Monday, March 12, 2012

Nothing Says I Love You Like Violence

In the wake of Black Christmas, Halloween, and Friday The 13th came a whole new batch of slasher films that either put their own stamp on the genre (A Nightmare on Elm Street) or just copied the ones that had come before them (numerous others from the 1980s). 1981 saw two pretty decent/solid slasher films in both The Burning and the rather underrated cult film My Blood Valentine, with both actually being just a bit savvy than people expected. Unfortunately My Bloody Valentine was forcibly censored by the MPAA and by the studio to get the film an R rating, yet luckily for us today the current DVD/Blu Ray release features the scenes that were left on the cutting floor.

What emerges is a sleeker, more deadlier and easily more violent/gory version that is far more shocking, although I choose to watch the theatrical cut first and found that one to be just fine, although it was still great to be able to view what had been left out as well. My Bloody Valentine has what all slasher films possess: the creation of a mythology focused on a homicidal maniac bent on achieving rather violent ends. In this case, its a mining town haunted by a man named Harry who was once a miner-yet due to extreme circumstances he turned into a savage killer. Now the town fears that Harry has returned to wreck more of his vengeance upon the living on the eve of the town's first planned Valentine's Day dance in two decades.

Even though some of the typical stock characters are present, My Bloody Valentine is actually a fairly effective slasher movie with some truly creepy moments. The mine is used to great effect later on, as is previous scenes with the killer roaming about and proving that no one or nowhere is truly safe. Much of the movie properly deals with the town's twisted legacy of having failed to prevent one man from turning into a serial murder, and despite the young people acting a bit dumb at times most of the film's main characters are surprisingly well rounded for a low budget slasher horror movie. Whether or not the remake, which came out in 2009 and was created solely to exploit the 3D craze reborn is just as good remains to be seen, but that doesn't matter because the rather effective and eerie original still exists. 83

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