Monday, February 14, 2011

Dollar Bin Horror Spotlight: My Bloody Valentine (1981)

By Eric Polk of The Audio Descent podcast-
Happy Valentine's Day, Reaplings!!!! What better way to say "I Love You" to your sweetie then by watching this great gem from THE golden age of the slasher film. Diehard fans of the genre know the story, but for the ones who have yet to see...

In 1961, in the sleepy mining town of Valentine Bluffs, a methane gas explosion at Hanniger Coal Mine trapped five miners in a shaft when the foremen of the crew left early to attend the town's Valentine's Day dance. Six weeks later, the sole survivor of the accident, Harry Warden, was rescued; he survived by eating his dead coworkers and ultimately went mad. After a year in a mental institution, he escaped on Valentine's Day, killing and cutting out the heart of the guilty foremen, leaving a warning that the same would happen if the town ever again held a Valentine's Day celebration.

With the legend of Harry Warden nothing but a distant memory, a group of young miners and their girlfriends decide that the town has gone without a party long enough. As the night of the dance approaches, a murderous maniac in mining gear begins dispatching townsfolk in bloody and creative ways. The town sheriff and mayor quickly deduce it must be Harry Warden, who was returned to the institution, though their attempts to confirm Warden's status are hindered. Despite the murders, the young adults continue with their plans for a dance, laughing off the "stories" of the murderous Harry Warden. Finally the night of the dance is reached and as the Miner dispatches off several partiers, a group decides to venture into the mines to explore and impress the women. Realizing that a killer is on the loose, a rescue party composed of best friends T.J. and Axel go after the others and Sarah, who both men love.

Amazingly, the strengths of this film lie in the story and the acting(and of course the gore). For a slasher film, there is an additional layer of depth with T.J. returning from a failed bid at Hollywood stardom. And the Harriet song? Hilarious. To my knowledge, I don't remember seeing the actors in anything else, but they served themselves proudly in this feature. One of the legends of this film is the fact that 9 minutes was excised for gore, but can be seen in the Special Edition which met with the approval of the film's director, George Mihalka.


Larry said...
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Morbidementia said...

Very nice review! I can't say enough about this one. The opening shot is totally classic, the killer is very original, the whole thing is great, start to finish. Heck, I even liked the 3D remake. If you haven't seen My Bloody Valentine yet, you better get on it.

Eric Polk said...

Thank you Morbidementia! Hope you enjoy the rest of DBH as well!