15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
One of the better HALLOWEEN Clones,
This review is from: My Bloody Valentine [VHS] (VHS Tape)I recently compiled an Amazon list of the Top 10 Slasher Films Before the 90's. I placed MY BLOODY VALENTINE in the #7 slot. Upon watching it again, I realize that I should've placed it higher. Several other titles were ahead of it, including TERROR TRAIN, PROM NIGHT, and APRIL FOOL'S DAY. Those were all very good examples of the slasher genre, but I don't think any of them rival MY BLOOD VALENTINE for sheer fright, excitement, and novelty.
Start with an interesting setting. Rather than a college campus or high school, we have a bleak, blue-collar mining town. Instead of free-wheeling students or teenagers we have working class twentysomethings pushing thirty. Then add a creepy backstory: a mining accident that entombed and killed all but one of a handful of miners. That survivor, Harry Warden, had to resort to cannibalism until he was rescued, messing him up for eternity and a day. The next year, on Valentine's Day, he returned (in full miner's garb with pick-axe) and brutally murdered the two supervisors who inadverdently caused the accident. He then cut their hearts out and sent it to the dance with a warning never to have another Valentine's dance.
Flash forward to the present. The townspeople are contemplating the first dance in twenty years. Naturally, a series of murders begin, with the victim's hearts cut out. Alarmed, the police decide to cancel the dance. Undeterred, the young folk decide to have a secret party (at the mine's cafeteria). And that's when the real fun begins. Some highlights: a dude's face scalded in a huge pot of boiling water, and his cut-out heart being thrown in with the franks (yum), a girl getting her head impaled on a shower head (no repetition intended), and the local drunk becoming the victim of his own practical joke.
Of course, no film (slasher or otherwise) would be set around Valentine's day without having a romantic supplot, and MY BLOODY VALENTINE is no exception. We're introduced to Axel and T.J., two former friends now duking it out for the affections of Sarah (Lori Hallier, in the film's best performance). This triangle could've been more fully developed, but it was sufficient enought to keep the audience interested. Who will get Sarah? Axel or T.J.? And as the murders multiply (and intensify) the question becomes "What does Harry Warden want?" Is it even him? Or someone else?
Watch this flick and find out. There's a great final act set in the darkened mine, with an extended cat and mouse chase scene between the killer and T.J. and Sarah. This last half-hour rivals anything in HALLOWEEN. Scary last scene, too.
Bottom line? Craftsmanship-wise, MY BLOODY VALENTINE is no HALLOWEEN, but in some ways, it's scarier.