Plot: A sailing excursion takes an unexpected turn when a group of teens find themselves forced to shore, as their sea vessel has started to take on water and of course, they do not wish to sink. Back on dry land, the friends are relieved to find a hotel close at hand, but upon closer inspection, it appears the place is abandoned. Not just that, but the hotel is decorated for a New Year’s bash and since it happens to be summertime, that adds to the odd situation. As the group explores the hotel, things get even stranger and soon, it becomes clear there is something wrong, perhaps even supernatural happening by the seashore. As the situation escalates into all out chaos, can anyone uncover the truth about this eerie hotel?
Entertainment Value: I love this movie. Bloody New Year is a constant flow of total madness and bizarre moments, the kind of movie that you can’t often believe and even often comprehend what is happening on screen. A lot of films can manage that for a little while or a few scenes, but Bloody New Year uncorks consistent, mind twisting scenes that are immense fun to watch. If you could predict all the shit that happens in this one the first time you watch, you might be the world’s best psychic, because there is a lot of out of left field chaos here. I found most of the odd choices to be hilarious or at least so offbeat that I had to take a second to process, but even the less memorable twists and turns are at least interesting to watch. Of course, if you need a serious, rational kind of horror narrative, Bloody New Year will frustrate you to no end, as little to nothing makes even basic sense in this one. The performances are over the top, the pace is super brisk, and the entertainment value never dips, so this is a wild ride that delivers on surreal, blind side style good times. If you’re a fan of 80s horror, cult cinema, or bizarre movies in general, this one is highly recommended.
This movie has horny teens and even a bubble bath sequence, but no sleaze to speak of sneaks into the picture. But there is a good amount of low rent, often ridiculous gore to speak of and that includes several limbs severed in various ways. The violence is more camp than horrific, but it is a lot of fun to watch and the low fi special effects just make it all the more magical. There’s also some fun visual tricks and non violence related effects that ramp up the good times, from the girl who sucked into the elevator to the off the wall seaweed creature that shows up at one point. This also covers some wild makeup effects that pop up throughout the later scenes, oddball and cheap as hell, but somehow still quite cool. The low rent elements work in the film’s favor, adding fun and camp to an already outlandish, brain punching picture. The dialogue gets overshadowed by the sheer wackiness of the visuals and narrative twists, but the performances are often silly and fun to watch. You’d think with the rest of the lunacy on deck, there’d be a wealth of outrageous lines, but no such luck. As for general craziness however, buckle up, as this is wall to wall head scratching moments. It almost feels like perhaps you have suffered a head injury or blacked out, as so little of what happens makes sense and things just never go down a coherent path. But that is what makes Bloody New Year such a fun ride, without question.
Overall Insanity: 7/10
The Disc: Vinegar Syndrome’s Blu-ray release sports a new 2k restoration of the best available materials, as the original negative was destroyed and even the best print had extensive damage present. The disc warns us of the inherent flaws, but VS has done some remarkable work here and the movie looks fantastic, light years better than the old Redemption DVD. Most scenes look much sharper and more refined, with good color and contrast throughout. The damage is evident and heavy in some instances, but for what it is, VS has gone above and beyond with this treatment. The disc includes an informative, consistent audio commentary from director Norman J. Warren.