Monday, February 14, 2011

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

Directed by George Mihalka.
1981. Rated R, 90 minutes.
Paul Kelman
Neil Affleck
Lori Hallier
Cynthia Dale

A mining accident kills a number of miners while unaware local folk yuk it up at the town Valentine's Day party. One year later, Harry Warden, the lone survivor of said accident, murders a bunch of the good people of Valentine's Bluff. Now twenty years later, the town decides to have its first Valentine's celebration since the killings and whaddya know, people start dying again. Made during the early 80s, the golden age of slasher flicks, its achieved a cult following and some even regard it as a classic of the genre. Since I've seen dozens, if not hundreds of them, I feel safe saying its not. Its got a solid premise and even a decent twist. However, it commits the unforgivable sin for a slasher flick - it flinches. Let me explain. Most slasher flicks aren't really about scaring you, intrinsically anyway. They're about the visual fright, making us cringe at a succession of progressively gorier events. This movie often cuts away from the climactic moment prematurely. Too much of the action takes place barely off-screen. This genre's version of the money shot is oft-missing. A hack-fest without much hacking is just a hack job. What fans of these types of movies came to see isn't there. In fairness, the real slashing was done by censors as the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) ordered extensive cuts in order for the movie to recieve an 'R' rating as opposed to the 'X' they were threatening to slap it with (this is in the days before 'NC-17'). Though an "uncut" version was released in January of '09, some claim that even that version doesn't contain all of the lost footage which is said to have lots of gore. You can read more about it here. As it is, its okay and has its moments but comes off flat.



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