My Bloody Valentine. One of the best slashers and remakes ever made!
I have very fond memories of the original My Bloody Valentine. Back when I was just getting into horror movies and it was a weekly tradition to go to my local mom & pop video store to rent another horror tape, my mother recommended the 1981 classic slasher My Bloody Valentine. I remember just being transfixed by staring at this very creepy cover. The miner's creepy wide eyes with his helmet light shinning out showing people at the dance. I remember watching it all those years ago and loving it. First off it was a favorite of my mothers and second never before had I watched such a creepy and seriously scary movie before. I feel the whole early 80's feel to the movie really touched home since this was a very rare time when the slashers were original with their own ideas and very well done. Mind you this time of course didn't last but after the wild success of Halloween and Friday the 13th this was seriously one holiday that worked perfectly. I loved how the town's name was Valentine's Bluff and how this was the first Valentine's Day dance that was being held in over twenty years. Just how the entire small town was completely decked out with decorations and the creepy ghost like history that the town had like some sort of dirty secret. There were so many things that stood out to me for this movie. First off it wasn't your typical slasher with a bunch of young dumb teens getting offed. These were all young adults in their early twenties who were blue collar hard workers who worked in this small town. People who either worked in the local mine that kept the town running, or the local small business. This was of course filmed in Canada which was the mecca at the time for 1980's slashers due to the tax breaks. The accents on these people always crack me up, mostly when T.J says "I'm so sorry, so damn sorry!" Kills me every time.
Another big thing was that these people were likeable. So many slashers were being made at time with casts that you just couldn't wait to see get murdered and torn to pieces. In this movie much like The Burning the audiance sound itself with a very likeable cast of characters you really felt bad about getting killed.
The film's biggest element was of course the miner. Forget all those monsters and masks...the miner in my eyes is one of the creepiest villains around. I feel this is because there are such people who actually wear these masks and suits. In a miner town this wouldn't look out of the ordinary. Maybe it's the heavy breathing, the hoses, or the large spot light on the helmet...whatever it is in my eyes this is one of by far the greatest costumes worn by a killer ever in a movie.
And the pick-axe. Such a great weapon and creates such brutal killings!
After watching this movie and loving it, a few years later it aired on basic cable and I taped it probably fifteen minutes in. I seriously worn this copy out before finding the bare bones DVD that was released in about 2001 I believe? Back in early 2009 I finally bought the SE of the movie which had the unrated version that I had never seen before. In fact I bought this DVD just a week or so before my mother passed away and one of the last great memories that stood out to me with her was watching the unrated DVD and laughing our asses off at the slow motion shots of the body in the dryer.
I think that's a huge reason why I love My Bloody Valentine, because my mother loved it and found the humor in this movie that I did. Every time I re-watch it around this time of year I always think of her which brings a smile to my face. One of my biggest regrets was never seeing the remake with her, which I know she would have loved.
Speaking of the remake, I remember being on the fence about this. I saw it back when it was released in theaters and shockley enough really enjoyed it. I could bitch all day about remakes. Some are so amazing they one-up the original and bring a whole new outlook to the film. Others are just as bad ass but I view not as a remake but almost as a sequel or a standalone film. Then there's the ones that really shouldn't have been made and are a complete piece of shit. With this My Bloody Valentine remake, I look at it as a great movie that is seen as almost an awesome sequel or standalone film. Yeah it's a remake and has plenty of flaws, but out of the MANY and I mean MANY remakes that were cranked out at the time, it was one of the better ones made. In fact this was the early start of the 3D horror wave that suddenly hit hard. I'm not huge on 3D movies but I remember once or twice it worked very well in the movie. Now that I own it on DVD and always watch it in 2D, I really don't see besides a few gags how much they pushed the 3D thing. Some movies it's beyond clear (Friday the 13th part 3) but with this besides a few pick-axe throws and the branch going into the windshield, it really doesn't seem that cheesy. The effects were insane (one of my instructors from school worked on a few effects from this movie, in fact he was the man behind Mr. Tom Atkins' brutal demise in the film.) Also now that I jumped on the Supernatural bandwagon I see what perfect casting Jensen Ackles was. This remake was pretty bad ass. It paid honor to the original and stayed true to being a kick ass slasher back in the good old days of the 1980's. I loved how they advertised the movie as the 3D ride to hell, being the perfect date movie. The cast was very well rounded and I loved that they kept the original love triangle.
The deaths were all brutal, and the ending twist even though some way say they saw coming a mile away, I was pretty stunned and found it very clever. I love the very ending shot of the movie and still I hold my breath for a sequel. They kept the right elements that worked from the original and paid great attention to detail. This is why I feel this remake worked so well. In fact when my friend Melissa and I visited the town back in PA where it was filmed I was a complete horror nerd visiting all the filming locations. By far one of the better horror remakes that have been released in the last ten or so years.
Going back once more to the original, this is slasher royalty at it's finest. You have a great setting, perfect back story, a love triangle...and a very very scary killer. The kills from this movie was beyond insane and for those who have seen the unrated version they have witnessed all the insane special effects. I find the pacing to this movie very well done and the third act at the party is one of the greatest of all time. I mean who can't look at hot dogs the same after watching this movie!
The mine setting was one of the creepiest. For ANYONE who would think going down in a dark cold mine would be fun seriously has to be trashed or on acid. Every time I watch this movie I always hope these characters for once have enough common sense to say "Jeez, maybe this isn't a good idea afterall."
Still, that shot of the killer coming forward smashing the lights (a scene they used very wisely in the remake) always gets me.
And of course the big reveal. Maybe like the remake many saw coming (if you re-watch the movie you see why.) but when I first saw it I was completely shocked. Very, very scary and that last line "Sarah, be my bloody valentine." with that evil crackle into the darkness...gives me chills each time.
My Bloody Valentine goes down in my top five favorite slashers of all time. It's 2009 remake goes down in my top five favorite remakes of all time. This is horror back when it was really good and well made. Holiday themed, and scary as well. Not only does it bring awesome memories, it still scares to hell out of me to this day.
Someday I would like to actually like to finish this makeup I thought of inspired by the movie. My friend Andy has more than a striking resemblance to an actor from the remake and I've been planning on making a one piece of a pick-axe going into his mouth. Sadly this has become an inside joke between us two since when I first sculpted it...it looked like something else entering his mouth. IfyeahknowhatImean!
My friend Melissa who's a crazy talented artist has given me some insane My Bloody Valentine themed screen prints and that Irish band even came up with it's name from this slasher! I feel I will always have time to express my love for these movies and fingers crossed I plan on getting the miner himself tattooed on me as a cover-up in the soon future.
So this Valentine's Day curl up in the dark with your loved one, share a bloody heart candy box, and watch the original 1981 slasher and it's kick ass 2009 remake!