Sunday, 9 August 2015

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

Another of those films that for some reason escaped my attention back in the 80's. My Bloody Valentine has been sat on my shelf for a year or so and I thought it high-time I gave it a watch; but then I did something stupid. You know those DVD's and Blu-Rays that have different versions and that sometimes it's quite hard to tell which version is highlighted? Hmm, I thought I started the uncut, restored version and instead watched the nine minute shorter, theatrical release. What a dick! What to do? I ended up watching the uncut version on fast-forward afterwards and what a difference it made! While the theatrical cut was a fine little bloodless slasher that you could play for your Granny, the full length version added a a full star and a half to bring it up to five stars. On with the review...

A psychotic miner starts killing the citizens of a small Canadian town on Valentine's Day.

I live in a town surrounded by mines. In fact we had to have test holes drilled beneath our house to check for adits and shafts when we bought the place. Never known of a Cornish serial killing miner though. We do have a bloke that gets arrested regularly for masturbating in piles of cow shit though. Not sure if it's a Valentines Day only hobby but I very much doubt it.

The killer's mining gear is undeniably scary and his heavy breathing though the gas mask adds to the spookiness. There is a nice turn on the obligatory shower scene with a bunch of naked male miners. The intro  is funny and light-hearted start and introduces a likeable, though pretty moronic, bunch of would be corpses. There's bonus point for a doom-saying bartender introduces a great little flashback sequence showing the origin of the town's Valentines curse.

For once in a slasher movie the kills aren't punishment for sexual transgressions and substance abuse. This time we get an equal-opportunities killer who doesn't respect gender or age. The small town feel is captured brilliantly with everyone knowing each other and great character development with little back-stories and quips between people that hint at a real history.

The final act really picks up the pace and is truly filled with tension, blood and plot twists that keep you guessing until the killer's final unveiling.

What should be an unoriginal slasher flick ends up witty, clever and full of well spaced, gruesome kills (the eye-popping pickaxe scene being my personal favourite). Sure the performances, as in most slashers, range from adequate to poor but My Bloody Valentine is an excellent and original Canadian slasher film finally restored in all its bloody glory!

More fun than you can shake a pick at.

A rather large Margarita and several glasses of wine fuelled this review!

Letterboxd Review

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