Today’s Feature: Call Me Eeevil: The Making of New Year’s Evil (2014) – New Year’s Evil (1980)
New Year’s Eve is often seen as the end of the Holiday Season and doesn’t always carry the same joyful connotation that the other Yuletide holidays do. New Year’s tends to be more oriented toward adults and features a bacchanalian celebration so that the participants can either revel in the triumph of the closing year or do their best to forget a terrible one. As much as it is a holiday of hope, it is one of caution. New Year’s Eve allows those who no longer enjoy the cartoonish nature of Christmas to still find solace in a new beginning, though they likely know that the change of the year is arbitrary at best. In many ways, New Year’s Eve is as illusionary as the big man in the red suit. It’s the adult version of Christmas. What better way to celebrate this occasion than with a tried and true eighties slasher film, New Year’s Evil.
Call Me Eeevil tells the story of the eighteen day shoot of New Year’s Evil and how many members of the cast and crew found themselves making it.
Yeah, eigtheen days.
During a Screen Actors Guild Strike.
Did I forget to mention that this was a Cannon film? Sorry, that probably makes more sense now. There’s actually a really nice tidbit about the producers and just how they got into production with the strike going on. As always, Scream Factory provides a wonderful feature, running nearly forty minutes when bigger films *coughDisneycough* can barely seem to muster fifteen of solid features. New Year’s Evil is somewhat divisive amongst slasher fans, but I feel its combination of Mtv culture, bizarre sexuality and a notably brutal killer truly makes it something special. It almost feels a logical follow up to Silent Night, Deadly Night, though that particular film was actually released later. Female lead Roz Kelly (Happy Days‘ Pinky Tuscadero) is conspicuously missing but Kip Niven, Grant Cramer and Taaffe O’Connell all contribute some nice anecdotes on their performances and the production in general. Grant Cramer even gets into a full explanation of his most disturbing and memorable scene in the film, one that locked the role up for him. Oh, and how he got his SAG card too. Director of Photography Thomas Ackerman also appears as the voice from behind the camera, though the actors are focused on for most of the documentary. You can find a feature length commentary from Writer/Director Emmett Alston separately on the disc, and he gets into how the project came about in general.
Call Me Eeevil: The Making of New Year’s Evil is available on the Scream Factory release of New Year’s Evil, which is still widely available.