Friday, 30 December 2016

Bloody New Year (1987)

The Plan 9 from Outer Space of 80s British slasher movies, Bloody New Year can be called many things, but it can never be called dull.

After fleeing a menacing gang of gypsy bikers at a funfair, a group of teenagers/ young adults find themselves trapped on an island. Taking refuge in a hotel, they find it seemingly abandoned, and untouched since the New Year’s celebrations of 1959. But is it abandoned? Why do the group start disappearing one by one? And what are people from the past doing in the present?

Clearly made on a low budget, with little time or money for retakes, special effects or discussions on character motivation, it would be all too easy to sneer at a film like this. I suspect it is likely that director Norman J Warren had to contend with interfering producers insisting on seeing "scenes where X happens, like in Y film", hence at times the film is obviously aping the likes of The Evil Dead, Lamerbero Bava's Demons or the likes of Lucio Fulci's more delirious and disjointed zombie films. Sure the acting is lousy, the situations the characters find themselves in baffling, and their lack of reaction doubly so, and the end result is never going to knock Citizen Kane off the BFI best film list. There is an interesting idea buried somewhere in the film, involving a government time travel experiment gone wrong, an idea that, properly developed, would have lifted the film beyond a standard slasher.

However, fortunately, what we get instead, while goofy and incoherent has enough energy to be always fun, and never boring, thanks to the sheer audacity of some of the twists and turns of the story. Do not attempt to make sense of things, just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Bloody New Year by FLIXUMovies