Monday, October 15, 2012

My Bloody Valentine Movie Review

My sixth grade teacher insanely allowed us to watch this movie in class. I remember we watched it in an adjoining room separate from the rest of the class. No one was forced to watch it. We were in that room by choice. If memory serves, my classmate Tom Ciavarella brought the film in. Tom, if you're out there, can you confirm this? I don't remember the movie having much effect on me or being all that scary. Watching it again I understood why.

Click here for a list of all other films reviewed and considered for this October 2012 series of horror reviews.

This is the 'hot' scene in the movie: a shirtless woman getting it on with a guy in a coal miner's outfit.
The 1981 slasher film My Bloody Valentine is so forgettable that only six days after watching it, I’m having trouble recalling a lot of the details – and I saw it once at age 11 when my sixth grade teacher inexplicably allowed us to watch it in class. It is so forgettable that it didn’t even manage to spawn a sequel due to its poor box office. However, it did manage to get a recent remake as part of the spate of horror film reboots that started about five or six years ago. The only truly remarkable thing about the film is that a small Canadian production with an entirely unknown cast and crew of amateurs was produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures.

It goes through all the necessary preliminaries of a back story about coal miners becoming trapped in the mine by an explosion 20 years earlier on Valentine’s Day. The legend tells of Harry Warden, the sole survivor who went mad and then escaped his institution a year later to murder the foreman who cut out early to attend a Valentine’s dance. Harry vows to return if ever the town puts on another Valentine’s dance. Cut to the present day when the younger generation is demanding dancing and rock and roll (and imagine all this several years before Footloose). The local bartender and resident crank warns against it. Of course no one pays him any heed, as they tend to do in these movies.

I could go on about the love triangle involving T.J. (Paul Kelman), who disappeared from town for an unspecified period of time to find his old flame, Sarah (Lori Hallier), now in a relationship with Axel (Neil Affleck), but it would be a waste of time. The other characters (all the men are miners and the women their girlfriends) are throwaways, almost literally, as they exist to be killed by their assailant who turns up wearing miner’s coveralls, helmet and gas mask.

Director George Mihalka can hardly sustain any tension throughout the film’s running time. There are some early squirmy moments, but they eventually turn gruesome. Apparently quite a lot of the footage of the murders had to be cut to achieve the MPAA’s R rating. John Beaird’s screenplay from a story by Stephen A. Miller is sloppy and contains little of any real interest. This is one for the history books of the dull and obscure.

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