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Case Number 02133: Small Claims Court

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My Bloody Valentine

Paramount // 1981 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // September 3rd, 2002

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All Rise...

Editor's Note

Our reviews of My Bloody Valentine (Blu-Ray) (published November 24th, 2009) and My Bloody Valentine: Special Edition (published January 13th, 2009) are also available.

The Charge

Be mine. Be dead.

The Case

It's been twenty years since the town of Valentine's Bluff lived through horrific tragedy. Back in 1960, a disaster occurred in the local mine shafts leaving five workers dead and one man severely insane from weeks of underground burial. It seems that while the accident was happening, the miner's superiors were up having a ball at the local Valentine's Day dance. A year later (Valentine's Day!), the sole survivor, Harry Warden, came back to settle the score with a pickaxe and his mining uniform (think a more technically advanced Jason Voorhees). On that fateful day, Harry left the locals with a chilling warning: never have another Valentine's Day dance or the bloodshed will begin anew! Flash forward twenty years, and there hasn't been a single dance since. But things are about to change when the local kids decide that it's time once again to return to their traditional Valentine's Day dance (i.e., sex, booze and cussin'). Of course, this turns out to be just one in a series of bad decisions that brings about the return of Harry Warden and his notoriously deadly pickaxe! As T.J. (Paul Kelman), Sarah (Lori Hallier), and their friends attempt to have a good time, ol' Harry pops up to break their hearts…literally!

Like the ascending crest of a wave, My Bloody Valentine was one of seemingly millions of Friday The 13th / Halloween horror clones to penetrate the 1980s. The slasher checklist is in full swing:

Good lookin', nubile coeds: CHECK
A murderer with a "unique" mask: CHECK
Creative death scenes: CHECK
Adults who can't seem to find their bunghole with two hands: CHECK
Heavy breathing by both the killer and the horny teenagers: CHECK
An ending that leaves a gigantic opening for a sequel: DOUBLE CHECK

On almost all levels My Bloody Valentine is a replica of every other slasher flick from the decade of decadence. The dialogue offers us nothing in the way of characterization or plot importance. The teenagers are all interchangeable yahoos who wander off into the dank parts of the mineshaft calling out the names of their friends. No surprise here as to who answers: Harry's pickaxe. The death scenes aren't nearly as gory as the Friday the 13th series (save for a woman who gets stuffed into a dryer), and the killer amounts to little more than a WWII breathing apparatus on legs. His MO: stuffing his victims' hearts into cardboard candy Valentine's boxes. Whoop-dee-do. The writers try to inject a complicated love story about two men loving the same women (oh, woe is them!) that falls as flat as a paper heart. The teenage actors all run around drinking beer (remember the days of pull tabs?) while shouting intelligent pontifications like, "You know what would look good on you? ME!" I know what you're thinking—years from now we'll all be quoting the wit and wisdom that is My Bloody Valentine. While My Bloody Valentine is only the tiniest of blips on the horror genre's radar, it does get bonus points for predating Scream with its whodunit ending.

I won't say that I wasn't slightly entertained by this movie, though in all honestly the words that kept ringing in my head were, "been there, done that." At least a half dozen times.

My Bloody Valentine is presented in a decent looking 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Paramount has done a decent job at cleaning up this print to the point where colors appear generally bright and black levels look mostly solid. Unfortunately, it looks as if the negative may have been colleting dust on some unnamed shelf—with a good amount of dirt and grain in the picture, this transfer is less than stellar. Still, for what the movie is this is a more than apt looking image. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono in English. The track is clear of any excessive hiss or distortion. This is a very typical mono soundtrack that features no surprises. Also included on this disc are English subtitles and a French Dolby Mono mix. Paramount gets a chainsaw to the noggin' for the exclusion of even a single theatrical trailer on this disc. Harry would not be pleased.

My Bloody Valentine is worth a rental with the guys on Friday night, though don't even think about tricking your date into thinking it's really a fluffy "romance," or it will be more than your heart lying in a box on the kitchen table.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 70

Perp Profile

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles:
• English
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 1981
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Genre:
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• IMDb








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