You know when someone asks if you’ve seen their favourite movie and say you seen “parts of it” because you don’t want to seem like a total pop culture pariah? Yeah, we do too—and we hate ourselves for it! That’s why every other week, we’ve vowed to watch at least one movie we’ve put off, ignored, rejected or just plain-out forgotten about. Join us as recount the popping of our cinematic cherries, complete with awkward, over-analytical details!
Photo: Paramount Pictures
MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981)
DATE RELEASED: February 11, 1981 (U.S.) / February 13, 1981 (Canada)
DATE WATCHED: February 11, 2012
WHY NOW? With that day where all elementary school kids have to pretend to like each other in exchange for candy coming up, I have been craving some suitably-themed fare. This seemed like a natural choice, given the title and subject matter. (Also, I already watched my regular V-Day go-to, 2001 David Boreanaz slasher Valentine, two weeks ago. )
WHY NOT THEN? Unfortunately, I wasn’t even an atom when this Canadian horror classic (shot in Sydney, Nova Scotia, yo!) was released. I was around for the 2010 remake though, and unlike many other reviewers, I found it to be frothy, fucked up fun.
- A plot pretty similar to the one in the recent 3D adaptation – a miner taking revenge on the people involved in a horrific underground accident a decade or so ago.
- Said minor wearing his old-school mining outfit while killing not-so-innocent townspeople.
- A hospital-set massacre of some kind.
- A haunting, Prom Night-esque soundtrack. (It was done by the same composers.)
- Lots of epic, V-Day-centric puns, used to describe the wholly unromantic events.
- Some vaguely recognizable B-list Canadian actor that I have to IMDB in order to realize I don’t actually know them or their generic name.
- At least one literally ripped-out heart. And a whole bunch of other, totally apt and brutal kills.
- Some super unflattering ’80s sweaters worn by not-quite-good-looking, yet overdeveloped girls. Hipster flannels and Chuck Taylors on the just-mediocre guys.
- At least some traditional, early slasher POV shooting. Perhaps with heavy breathing, made even heavier by the gas mask.
- A epically cheesy title card in which the Os in Bloody were replaced with animated hearts.
- A highly suggestive opening sequence in which a yellow-teethed blonde fondled the hose of a gas mask (ewww) and then got a pick axe to the tattoo heart, which was conveniently located right above her actual heart.
- So many ripped out aortas I lost count.
- A town called – get this! – Valentines Bluffs.
- Lots and lots of V-Day puns, found on valentines sent out to the killer’s various soon-to-be victims.
- A gas-masked villain named Harry Warden, supposedly traumatized from getting trapped in a mine with a pile of dead coworkers (and then having to eat them to survive!) 20 years back.
- The dead-old-lady-in-a-dryer gag! And my 12-year-old self presumed that was a I Still Know What You Did Last Summer original!
- Some terribly overwrought acting on the part of the wholly unrecognizable cast. That might sound like a criticism, but considering its a slasher movie, it was perfect as it took the already over-the-top story to a guilty pleasure precipice.
- Some definite Nova Scotian accents. (Maritime pride!)
- Tons of POV slasher shooting, complete with the gas mask breathing.
- More chest hair than a Bee Gees concert in the 1970s.
- A slightly too-long finale, with a sudden, ill-explained twist that no one could possibly see coming. Although, it was a lot better than the “He’s got a split personality!” end of the remake.
ONE NIGHT-IN STAND OR SECOND DATE POTENTIAL? I see this as a once-a-year fling and possible third wheel to Valentine. I’ll just have to keep any heart-shaped sweets at bay during our rendezvous.