Friday, February 6, 2009

My Bloody Valentine(1981)d/George Mihalka

Face it,everyone's a fan of the original My Bloody Valentine,and I've been no exception since I frequented the American Theater down on Main Street multiple times the week it ran way back in 1981,proudly displaying the great one-sheet on my bedroom wall for years to come.Even so,as an eleven year old,I knew what I'd seen was an incomplete realization of what director Mihalka had envisioned for the big screen,thanks to Fangoria's stellar coverage(as always,it seemed!)of the film,and juicy stills of gory splendor that had seemingly vanished from the theatrical print to avoid the ever present X rating for violence slasher flicks were facing in that era.When the first dvd was released,I was frankly pretty bummed.The gore hadn't been replaced,the disc was bare bones,and the disc sleeve looked like balls.When I caught wind of the pending remake,I was less concerned with the new interpretation and more hopeful that a special edition that did proper justice to the original would surface.Ask and you shall receive,as they say.Lion's Gate has delivered the definitive dvd,with ALL gore restored and a slew of extras,making me one extremely happy camper...or is that miner?
Chief Newby removes Mabel from the skin cycle.
Twenty years have passed in the little working class town of Valentine Bluffs since a methane gas explosion trapped five miners in a shaft while the crew foremen left the mine early to attend the town's Valentine's Day dance.Selfless guys,these supervisors,huh.Six weeks later,a miner named Harry Warden is rescued from the cavernous blackness,after dining on his dead co-workers' flesh to survive.Shit happens. After a year in the squirrel farm, Warden escapes on Valentine's Day to snuff the candles of all the guilty supervisors,cutting out their hearts and leaving them as a cautionary warning that,if the town ever has another Valentine's dance,the blood will once again spill.You know,I'll bet the townspeople will try and have a dance ANYWAY later on in the picture!In the present,the Bluffs' prodigal son T.J. Hanniger(Paul Kelman)has returned to town to work in his father's mine and try to patch it up with his one-time squeeze,Sarah(Lori Hallier),only to find she's now enjoying best girl status with fellow miner Axel Palmer(Neil Affleck).No worries,he's got a few days to try and reach her before...drumroll...the big Valentine's dance.And then the murders start happening again.
Lucky might want to rethink his nickname at this point.
As the night of the dance approaches,the mayor and sheriff have a mounting pile of Valentine's candy boxes with human hearts in them on their hands,and naturally deduce that miner-turned-cannibal Harry Warden has returned to exact revenge on the town for ignoring his prior warnings.Meanwhile,horrible Harry is the last thing on the young miners' minds,as they prepare to get loaded,fistfight,and make out with their dates like any good boys would do in the same sitch.When the officials finally step in and cancel the dance in hopes to quell the bloodshed,the boys plan a secret party anyway.And where better to hold it than Hanniger Mine itself?Yeah,brilliant idea.During the party progression, copulation-minded couples eat brutal pick-axe death at the hands of the mystery miner-maniac,when the sheriff and his mayoral counterpart find out that Warden hasn't escaped from his rubber room afterall,and died while institutionalized.So who's killing everybody?Could it be a jealous Hanniger looking to better his odds with Sarah by eliminating all his co-workers?Or could it be someone else entirely,bereaft of a full deck,and following an inner voice to carry on in Warden's footsteps?Curl up with your sweetheart and discover the horrible truth for yourself!
Make no mistakes,the uncut version is a different experience entirely.
What was once,in my estimation, a run-of-the-mill slasher that was slashed itself by heavy censorship has been restored to levels it should have achieved all along.There's an assload of inventive gore splashed across the screen here,transforming the viewing experience into a harrowing,disturbing,and memorable one!The effects by Thomas Burman look marvelous,at least on par with Savini's work of the day,causing Mihalka to screampuke at the sight of at least one of them!I'll finally place this entry in its rightful place among the top slashers of the eighties,believe me,it's been a long time coming.Mihalka shopped a sequel to Paramount in 2001,which they abruptly snubbed,citing the original's so-so returns at the box office.The special edition dvd should set you back anywhere from ten to fifteen bucks,and you really do owe it to yourself to run right the hell out(or is it oot?Canadians,set me straight!)and add this to your collection.I'll be putting the new 3D remake in proper perspective here shortly,as I can think of at least one reader who's ready to spring from her horror-loving honches at your humble N over it!CoughVictoriacough.This one,on the other hand,scores a solid scale rating of:
Harry Warden dishes a dose of very violent Valentine's vengeance to Axel's dead daddio.


The Igloo Keeper... said...

Ah yes, the original - nice review, very nice.

beedubelhue said...

Thanks,Iggy!I enjoyed the shit outta seeing it as it was meant to be seen after all these years.If it was due in part to the remake's release,so be it!Slasher fans rejoice!

Balberith said...

Oh good god, yes! It seems the original VHS I have HAS to be heavily cut because a selection of your screen shots are new to my eyes.

Oh fuck, the excitement! I am buying this now

beedubelhue said...

Vicki's stoked!Haha

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