Bloody New Year

bloody-new-year-posterHere’s something you don’t see every day in your run-of-the-mill quotidian 80s slasher: a brawl on a Tilt-A-Whirl.

Bloody New Year features yuppie vacationers taking in a carnival in Wales, and taking on carny folk who’ve spun their lady friend for more revolutions than she cared for. Two friends, one of whom has a sweater tied around his neck (the polo-inspired attire favored by rich folk one can readily resent in horror) leap to her defense. The carnies give chase. Soon, our heroes are rescued by their friends in a van and everything seems OK enough to be able to resume their summer furlough.

The party of six drive down to the beach and head out in a sailboat. Unfortunately, their craft starts to take on water and they’re forced to abandon ship and they find themselves castaways on a nearby island.

They’re met with DANGER: KEEP OUT signs, strange skulls and discordant runs up and down a piano keyboard. Be afraid, be very very afraid!

Bloody_New_Year

The carnival soothsayer predicts bad things will befall this group.

They happen upon the Grand Island Hotel, which, it should be said, seems neither grand nor to be a fully functioning hotel. It’s decked out in Christmas / New Year’s decorations despite it being the middle of summer. And the friends have it all to themselves. What could possibly go wrong?

There are some choice lines like: “I wonder what it’s like, doing it on a snooker table?” (The boyfriend doesn’t even respond with “I’ll break!”) and “We can’t go anywhere without a boat.” (Stands to reason as it’s an island.)

There happens to be a movie showing at the hotel’s theatre: the 1958 British sci fi film Fiend without a Face. But there’s something odd about the screen and the projection equipment seems to be running itself.

Bloody New Year is an off-kilter mélange of Twilight Zone and Demons and even has elements of Swamp Thing and Poltergeist.

And for a movie titled Bloody New Year, there’s not much in the way of blood (and it’s set in the middle of summer, but that doesn’t stop us from tagging it as a Holiday Movie).

Occasionally engaging stuff from Brit New-Waver Norman J. Warren, best known for Satan’s Slave and Inseminoid.

**1/2 (out of 5)

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