My Bloody Valentine/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
NOTE: THE FOLLOWING REVIEW IS OF THE EDITED VERSION: In the small Canadian coastal town of Valentine Bluffs, a legend has haunted the people who live there. An accident claimed the lives of several mine workers. One man lived. His name was Harry Warden. Harry became disgruntled and psychotic and began killing people on Valentine's Day, and was later committed to a mental hospital. Now decades later, the town is planning a new Valentine's Day party. Meanwhile, Jessie "TJ" Hanniger (Paul Kelman) has just arrived home after being away in California for a spell. He feels like a bit of an outsider and must try to win back his estranged girlfriend Sarah (Lori Hallier) who is seeing a new guy named Axel (Neil Affleck). Naturally, TJ and Axel don't like each other and they fight over Sarah's affection. One day the town's sheriff, Chief Jake Newby (Don Francks) receives a special Valentine's Day package. Its a bloody heart with a note warning him about the upcoming Valentine's party. He remembers what had happened all those years ago and knows something's really wrong. The town's launderette owner Mabel (Patricia Hamilton) finds a box of valentine's candy on her table. When she opens it she sees, yep you guessed it: a bloody heart. This is where we are introduced to the Miner Killer/Harry Warden who sounds like Darth Vader as he breathes heavily under his creepy mining mask (theres a nice trademark slasher film POV shot here). After Maude is killed by Harry and the police find out, Chief Jake cancels the town's party and tells the kids and everyone else to stay inside. He knows Harry Warden is back for another bloody Valentine's Day murder spree. Since the kids know they won't be having the party in town, they decide to just keep things quiet and go down to the mines to get their party on. The only problem is, they don't know that Harry Warden will be crashing the party with his pickaxe...
Being an avid fan of slasher films, I've seen a lot of them over the years. The standard slasher usually has a very rigid structure. There's a story set up about someone who was done wrong and then they exact bloody revenge on unknowing young teenagers who are having sex and drinking etc. They take place around summer camps or fraternities. That's basically the typical slasher plotline. So what you end up doing when you watch these movies often is look for unique qualities that set each of them apart from the others. With My Bloody Valentine, it's definitely the goofy Canadian humor (love those accents ay?) and atmosphere that makes it special to me. Another aspect of the movie that's offbeat is the fact it's not gory or overly bloody. In fact most of the kill scenes we don't really see anything. It relies more on trick shocks. Although what it does show comes off as brutal. That puts it more in the tradition of the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre which was also made without showing lots of blood and grue. Both these films weren't as explicitly gory like the Friday The 13th films tended to be. I'd say My Bloody Valentine is sort of like Friday The 13th's more polite Canadian cousin. Still, in the world of 80s slasher subgenre films, My Bloody Valentine is one of the most beloved. Once you watch it, you'll know why ay?
The uncut film has been released on Region 1 DVD and these deleted scenes have finally been added in:
- Opening Sequence: The first cut scene takes place before the opening credits and features Harry Warden/The Miner impaling a woman on his pickaxe. It's an incredibly good FX scene.
- Mabel in the Dryer: Laundry owner Mabel is found dead and extremely burnt in a drying machine. What makes this sequence most effective is the fact Mabel's charred, bloody corpse is shown spinning and flopping in circles.
- Happy's Surprise: Bartender Happy sets up a fake Harry Warden/Miner dummy to scare the local kids. When he tries his clever shock toy out he is attacked by the real Harry Warden and gets a pickaxe to the chin. The pickaxe comes out Happy's eyesocket, thus popping his eyeball right out. If that wasn't enough The Miner uses this as a handle to drag his body along awhile.
- Dave Gets Dunked: Dave cooks some hot dogs and ends up getting his own head plunged into boiling water by ol Harry Warden. The heat makes his skin boil off. A simple but nice FX sequence.
- Sylvia in The Showers: Sylvia is picked up by Harry Warden and impaled on a very sharp shower spigget...by her head! Then Harry Warden turns the water on turning her into a human fountain. This is one of the best shock sequences in the film!
- Nail Gun: Wisecracking Hollis gets a real headache when Harry Warden shoots two nails into his head.
- Beheading: As the kids try to escape the Hanniger mine by climbing up a long ladder they get a real scare when their friend falls from above and gets his head is torn off from the impact of a rope being tied on it.
- Pickaxe to the Torso: Harry Warden delivers a pickaxe to the midriff of one of the female partygoers whose trying to escape the mine.
- Axel's Flashback: We see the horrific incident that created the monster Axel became.
- End Sequence: Axel cuts his arm off to escape the police and sings the eerie Harry Warden song.
Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He holds an AS with Highest Honors in Communications and Interactive Media Design.