A little bit of a warning… I think I saw this film many years ago. I owned this movie on vhs and gave it away (dumb idea looking back) and yet watching this (Monday, Feb 15th) felt brand new. It was one of those feelings of “I’ve either seen this movie discussed on youtube or watched this” cos it felt familiar yet foreign. This movie is available on Prime and the remake (2009) is through HBO Max from what I saw.
I’m going to review the original My Bloody Valentine from 1981.
First off, I forgot this movie was from Paramount, it does give off Friday the 13th vibes. I like the plot, very simple with a killer on the hunt during a holiday dedicated to love yet the setting makes it different with a mine and mine shafts, it’s dirty, claustrophobic, you can easily get lost or it can collapse. There’s a lot of things about this slasher that does make it stand out a bit.
The characters are a mixed bunch of I care about them to just… leave them behind in the mine. I was trying to figure out how old everyone is because I am so used to 80s horror having “teenagers” and it was clear these are adults, like young adults in their 20s. They have jobs, drinking, being somewhat responsible, all that kind of energy. We also have an interesting love triangle of one guy (TJ) who had left to “make it but failed” and came back, his ex girlfriend Sarah, dating someone new (Axel), who also works in the mines and that tension fluctuates. There’s a moment where they get along and it’s okay and then it turns around the guys are into an altercation. The triangle does have a payoff, and towards the end of the film, you start to feel like… yeah there’s something to this.
The kills were great, I mean, we’re talking about a killer with a pick ax and that’s something you don’t see ever. It’s appropriate for the setting and obviously someone who has easy access to one so this isn’t some outsider coming into Valentine Bluffs. The killer’s calling card is leaving little Valentine’s Day cards inside chocolate boxes or even a real heart inside a chocolate box.
MBV feels and looks very 70s and I think that’s something that happens with these early 80s (1980-1982ish) films feeling older than what they are. I look at The Shining feels very 70s despite it being released in 1980 but we know it’s filming periods, maybe even Friday the 13th too.
My Bloody Valentine stars Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Don Francks, Cynthia Dale, Alf Humphreys, Keith Knight and Patricia Hamilton and directed by George Mihalka. I would give MBV a… 4 out of 5. I think it’s well worth a watch, a rec for slasher and one of the best to do “holiday” themed horror. It stands out and for good reasons.
I would consider this as a cult classic for sure.