1981, Movies

My Bloody Valentine (1981, George Mihalka)

I had suspect tastes when I was younger and cannot, for the life of me, figure out why I rated My Bloody Valentine 3D 5/10. Because, though this movie is bad – and it’s quite bad – I have a hard time believing it is worse than its remake, which I somehow rated 5/10. Does that mean I will rewatch the remake? Probably not. If I do it will likely be on a future Valentine’s Day. Anyway…

This movie had 9 minutes cut from it when it came out. 3 were restored, evidently but, all these years later, it’s really hard to understand what could have possibly been in those missing 6 minutes that could have made this film so controversial. As with so many other things – sexuality, commerce – the people of the past would be horrified by the present. This is not a gory movie by any modern standard. Hell, it’s not a gory movie by the standards of ’70s Italian cannibal films. It’s hilarious that this movie was cut for its release. I don’t know what was going on in those cuts, but I can’t imagine it’s that much worse than the “hearts” we see.

This movie does a hilariously awful job of pretending its set in western Pennsylvania mine country (or maybe eastern Ohio). The “Sheriff” exists, makes reference to “state” government and people where Steelers shirts. But the two leads have thick Canadian east coast accents – really, really think accents. And two separate shots are of the sea! (Now, I guess you could argue it’s Lake Erie but I’m pretty sure mining country is not along the coast of Lake Erie. Anyway, it’s pathetic. And it’s probably the most amusing thing about the movie.

The movie is not scary – I maybe half jumped once during its entirety – and it commits many of the sins of the post Black Christmas/Halloween clones in that it doesn’t seem to understand what makes those movies scary. We experience way too much of the killer’s perspective and then we’re supposed to feel tense when characters find out about what the killer has done.

But once they go down in the mine, it becomes at least somewhat competent and I actually started to care what happened to these “Americans” with thick east coast accents. And they legitimately confused me as to who was the killer. (I must say though, they committed another cardinal sin by holding a piece of information that everyone knew back from the audience.)

SPOILER!

The reason for the killing is one of those stupid ’80s slash movie reasons: a kid saw violence! It’s never convincing and it’s rarely well done and here it’s pretty lazy.

But I will say that the reveal is many times less terrible than the reveal in the remake, in which it is physically impossible for the killer to have done what he’s done. It’s not super easy in this case – it’s probably impossible, frankly – but at least this guy isn’t locked in a cage while he’s supposedly killing people.

4/10 because I was more entertained than I thought I would be, though at least half of that was because of how Canadian this movie is.

PS The whole “there’s going to be a sequel!” thing is one of the dummer ones in ’80s slasher movie history. The guy is running deeper into a mine to get away from the cops.

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