In 1959, on New Year’s Eve, a group of young people are celebrating the final holiday of the year at the Grand Island Hotel, situated on a remote island. At the end of the night the partiers mysteriously disappear.
Current day, five teenagers, Lesley (Suzy Aitchison), Janet (Nikki Brooks), Spud (Colin Heywood), Rick (Mark Powley) and Tom (Julian Ronnie) are hanging out at the beach. They decide to check out a nearby amusement park to play a few games and go on a couple rides. At the tilt-o-whirl ride the guys notice a girl, Carol (Catherine Roman), being harassed by a couple scrawny goons, Ace (Steve Wilsher) and The Bear (Jon Glentoran). Their father (Steve Emerson) runs the ride and laughs as he watches his sons terrorize her. Spud and Rick try to rescue her, but the ride is still going. Tom pulls a fuse from the electrical panel to stop the ride. The kids run away with Dad and his sons chasing after them trying to get back their fuse.
The gang heads out in a small sailboat. Not far from Grand Island they hit an underwater object and start to take on water. Since they are close to shore, everyone wades through the shallows to the beach. Cold and wet they head inland and find the hotel. Inside they see it is decorated for New Years Eve and Christmas. They find some clothes and change.
Not long after they settle in, strange things begin to happen. Inanimate objects begin taking on a life of their own. The entire building seems to come to life. Its objective, to kill everyone in the building. Adding to the horrors being generated by the building is the fact that the kids have been followed to the island by Dad, Ace and The Bear. The three men from the amusement park are looking for payback. The hotel has other ideas.
“Bloody New Year” AKA “Time Warp Terror” AKA “Horror Hotel” was released in 1987 and was directed by Norman J. Warren. It is a British science fiction supernatural horror film that was released direct to video.
The movie was filmed in Wales. The music was composed by Nick Magnus. Some of the songs for the film were performed by Magnus’ band “Cry No More”.
It’s sort of a slasher movie but the killer is an island. One of the interesting aspects of the film is that the movie has a time rift or time travel aspect to it as well as the usual horror elements. There is also a science fiction component that is not explained until the end of the film. All of these varied genres and themes make for a strange but fun movie. There is very little plot, which is good since there are a lot of other moving parts. Even if you miss something, another strange thing will come along. One of my favorite effects is when one of the teens is absorbed by an elevator.
According to Warren, the story was inspired by a real-life contamination of a Scottish island, reportedly as the result of a disease control experiment that went wrong. The extras in the movie’s opening credits that play the 1959 New Years Eve revelers were members of a local rock 'n' roll preservation society.