Friends Don’t Let Friends Watch New Year’s Evil (1980)
It’s nearly impossible to imagine two more sympathetic characters than Tracy Mills (Gwyneth Paltrow, Se7en) and Shelby Eatonton Latch (Julia Roberts, Steel Magnolias), both of whom were dead by the closing credits (if this is a plot spoiler, you’re way behind in your movie viewing). In 1980’s New Year’s Evil, the audience may root for the demise of the female protagonist, but it’s not worth waiting for the end of the film to see if she joins the choir invisible.
Is there anything more subjective than taste? It may get confusing when someone describes a film as “so bad you’ve gotta see it,” or “it’s so terrible it’s hilarious.” If bad is good, how do we describe something that is so poorly done, it insults the viewer? While “unwatchable” is apt, it requires a lot of explanation. Maybe, as mysteries are called “who done its”, less-than-mediocre films could be called “don’t see its.” Such is the case with New Year’s Evil, a manufactured-on-demand DVD release from the MGM Limited Edition Collection that is self-described as “…a celebration of the macabre.” The most macabre thing about it is that someone elected to spring this dud on the unsuspecting (and wholly innocent) public.
Centered on the hostess of an “alternative rock” New Year’s Eve program, New Year’s Evil includes one scene that is so hilariously bad it should be on YouTube, because no one should suffer through any of the film just to see a serial killer hiding in a dumpster grab a woman and drag her in (which would be near impossible for this particular serial killer anyway). Those thirty seconds (or so) cannot redeem the 83 minutes of tedium and stupidity that comprise New Year’s Evil.