Paul Kelman - Jessie 'T.J.' Hanniger
Lori Hallier - Sarah
Neil Affleck - Axel Palmer
Keith Knight - Hollis
Alf Humphreys - Howard Landers
Cynthia Dale - Patty
Helene Udy - Sylvia
Rob Stein - John
Year - 1981
Score - 1.5 Howls Outta 4
**This was written on 2/14/07**
I know I haven't done one of these movie reviews in quite a while, but since it's Valentine's Day [psh], I decided to come out of hiding and grace you with my bitter and single presence. So I had a choice to review two Valentine themed movies. One is the pretty popular 2001 movie, Valentine, starring David Boreanaz and Denise Richards - but I really wasn't in the mood to review that film. So I decided to go for the second and probably hardly-viewed 1981 horror movie, My Bloody Valentine. So shove that arrow up your ass, Cupid...Da Wolf is gonna show you what St. Valentine's Day is really about.
In Valentine's Bluff in 1960, some men in charge of coal mines left early to attend a Valentine's party, leaving their workers down in the mines without checking the level of methane gas in the air. The levels of gas get a bit high and it causes an explosion, leaving the mines partially collapsed. Only one man named Harry Warden survives the explosion, driving him crazy enough to escape the mines and murder the people who left for the party. He was admitted into a mental institution, not before warning the townspeople that if they ever celebrated Valentine's Day again, he would return to kill them all.
For 20 years, the town doesn't celebrate Valentine's Day. Out of nowhere, decorations are being set up all over town by the town's teenagers [aka 20-something actors] who plan on having a huge V-Day dance. Coincidentally, people start getting killed, worrying the sheriff and the townspeople. The sheriff calls off the party, but the teenagers will have none of it, decided to have a secret party in the mines beneath town [tsk tsk]. Only wanting to celebrate love and get laid, the teens are oblivious that the killer is also in the mines, making sure Valentine's Day is a night to dismember.
1981, the time in horror movie history where slasher films based their plot around holidays. Black Christmas did it in 1974. Halloween did it in 1978. Friday The 13th did it in 1980. Why not a Valentine's Day slasher flick in 1981? Fortunately for this semi-seen Canadian film, it's not that bad. But it's not great either.
Let me start with the acting, or lack there-of. I would like to know who the casting agent was for this film and bash him or her over the head because this has to be one of the worst acted movies I have ever had the "pleasure" of watching. You think Paris Hilton can't act? Or half the cast of Passions? Wait until you see these "actors" work their craft. It's like watching the Real World, but less entertaining. The lack of acting wouldn't have been bad if the actors were at least decent-looking. But none of them are!! They're all sorry looking, and GOD what horrible fashion these kids were into! They all try to be token characters, but it's hard to care when none of them are nice to look at. Some even annoyed me to the point where I wanted them dead. The fat guy, while not a BAD actor, had really fucked up hair and dressed as if his mother picked his clothes out for him. ANNOYING. And then there's the ditzy broad who kept whining and crying in the mine because she was fuckin' scared. I couldn't wait for the killer to shut that bitch up. Yes...she gets the STUPID BITCH IN A HORROR MOVIE award - what a waste of celluoid. I used to sometimes complain that actors were chosen for their looks over their work. Here's a good example why I'm sometimes wrong. I apologize, Hollywood.
And the soundtrack...hahahahaha! I don't mind country music but Jesus Christ was this music horrific. I heard burps and farts more in tune than the crap I was listening to. These teens were so into the music and were actually getting down to it. Were they all tone deaf? Apparently this town is not only ugly, but musically-challenged. The mute button never looked or felt so good.
The directing was okay at best. Nothing horrible but nothing special. The director basically pointed and shot the script he was given. Can't complain.
I also disliked the fact that no girl in this film exposed herself. At least it would have distracted me from their bad acting and ugly mugs. And gore? None. What kind of slasher film has NO gore!? Would have made the film a whole lot better if there was some blood. But nope...no crimson at all. When I see a pick axe rammed into someone's body, I expect red splatter. Is that too much to ask for?
Was there anything I liked? The locale was pretty spooky and the killer wasn't half-bad. I liked the pick axe as a weapon and the flashlight helmet used to blind his victims. Pretty inventive for a generic serial killer. I also appreciated the decent level of mystery as to the identity of the killer. Rare in horror movies these days. I also liked the great opening sequence [who knew fucking in a miner suit would be so kinky and bloody] and the final chase scene wasn't bad, though the ending was kinda lame [won't spoil what it is but I wasn't too impressed]. Some of the kills were actually well-done [especially the nail gun kill...sweet stuff - too bad there was NO BLOOD!]. I also LOVED the human hearts in the candy heart boxes. That's what Valentine's Day should be about - real hearts served to your lover as a reminder as to what will happen to them if they betray you and break your heart! I mean, isn't that what love is all about?
THE FINAL HOWL
I wasn't expecting too much and that's pretty much what I got in return. It's an okay, if not a little boring, slasher film that doesn't break any new ground but might entertain those who may be interested in a coal miner killing people left and right - or just hate Valentine's Day period like I do. Thin plot involving a pissed off murderer who kills ugly teens - what more can you ask for an early 80s horror flick? So rent the movie, watch it with your girlfriend or boyfriend, and laugh at how mediocre My Bloody Valentine is.