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I gotta admit I prefer budget lodging in this Michigan economy. Just give me a room with a bed and a TV and I’m living the life of a king. It probably comes from my dad whose idea of a family vacation was going up north with us in the back of the pickup so we’d just slide around like loose change. Apparently he thought we could just go limp if we were in an accident. Luckily we’d only stop for some deer venison jerky or to close up that loose tailgate. Once at our destination he could always find the cheapest hotel in the area. I kept holding out for the possibility of a pool but my dad would just say “They charge you extra for that…I can just spray you down with the hose out back.”
The motel would have signs advertising amenities like “AIR” or “COLOR TV” usually placed over a flickering neon sign with a letter or two burned out. Yes enjoy your stay at the “HO EL” where you too can fall asleep to the gentle sounds of a bug zapper killing it’s prey or play that always popular game of “name that stain.”
The room would usually smell of dank mothballs and your feet would sink immediately into an inch deep matting of wall to wall shag carpet. All this fenced in by your standard issued 60’s wood paneling. I can still feel those walls closing in on me like I was Han Solo in that Death Star garbage room scene. “Wait, there’s something moving in the carpet!” If you were lucky you’d get a bed with those vibrating magic fingers and for a mere quarter you could get your inner organs reorganized or your spine realigned without those hefty chiropractor bills. Now that I have my own kids I too find myself drawn to those roadside budget lodgings but I know to always keep a can of bug spray handy and look for one with a heated pool. So if you’re ever on Lost Highway I suggest Big Marge’s Sunset Motel. The Sunset has clean rooms, great rates, and the morning coffee will put hair on your chest. Marge is proof of that.
Speaking of hotels you don’t want to stay overnight at. The Grand Island Hotel in “Bloody New Year” redefines the term “tourist trap.” A group of middle aged looking British teens after a long day of harassing carnies crash their sail boat on a remote island. There they find a strange Bavarian looking hotel seemingly abandoned and hastily decorated for a New Years party. Turns out an experimental government plane took a nose dive on the island back in the 50’s creating this sort of time rip in space where the dead are stuck haunting the hotel. Sorta like the line at Secretary of State only for the undead so rightfully the spirits there are a bit cranky. At first things seem pretty normal, maids service is sporadic, beds get turned down mysteriously. There’s also open bars and peeping toms, but nothing you wouldn’t otherwise expect at your Hotel 6. Unfazed the soggy group find some vintage clothes left over from a Happy Days rerun to change into and proceed to investigate the rest of resort. Downstairs there’s a B-movie marathon playing on a makeshift theater showing a much more interesting “Attack of the Brain Stem” film but then they cut over to some lame home movies of the hotel instead. “Bring back the brain stems!”
Things do liven up a bit when an Arabian sheik fresh from the set of Aladdin leaps out of the screen and kills Spud “I’m Alrighta” with a scratch to the face. A good reminder to always wash your hands! This horrifying event doesn’t seem to affect the rest of the group which range from apathy to boredom “Oh bullocks Spud’s dead… maybe we should wrap him in tinfoil and poke holes in him.”
The group wisely decide to split up to make the killing go more quickly Tom and his girlfriend head off to investigate a nearby beach house and try to get in some nooky time. Once inside they they get attacked by a malevolent fish net and a demonic end table that they impale with a fish hook. If only they had learned early on the true horrors of Red Lobster decor!
Meanwhile Rick and his girlfriend head down to the beach front for some afternoon clam digging but are soon drawn to mysterious sounds of laughter in the nearby woods. The sound gets louder as they approach the center of the island and find themselves in an arborist nightmare of giggling trees and laughing shrubs. The chia-pet demons start dive bombing them so they run out of there faster than Mark Wahlberg in a crappy Shyamalan film. They end up at at crash site of vintage WWII action plane where a zombie pilot’s head explodes and ruins Rick’s stylin suit jacket.
But then things get weird…
Like a Scooby Doo episode the carny gang from the mainland appear on the island fresh from their rowboat workout to terrorize those darn meddlin’ kids. People start turning into fondue faced zombies and carnies get their heads ripped off like twist caps on soda bottles. There’s disappearing maids, dandruff storms, elevators that soak up patrons like big bounty towels and there’s evil furniture banisters with Kung-Fu grip. I think I might have hallucinated that last part but I swear at one point they get attacked by ping pong balls and ride a billiards table like a surf board in a zombie disco. These are just some of the many amenities you too can enjoy at the Grand Hotel island!
The guest list dwindles down as most of them now are Demonites under hotel management. Rick and his girlfriend not wanting a bad case of bed hair or getting disemboweled battle their way back to shore to find the getaway rowboat. Will they discover the secrets of Grand Island? Will they escape the ghosts evil clutches? Was Mr. Bean the only thing funny to ever come out of Britain? All this and more can be answered in “Bloody New Year.”
I was half expecting Bloody New Year to just be another run of the mill holiday themed slasher but it turned out to be a fun little creepfest with some obvious nods to The Shining..well except without all those pesky things like plot or acting to get in the way. Retroman Says check it out “and be sure to bring a clean pair of Alan Whickers you bloody land lover, or I’ll box yer blimey ears you bugger. Gots No time for Rumpy Pumpy!”
– 1 exploding zombie pilot
– 1 shotgun zombie blast and dismemberment
– 1 neck corkscrew
– 2 banister demon Muppets
– Carnival boat parades
– Peeping tom ghosts
– Multiple arm choppings
– Paranormal furniture movers
– Invisible bed turnover services
– Sheik scratch fever
– End tables demon possessions
– Laughing bushes
– Death by boat propeller
– Attacking fish nets
– Gut punching
– Killer ping pong balls
8.2 out of 10
Check out the trailer for Horror Hotel (bloody New Year)