The Curator of Schlock #403 by Jeff Shuster

Bloody New Year

Not so happy. 

After wading through ten miles of disgusting sewer water, the Revenging Manta and I opened a manhole to the surface. I was anxious to see the secret hideout of the ninja vigilante of downtown Orlando. I was in dire need of a shower with all the crap and blood stuck to me. I followed the ninja to an old apartment building where we climbed the fire escape. The Revenging Manta opened a window on the fourth floor and we climbed through.

I knocked over a fern on the way in.

“Where’s the secret hideout?” I asked, wondering why we had just waded through miles of rancid water. 

“This is my apartment,” he said, setting his sword down on a coffee table. “I don’t have a secret hideout.” — To be continued.

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Happy New Year! So long, 2022. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out. This week’s movie is 1987’s Bloody New Year from director Norman J. Warren. The movie begins in 1959 with a New Year’s Eve bash at the Grand Island Hotel. No, this movie does not take place in Grand Island, New York or Grand Island, Nebraska, but on a mysterious island called Grand island. One of the guests from the New Year’s dance walks into the dance hall to find it completely empty. While cleaning herself up in a mirror, a hand reaches through the mirror and pulls her into the mirror.

That should be a spooky scene, but the movie cuts to modern times so quickly that you don’t really have time to register what happened. We’re introduced to some vacationing British tourists enjoying a seaside amusement park. Some malcontents are terrorizing an American tourist named Carol (Catherine Roman) on a spinning teacups ride. Our British tourists come to the rescue, shutting down the ride and fighting the hooligans off to rescue the girl from her spinning nightmare.

One of the Brits, a guy named Tom (Julian Ronnie), removes the battery from the ride. The owner of the ride and the malcontents chase him through the park to get it back. Pandemonium ensues as our British tourists try to escape the park. Tom and his friend, Rick (Mark Powley), hide in the funhouse, but the hooligans follow them inside. They’re rescued when their friend Lesley (Suzy Aitchison), crashes her car through the funhouse with a boat in tow. The kids escape the park and head out toward the sea in an effort to flee their pursuers.

That should have been the movie: young British tourists causing mayhem in an amusement park. Instead, our group of vacationers gets in the boat only to get shipwrecked when the boat crashes into some coral. They swim to the closest shore which happens to be Grand Island. And this island is haunted. They make their way to the hotel and weird shenanigans ensue like a bannister that comes to life and bites your arm or tables that come to life and try to suck you into them.

Eh. This one was kind of a chore to get through. Also, the majority of the movie takes place in July so there’s not really a New Year’s theme going on here. And there’s not much blood as it’s a British production from the Video Nasty era. So it’s not really a Bloody New Year after all.

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Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, episode 477episode 491episode 492, episode 493episode 495episode 496episode 545episode 546episode 547episode 548, and episode 549) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.