Tuesday, February 21, 2012
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Last year, around Valentine's Day, I reviewed the rather craptacular "Valentine". This year, I'm going to be reviewing a true classic of of the holiday horror films- the 1981 Canadian made, "My Bloody Valentine", since I was able to find a copy and watch it this year.
Sorry it's a week late... shall I give you my heart?
After a mine collapse caused by negligence on Valentine's Day, Harry Warden is found alive, but insane... having eaten the others trapped with him. A year, Harry returns and kills several people- warning the town of Valentine's Bluff that it'll happen again if they ever throw another Valentine's Day dance.
The town has faithfully heeded this warning until one year, against the requests of the sheriff, a small group decide to have a Valentine's Day party... out at the mine where Harry went insane...
This is classic 1980's horror material. You can certainly see elements of John Carpenter's "Halloween" in some of the scenes, and general theme. I have to say that I certainly enjoyed watching it.
The camera work, while not as slick as many of the movies produced now, is still interesting and effective for the most part. There is some real good use of shadow to create mood and atmosphere, that contrasted with other parts that were brighter and more upbeat. I was really impressed with how they did the filming in the mine tunnels- which were filmed in the Princess Colliery Mine of Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia. The site was chosen because they looked "dreary, cold and dusty". Unfortunately, when they arrived, they found the mine redecorated by the townfolks to, "make it more presentable".
The acting is typical of horror movies from the 1980's- not super spectacular, but still enjoyable. Paul Kelman was good as T.J Hanniger, Jr, and Neil Affleck did a good job as his friend/rival Axel Palmer. Sarah, the girl they both loved, was played nicely by Lori Hallier. I enjoyed Don Francks in the role of Chief Jake Newby, as well as Alf Humphreys as Mayor Landers. Of course, the best acting was done by Peter Cowper in his role as The Miner/Harry Warden. It's not easy to acting without saying a word, and wearing a gas mask, you know.
I enjoyed the characters- and liked them, despite the fact that most of them were the sort you find in ANY horror film. You come to like them and want them to survive. They're also all distinct from each other, yet mesh well. Their interactions were entertaining and fun.
Despite the fact that it is a little dated visually, "My Bloody Valentine" is one of those films that I would have no problem pulling out for a 1980's horror night, or just for the simple fun of it. I'm going to place it in 'The Good"...