Friday, October 18, 2013

Film Review: My Bloody Valentine (1981)

My Bloody Valentine (Review)
United States/Canada/1981
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes 
A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!*

"...you must watch the uncut version if you really want to see the gore."

The small town of Valentine Bluffs is preparing for a Valentine's Day dance. But the legend of Harry Warden -- a miner that survived in a collapsed mine, which was cause by the negligent supervisors awaiting the Valentine's Day dance, by eating his coworkers -- has returned for more vengeance...

My Bloody Valentine is an 80s slasher. However, this film focuses a bit more on story than your typical Friday The 13th installment. We hear a lot about the legend -- playing out like an urban legend -- two days before Valentine's Day. During the days prior, a kill or two occur as Harry Warden warns of a massacre if the dance occurs on Valentine's Day. Of course, it still occurs as the oblivious young adults move it to the mine, despite warning. From there on, the slaughter commences, one by one. The final act takes place in the actual mine, which creates a nice cat-and-mouse vibe in a claustrophobic environment; I enjoyed the ending of the film.

Not all of My Bloody Valentine's story elements work for the better. There is a love triangle that doesn't really add much to the film, other than creating an annoying character; and, for once I'd love to see two women fight for one man in a good film. Other than that, most of the story revolved around Harry Warden, the town, and this young group. Stupid decisions are at a minimal level, which is good. There is plenty of tension, especially during the final act, along with some solid jump scares. The gore effects are amazing, some that will send chills down your spine. However, you must watch the uncut version if you really want to see the gore; unfortunately, the Amazon Prime stream is the censored/cut version of the film.

The acting is great. Again, I've been watching a lot of Friday The 13th, so it's refreshing to see such a competent cast on screen; it's not award-winning, but it's very good by slasher standards. The gore effects are great, delivering practical effects and shocks -- as long as you watch the uncut version. The writing is good, not completely original but competent; and, it creates a great urban legend, which I'm a sucker for. The film is shot to stand the test of time, particularly thanks to the forgiving lighting in the chilling mine scenes.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed My Bloody Valentine. It delivers the practical gore you'd expect from an 80s slasher, as well as a solid focus on story and a great cast. A few minor annoyances bring the film down a bit, but it's generally a great film. I strongly recommend the uncut version.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore. (the cut version of the film briefly shows the aftermath of the kill, while the uncut version is much more vivid and graphic)

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