I think it only gets better with repeat views and I will take it over New Year’s Evil any day.]
WICKED RATING: 2/10
Title: Bloody New Year
Director: Norman J. Warren
Writer(s): Frazer Pearce
Stars: Suzy Aitchison, Nikki Brook
Studio/ Production Co: Cinema and Theatre Seating Limited
Length: 90 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Mystery, Holiday Horror