Why even bother writing any further? The headline says it all. That’s all that matters. It’s all you need to know about the 1980 film New Year’s Evil.
Pinky plays the host of a televised punk and new wave New Year’s Eve party. Sure, most of the bands playing it are more akin to glam acts from the late 70s, but I guess the producers weren’t willing to dish out the money for actual early new wave acts like The B-52s, Talking Heads, Blondie, or The Ramones. But fear not. There is some hyper-new wave and 1980 fashion to be found (think Xanadu), including male makeup, bandanas, leather, piercings, and Cherie Currie hair and wardrobe right out of Foxes (and the Runaways).
So the soundtrack might be a little more 70s metal than 80s new wave, but the score is pure 1980 sustained synth chord heaven. Plus, there’s slam dancing. Like classic slam dancing. They got something right. And our killer records his kills on a cassette tape. And speaking of killers, the kid who plays Pinky’s son later went on to be in Killer Klowns From Outer Space.
You would think I would hate this film because we actually see the killer throughout the movie and follow his every move. He doesn’t wear a mask until about the final 15 minutes of the movie, at which point the twist (and it is quite a goody) is revealed and we’re like, “What’s with the mask, old friend?” It’s almost like the director felt obligated to throw in a mask scene so New Year’s Evil would live up to the expectations of Myers and Voorhees fans.
But back to why I don’t hate this slasher (as if the new wave, the slam dancing, the cassette tape, Pinky Tuscadero, and the kid from Killer Clowns aren’t enough to love it). This movie is just crazy! The killer, whose goal is to kill one woman at the strike of midnight in every time zone, calls Pinky each time to let her know he’s done the deed instead of just voting for his favorite new wave song of the year like everyone else is doing. He also goes for one wild ride, with plenty of costume changes: a staff member at a psyche ward, a pornstached disco boy, a priest, a cop. He’s a one man Village People. He gets chased by a motorcycle gang. He uses a voice-disguising device 16 years before Ghost Face.
Plus, despite much of the tension being blown by the fact that we’re hanging with the killer, there are still some awesome new additions to the slasher scene. There’s a sort of reversed Psycho shower scene. There is a phenomenal scene involving a dumpster. Death by bag of weed. Body reveal by playground slide. Plenty of boobage (half star removed because none of them are Pinky’s). A reference to the Son of Sam (who shot my babysitter. read about that here). A gun fight with classic cartoon ricochet sound effects. The best death by elevator concept ever. And most importantly, a random leather bear daddy sighting (he’s more like a cub). You just can’t beat that.
One last thought. Are Pinky Tuscadero and Cha Cha DiGregorio the same person?