My Bloody Valentine (1981), Lookback/Review
From the Recesses of Netflix: The Valentine’s Day Edition, we bring you My Bloody Valentine...
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! And for everyone who dislikes this beautifully commercial Hallmark holiday, ummm…Unhappy Valentine’s Day? If you love horror movies as much as we do, you know that holidays are just excuses to watch holiday themed horror movies. So if you’re cuddling with your special someone tonight (or your cat, that’s cool too) and you’re looking to pop in a movie, why not My Bloody Valentine?
My Bloody Valentine takes place in a small Canadian mining town called Valentine Bluff. This town is of course very excited about Valentine’s Day. This year is the first dance in twenty years. Apparently they let those grizzly murders, human heart filled boxes and a scary murderer in a gas mask get the best of them. But not this time! So the younger people in town have no idea that Valentine’s Day is the anniversary of a horrible mining accident caused by negligence in a rush to attend the Valentine’s Day dance (we told you, this holiday is a big deal). They were only able to rescue one person who survived by eating his fellow miners. He was obviously traumatized by the ordeal and did what any good traumatize person in a horror film does. He went on a killing spree.
But that was then and this is now. And the young people want their dance. Of course when people start turning up dead the town decides to cancel the dance. Of course the police, like all good small town police in horror films, cover the whole thing up. So the young people are somewhat unaware that this isn’t just a scary story their parents told them to keep them in line. And they are also unaware that some human hearts have started showing up in boxes. So they decide to have a huge Valentine’s Day party in, where else, the mines! This seems like a poor idea for a lot of reasons not involving a serial killer on the loose, but we’ll just go with it.
As the party rages on the body count gets higher and higher. There are some great murders including a young woman who becomes part of a shower system, a young man who gets cooked with the hotdogs and of course the dryer incident. Smells like cooked Mabel up in this joint! There are some great scenes where they get stuck in the mine. At this point the film starts to actually feel a little scary. And bodies keep piling up. At this point we should probably tell you there was this love story element that was absolutely ridiculous. It’s not even worth mentioning except that it adds to the Scooby Doo ending. Where, you know, the old killer isn’t the one killing people. But we’ll let you figure out who the killer is when you watch it.
This movie screams “I’m a horror movie from the 1980s” all over the place. And that’s ok. It is an early slasher film and helped build some of the stereotypes and tropes of the genre. Especially the first person camera shots from the killer’s perspective. We also really enjoyed the punk aesthetic of the gas masks and boots. Though we did want someone to say “are you my mummy” the entire film. It was campy in all the ways that we both expected and enjoy in horror films. And some parts are actually scary. Especially the claustrophobic mine shaft scenes. We also like that it doesn’t follow ALL the tropes of horror. Although the virgin does survive. So if you like those tropes this movie is still really good. If you’re looking for a good movie to watch this Valentine’s Day or just a good slasher movie, this one is great!