My Bloody Valentine (1981) Directed by George Mihalka. Starring Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier and Neil Affleck.
The original film popped up right in the height of the “holiday horror” craze started by John Carpenter’s Halloween. It received mixed critical reviews and opened to small box office numbers. The film was also initially surrounded by controversy because it was reported that the bastards at the MPAA demanded massive cuts from the movie’s gruesome death scenes. But years later, My Bloody Valentine has cemented cult status among fans of the genre and is largely considered to be an underrated gem.
MBV is a typical slasher film by most standards and mainly excels because it plays up the key points. The plot centers around a small mining town called Valentine’s Bluff, a town that deals with that dark history of a horrific mining accident. Back in the 60’s, an accidental explosion in the town’s mine leaves five men trapped as the rest of the residents parties down at the local Valentine’s Day dance. One of the trapped men, Harry Warden, is able to survive by eating the other crew members and subsequently goes mad. Out for revenge, Warden escapes his current digs at the mental hospital, goes on a murder spree and warns everyone not to have any more fucking V-Day dances. Jumping forward 20 years, the townsfolk attempts to forget the terrible past events by organizing (of course – you guessed it) a Valentine’s day dance. The young miners and their ladies are getting pumped for the festivities, unfortunately a masked miner is already back to killing off the citizens.
Even with the stupid characters and sub par acting, My Bloody Valentine really has everything else you want in a slasher film. The Valentine’s Day Dance and decorations throughout the town offer up a perfect contrasting background for mayhem to ensue. Also, what’s creepier than a dark mine shaft and faceless miner’s suit? Both make for great elements in the horror story. And if you’re wondering about the gore, the film is certainly not lacking. Even now, the practical effects look great and each death makes you ponder just how far they will go. The film’s story will even keep you guessing til the end where the movie wraps up with a solid conclusion. Overall, the movie is consistently fun, surprising and actually pretty scary. If you can stomach the less than likable cast of young adults, I think any horror fan would be satisfied with the film.
My Bloody Valentine (2009) Directed by Patrick Lussier. Starring Jensen Ackles, Jaime King and Kerr Smith.
While each of the My Bloody Valentine installments are clearly films with different gifts to offer, both manage to give the audience what they want. Blood and guts ooze from the screen and push the limits of the viewers. Both films tone lies somewhere between campy and genuinely scary, a perfect mix when you get it right. It’s also good to note that each film deals with the running theme of a love triangle between the lead characters in a way that compliments the story and gives more depth to the concept of “Bloody Valentine.”
SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE MY BLOODY VALENTINE FILMS? DO YOU LIKE THE REMAKE OR THE ORIGINAL MORE?