65 of 73 people found the following review helpful
Restore the Cuts!,
This review is from: My Bloody Valentine (DVD)
Remember those heady days in the late 1970s and early 1980s when films like "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" attained stellar success at the box office, resulting in a slew of holiday themed copycats? Movies like "April Fool's Day," "My Bloody Valentine," and "Graduation Day" arrived on the scene and dropped off the radar just as rapidly. Thanks to the appearance of DVD players, these films are reappearing with a disturbing rapidity. Unfortunately, the movies aren't much better than they were when they first came out. This is especially true for Paramount's release of the 1981 slasher film "My Bloody Valentine." At the time, Paramount demanded a mountain of cuts from director George Mihalka in order to avoid a dreaded 'X' rating for graphic violence. That's acceptable for a theatrical release, but a DVD version should reinsert all of the gory footage. Well, this release is the boring old 'R' rated version, and to make matters worse Paramount technicians included nothing else with the movie: no stills, no commentaries, no behind the scenes stuff, and no trailers. Get with the program, Paramount! The customer who will buy this movie on DVD is a genre fan; they want to see all of those gory killings you lopped off with indifference.
"My Bloody Valentine" takes place in a little mining town called Valentine Bluffs. We don't really know the location of the town, but the accents of the some of the characters hint at a Canadian setting somewhere near Quebec. Some years before a terrible mining accident resulting in the deaths of several miners caused Harry Warden to snap. Warden went on a killing spree through the town on the night of the Valentine's Day dance. Ever since then, the authorities in Valentine Bluffs banned parties on Valentine's Day, ever mindful of Harry Warden's threat to wreak bloody havoc on the town if they held another dance. Harry Warden, for the record, was one of the survivors of the mining accident, an accident caused by negligence on the part of two of the supervisors. After his murderous spree, Warden ended up in an insane asylum and the town slowly forgot his grim threats.
Now it's the present (or at least 1981), and the mineworkers want to have another holiday party. The authorities, which include a neurotic mayor and a police chief who looks like Steve McQueen from a distance, are willing to go along with the idea of a celebration. Then the valentines start showing up, one of which contains a bloody human heart. The mayor and police chief initially try to keep the threat hush-hush, but a few more murders persuade them to cancel the dance. The young people in town throw a fit, deciding that they will still have a party but hold it at the mine instead. You can guess what happens from this point on: bodies drop like flies as a madman in mining gear (gas mask, helmet, black clothing, and pickax) works his way through the group of bubbleheads. As the chief desperately attempts to track down the whereabouts of Harry Warden, a group of especially idiotic partygoers head down into the mine for a few yucks. The last twenty minutes of the film take place in the darkly atmospheric mine, as the killer picks off several of the kids in the quarry. There's a twist ending that achieves only a moderate level of interest, and then the whole thing ends.
"My Bloody Valentine" is a major rip off of other slasher films. This movie even has its own version of "Crazy Ralph" from "Friday the 13th" in the form of a testy bar owner who continually spouts stories about Harry Warden and the foolishness of throwing another party. You just know this guy is going to get his, and he does, but I kept wondering how he got any business. Who wants to go to a place where the proprietor keeps talking about gruesome murders? The other characters fall into typical slasher movie typecasting as well: the two guys fighting over the girl, the ineffective police chief and mayor who try to ignore the warning signs until it's too late, and the omnipresent killer. When it comes to original and engaging characters, "My Bloody Valentine" doesn't offer much except stereotypes with bad haircuts. Horror movie buffs should take note of Ray Sager's name (as first assistant director) in the credits: Sager played Montag the Magnificent in H.G. Lewis's "The Wizard of Gore."
At first, the gore seems to promise that "My Bloody Valentine" is a step above your typical slasher film. The heart in the box is gruesome, but after that initial shocker the movie steps back into rather banal exercises in the sauce department. The heavy handed editing is to blame here, as nearly every murder that takes place either happens completely off camera (the idea of it!), or cuts away before the serious bloodletting starts. There are places where you can discover what Paramount removed to get that all-important 'R' rating, and it's obvious that this film would have been much better if we could have seen the full effect of the killer's actions. A boiled face, a hook through the head, and a body in a laundromat dryer sound great on paper, but the execution suffers horribly because we never get the full, grotesque effect. It's the equivalent of watching a Richard Pryor concert with all of the profanity bleeped out. I pray Paramount comes to their senses and finally releases this film, along with the first eight "Friday the 13th" movies, in uncut formats. "My Bloody Valentine," as it stands now, falls squarely into the "rent, not buy" category: an interesting film with great promise, but an ultimate failure due to circumstances beyond the control of the cast and crew.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 12, 2008 11:44:05 AM PDT
Jomer 25 says:
Good Luck Paramount does not release Unrated Material
Posted on Jun 28, 2011 10:27:07 AM PDT
Chris Cox says:
the dirctors cut is hidden as a extra on the disc,which means paramount is embarrassed
of this film. i owned it for about a week before taking mine back because even as a directors cut, i think this film sucks. holiday themed horror has always had the back burner for most horror fans.
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