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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 45: My Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine 

I cho-cho-choose you

It's a special Valentine's Day edition of 365 Day of Horror. There are plenty of holiday-related horror movies, but only one Valentine's Day horror movie is worth reviewing. Certainly not the 2001 movie “Valentine” starring David Boreanaz. It has to be the 80's slasher classic, My Bloody Valentine. Ignore the crappy remake with gimmicky 3D (it died twice, hopefully it will die again). We're going old school for this one, so grab yourself a handful of chocolates and your miner's helmet.

In the small Canadian mining town of Valentine Bluffs, the community is abuzz with excitement as the first Valentine's Day dance in 20 years is about to occur. Young miner T.J. has returned after abruptly moving out west, and is having trouble adjusting to life back in town. His ex-girlfriend Sarah is now dating Axel, but she still has feelings for T.J. Twenty years ago, miners were trapped in an accident because two supervisors left early to attend the Valentine's Day dance. It took days to reach the trapped miners, and only one man, Harry Warden survived, eating his dead coworkers and going insane. After spending a year in a mental institution, Harry escaped and murdered his supervisor, warning that the same would happen every year if people celebrated Valentine's Day. Now Harry Warden has returned, cutting a bloody swath through the town. The Valentine's Day dance is canceled, but the young people throw a party anyway in the mine. Young party goers are brutally murdered and it's up to T.J. to save Sarah and stop Harry Warden before it is too late.

This light really helps me see the terror in your eyes

My Bloody Valentine came out during the slasher craze of the late 70's and early 80's. It also came in the middle of horror's love affair with holiday-themed movies, along April Fool's Day, New Year's Evil, Terror Train, Hell Night, and all the Halloween sequels. While some of the other movies just happen to occur on the holiday, My Bloody Valentine actually builds it's entire story around the holiday. The story is pretty cohesive for the most part, although the fact that a murderous escaped mental patient doesn't seem to alarm the mental hospital baffles me. You say an insane cannibal used to be a resident here and now we have no record? Oh well, no biggie! The opening scene where a young lady sneaks down into the mine with a miner for some sexy times only to be murdered also confuses me. When did Harry have time to woo a lady, presumably in the same town where he killed people 20 years ago? If he doesn't want to remove his gas mask now, did the woman not see his face before? Is she that desperate that she'll do it with Gas Mask face in a poorly ventilated mine? It's just the opening scene, so they were probably just setting the tone, but what the hell?

What really makes the movie work is all the fun and creative killing. The movie actually had 9 minutes cut by the MPAA due to the amount of graphic violence and gore. I doubt this would happen by today's standards. Plenty of stabbings, guttings, boilings and other means of dispatching people keep the audience entertained in that sick way that only horror movies could do. There is a good amount of blood and gore, but not to the point where the movie throws it in your face like some modern movies like to do. The acting is all passable, though no one was going to win any awards. The play their parts well enough to keep the story believable and moving, and that's all that is really required. We're watching this for the slashing, not for the acting.

Be mine...oh, I get it now!

My Bloody Valentine is a cult classic 80's slasher with a holiday theme that fits with the story. There is a love-triangle storyline that gives purpose to the character's actions, but the main focus is the killing. If you enjoy Friday the 13th and Halloween, you'll enjoy this smaller-budget film. My Bloody Valentine has plenty of blood and guts to keep you feeling all cozy and tingly this Valentine's Day.


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