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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

     Sure, 1981's MY BLOODY VALENTINE is a shameless rip-off of HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH, but then again, what slasher released from 1980 to 1984 wasn't ripping them off? It's a beloved Canadian slasher that has gained hardcore cult status, and is one of the more beloved slashers of the 1980's.  I have very fond memories of this movie- many a Friday night was spent breathlessly watching Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers and Harry Warden stalk their victims.  Good, scary stuff!

      Yes, there is a plot, and it goes something like this. Seems the townsfolk of Valentine Bluffs have not celebrated Valentine's Day in twenty years due to a horrible mining accident. The only miner found alive afterwards, Harry Warden, mentally snapped and was institutionalized.  He vowed to seek revenge if Valentine's Day was ever celebrated again. Well twenty years later, the townspeople have decided to ignore Harry's warnings and proceed with the dance. Soon, bloody heart-shaped boxes containing eerie valentines and real human hearts start showing up as warnings, while carefree partiers roam the dark mines, unknowing of the danger that lurks with them. It seems Harry Warden is back, pick-axe in hand. And he's pissed.

      Slashers and horror flicks were a dime a dozen in the early 80's, but something about the holiday-themed slashers really seemed to strike a chord with movie goers- (BLACK CHRISTMAS, HALLOWEEN, FRIDAY THE 13TH, APRIL FOOL'S DAY, NEW YEAR'S EVIL, etc...) so of course MY BLOODY VALENTINE neatly fits into this group.

      The film dutifully follows the rules of the slasher handbook, and makes a very memorable entry in the slasher genre. It boasts some great effects, great cinematography, and great locations. They perfectly captured a small mining town, as it actually was filmed in a small mining town. That dark, deserted mine is a perfect location for a horror flick, and murderer Harry Warden is a pretty scary dude. With his gas mask, heavy breathing, and pick-axe, he's not a person you would want to meet in a dark mineshaft. And these guys did it right- they never made a sequel followed by a gazillion others.

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