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My Bloody Valentine (1981)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Movie Connections:
My Bloody Valentine
> My Bloody Valentine (1981)
> My Bloody Valentine (2009)
Genres / Traits:
Horror, Slasher Film, Valentine's Day
Director:
George Mihalka George Mihalka
Starring:
Paul Kelman Paul Kelman
Lori Hallier Lori Hallier
Neil Affleck Neil Affleck
Keith Knight Keith Knight
Alf Humphreys Alf Humphreys

6.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: February 18, 2007
It's time once again for an eighties slasher flick, and what better slasher flick than one centered around Valentine's Day? I realize that I'm a bit late in "celebrating" this holiday (I blame Netflix, although that excuse didn't work with the woman of the house), but it's the thought that counts - right? I thought so.

The story in this one takes place, appropriately enough, in the town of Valentine's Bluff on Valentine's Day. The residents of this small town have been going all out for the holiday, as every last window and wall in the town has been plastered with decorations. They've also been planning to throw a huge party, but these plans infuriate the local bartender, who goes on to explain that, twenty years ago, a man by the name of Harry Warden was trapped in an underground mine-collapse for two weeks, during which time he was forced to resort to cannibalism in order to survive. This cave-in was the result of the supervisors leaving work early in order to attend a Valentine's Day dance, so naturally, Harry doesn't exactly enjoy the holiday: in fact, he murdered a bunch of people on the next instance of the holiday and warned the town to never throw another Valentine's Day party. He was locked up in a mental institution for his crimes, but this does little to set the weathered old bartender at ease... especially when a few people turn up dead, their hearts cut out and placed in candy boxes. The party must go on, however, and our heroes for this little outing - Jessie 'T.J.' Hanniger (Paul Kelman), Sarah (Lori Hallier), and Axel Palmer (Neil Affleck) - will soon discover that not everything is as it seems.

To a certain extent, this is a predictable eighties slasher flick as it follows all of the guidelines that the previous entries in the genre had laid out: a respectable body-count is established, there's an obvious suspect, a few red herrings are thrown in along the way, and the film is wrapped up with a surprise finish that you probably won't see coming. This has been done a thousand times over in other films and it's also been done better, but I still enjoyed the hell out of My Bloody Valentine.

This can mostly be attributed to the fact that the film is simply done in an entertaining fashion. I don't care how predictable a movie is and I can overlook a lot of budgetary issues because at the end of the day, all I really want is to be entertained for ninety minutes. This film entertained me, thanks in large part to a director who made what is admittedly a by-the-books slasher into something worth watching. The storyline flows along nicely and the characters are likable, and there's a couple of truly-inspired sequences which I particularly enjoyed (the human hearts in the candy boxes was a nice touch).

I've mentioned that the movie was slightly predictable, but that's only to a certain extent. You see, as the movie progresses, viewers will realize that there's probably more to the story than the simple "lunatic returns to town to kill people" plot that the characters establish. These particular viewers will find that they were correct when the ending rolls around, but they'll probably be surprised at the details of the situation - and shockingly enough, it all makes sense and wraps the movie up nicely.

Seeing a human heart stuffed inside a heart-shaped candy box was nice, but gorehounds will also find a couple of other goodies throughout the running time. My personal favorite was the "death by dryer" scene, as I can honestly say that I don't think that I'd ever seen the results of a human body taking a few spins in a clothes dryer before watching this. There's a couple of the usual stabbing deaths that slasher fans have come to expect from the genres, but there's also a handful of creative kills to watch for.

While most people probably cuddle up with their significant other to sit through a chick flick on the fourteenth of February, horror fans could do much worse than cuddling up with this one. It's not a perfect film, but it is an entertaining one. 7/10.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 06/05/2007, 04:20 PM
A fantastic slasher flick -- one of the best from the 1980's. The version you saw and the original version I saw was the theatrical version, which was minus 9 minutes of gore, which explains the quick and choppy death scenes. The censors had a field day with this one when it came out and it shows in the theatrical release, which is sadly the only DVD release available. The scenes cut out make the film far bloodier and far more inventive than a lot of other slasher flicks from the same time period. We need a DVD release with the Director's Cut of the film. 6/10 for Theatrical Release, 8/10 for Director's Cut.
Chad #2: Chad - added 06/05/2007, 04:25 PM
I was reading about that, but I was under the impression that the director's cut was never released to the public. Where can you get the original version?
Tristan #3: Tristan - added 06/05/2007, 04:32 PM
That would explain a lot. I have this downloaded, and right before someone gets killed, there's a cutaway or it just shows the aftermath of the death. Sort of F13 7ish. How long is the uncut version? IMDb has it clocked in at 91 minutes for the US version, but I doubt that's the uncut one. All that aside, this was a very enjoyable film. There were some pretty nice kills, and they would have been a whole lot better with a little added gore. 7/10
bluemeanie #4: bluemeanie - added 06/05/2007, 04:33 PM
I bought a bootleg copy back in like, 2003 maybe, when I saw the film for the first time. They're out there. You just have to find them. The Director's Cut just adds about 9 minutes back to the film.
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 06/05/2007, 04:36 PM
The best addition is the couple killed in the mine. In one scene you see them kissing and then another character finds them dead about ten minutes later, with no idea how they died other than the stake sticking through both of them. The added scenes include their murder, which is especially cool because the killer stops before he kills them, while they are screaming and just stares at them and then jabs them quickly -- makes it far creepier.
Tristan #6: Tristan - added 06/05/2007, 04:44 PM
I like the scene where he looks at the heart on the girls chest, and lifts her onto a spike or something. You don't really see what it is. I can imagine it comes through in the uncut, version, but it's a huge letdown in the one I have.
Crispy #7: Crispy - added 06/02/2009, 07:01 AM
So the Special Edition that's currently sitting in Wal-Mart for 13 bucks, is that the uncut version?
Chad #8: Chad - added 06/02/2009, 09:25 AM
According to Amazon, nope.
Dametria #9: Dametria - added 06/02/2009, 10:56 PM
Yeah, I actually saw this one with the boyfriend on Valentines day (last day it ran in theatres arround my town) and paid the extra $3 for the glasses. Now, the movie was pretty awsome...... predictable, but awsome. The gore was great and there were some big laughs. If you like the cheezy 80s slasher genre, like I do, youll love it.
HOWEVER I could have really done without the 3-D effects. Most of the time it was just that the background seemed a little farther than the main characters, there were only like 3 scenes where stuff came into the audiance that were pretty cool but I think THOSE would look campy in a non 3-D version.
Crispy #10: Crispy - added 07/10/2009, 02:42 AM
A little slow in spots, but entertaining enough.
Nirrad #11: Nirrad - added 08/29/2010, 09:54 PM
Just finished watching this. I have the Blu-Ray version and it looked excellent. This one did have the added footage because there was extra gore and you could tell because the scenes weren't as great quality as the rest of the movie. The only thing that seems to be missing is the actual kill scene with the drill or whatever it was with the couple. I got to see the aftermath and it appeared to have a long uncut shot and it showed a lot. Overall, this movie is awesome. 9/10
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