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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bloody New Year (1987) Horror Sci-Fi Ghost

Bloody New Year (1987) - This film is a bit of a mess, not sure if it is a sci-fi film with horror elements or a Horror film with some sci-fi mixed in, probably the latter. What it is for sure is a somewhat poorly done and not well though out film from the eighties, with unfathomable scenes that really add nothing to the film. Okay that's being a bit harsh, it is just the early scenes really have just one purpose, to bring a group of people together for the main story. The problem is all except one is already in there group so why have such an elaborate set up to get that person onto the sailboat. Lets start from the beginning:
The first scene is at the cusp of the new decade of the sixties. A New Years eve party with a drinking and conga line and fun. The night is winding down and the last of the participants is closing the room. She walks over to a mirror and suddenly her reflection reaches out and grabs her pulling her through the looking glass. Ghost story? You don't know but at least later on when the sci-fi plot point comes up you can judge whether this was effective or not.
Cut to the group who will be the focus of the film, all young and having fun at an amusement park.When a woman, Carol (Catherine Roman) is harassed by some carnies the group help her get away and are all chased into the fun house. This whole scene seems to have just a few reasons, it brings Carol into the group for the story to come later. It also foreshadows that bad things are going to happen by having Janet (Nikki Brooks) and Lesley (Suzy Aitchison) visit a fortuneteller who is terrified by what she sees in the crystal ball. It is a elaborate set piece that ends with one of the group drives his Land Rover, sailboat in tow, through the wall of the fun house and picks everyone up. They drive off with the carnies running behind them. The third thing it does is introduces the sailboat which is used briefly in the next scene.
Next we see the now six people are out on said sailboat having a good time. Joining the girls are the brave men who defended them, Spud (Colin Heywood), Rick (Mark Powley) and Tom (Julian Ronnie). Very quickly the boat hits a rock and the group has to swim for the shore of the island they are near. As they are struggling onto the rocks and out of the water someone is watching from the woods. Searching they come across some old plane wreckage and then the old abandoned Island Grand Hotel and we see it is the same place that was in our opening scene. Now the bulk of the film can take place. They are at this big creepy hotel and we get to see it get scarier as the film goes on. Well not really because although they were going for scary they really only reached the level of strange.
Ghosts and things moving on there own, then aggressive ghost and the deaths of some of the characters it is all so weird. We learn from a 1959 television report about a experimental plane that is trying to bend light and do some sort of time travel experiment. What seems to have happened is the plane doing the experiment crashed on the island back then and the people that were there are some how trapped in time, as ghost or some such thing. They are pretty pissed off from what I can tell. It does not make a lot of sense that the victims in that experiment would kill these new arrivals. It is what happens though right down to a final girl. One of the strangest things in the film is Spud Janet and Rick are watching a movie that is playing in the mini cinema of the hotel. Spud is up from doing impersonations of what is happening in the movie. Suddenly and without explanation the Arab stereotype in the movie leaps out of the screen and onto Spud and proceeds to kill him. WTF! Other equally bizarre things include a killer possessed fishing net, footprints appearing on the sand of the beach but no one connected to them, snowing in the living room of a house, a table monster that you have to see to believe, and random quicksand that is in the paths for no other reason then to kill them.
This movie is really a mess from beginning to end. About the only positive thing I had happen in my time working with this film is that I was researching the actresses and Nikki Brooks happens to also be the name of a porn star so a bunch of her images came up when I searched the name. Made by the "cult" director Norman J. Warren who did Inseminoid(Horror Planet), and Alien LinkPrey I was expecting a bit more from this. Why I was thinking that I don't know neither of those films was particularly good but one always hope for good. I might cover his 1976 Satan's Slave at some point but it will not be until I get the taste of this one from my mouth. That might just take awhile. This film just did so many things wrong that it can't even be put into the category of campy fun.
Rating (3.5) 5.0 and up are recommended

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