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My Bloody Valentine [1981] - Unrated Director's Cut - Lions Gate Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
Written by Richard Taylor   
Saturday, 14 February 2015
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AKA: Aniversario de Sangre, Blutiger Valentinstag, Моя кървава любима, Dia dos Namorados Macabro, The Secret, San Valentín sangriento, Verinen Valentine, Meurtres à la St-Valentin, Il giorno di San Valentino, Aniversario de sangre, Moja krwawa walentynka, O Assassino Romântico, Dan krvavega Valentina, Мой кровавый Валентин, Blutiger Valentinstag

Directed by:
George Mihalka
Written by:
Stephen Miller, John Beaird
Produced by:
John Dunning, André Link, Stephen Miller
Cinematography by:
Rodney Gibbons
Editing by:
Gérald Vansier, Rit Wallis
Music by:
Paul Zaza
Special Effects by:
Tom Burman, Ken Diaz, Tom Hoerber
Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight, Alf Humphreys, Cynthia Dale, Don Francks.
1h 33min

Studio: Paramount Pictures
Distributor: Lions Gate

In 1981 the slasher boom was at an all-time high and censorship was even higher. Paramount Pictures flagship horror series Friday the 13th had been released a year prior and due to its extreme success, every other studio decided to cash in by releasing similar minded slasher films (Prom Night, Happy Birthday to Me, April Fool’s Day etc). Within the halls of the countless array of slashers, some films rose to the top of the heap whilst others just stagnated. Some personal favorites of mine, which also felt the cold-blooded knife of the censors, are films such as The Burning or The Prowler -- all with similar plots and deformed maniacs on a rampage who have been dealt some injustice in which they feel they can go on a blood raged killing spree to right the wrong and make the people responsible pay. Paramount released Friday the 13th Part 2 and it was subsequently hacked by the censors, containing footage which was never to see the light of day. Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter was also heavily censored and to this day the footage can only be seen in a shoddy rough cut. Paramount blamed the heavy censorship My Bloody Valentine faced on the woes they faced with Friday the 13th. The year before, director George Mihalka also blamed the censorship on the death of John Lennon, in December of 1980, which resulted in a major backlash of violence in movies.

Thankfully in 2009 Lions Gate released an unrated version prior to the release of their remake My Bloody Valentine 3D. Probably the only good thing that came out of the remake was the very fact we got the full version of the original film. Much like the unrated footage in other originally censored films, you can notice the downgrade in quality during these uncut scenes, compared to the quality of the rest of the release but who's complaining?

My Bloody Valentine did well in its initial box office release and faded away quickly amongst the hordes of other slasher films of the time, which is a damn shame because personally I feel it has a lot going for it, as does director Quentin Tarantino who ranks it as one of his all-time favourites. The location in the film which is the Princess Colliery Mine in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia is one of the prime reasons why this slasher film stands out among the countless others and as myself being a resident of the east coast of Canada, My Bloody Valentine absolutely and positively bathes in this atmosphere, from the accents of the actors, to the countless bottles and cases of Moosehead beer strewn around the set. In my opinion My Bloody Valentine is a piece of east coast Canuck horror history.

It was said The Sydney Mines were chosen over another mine because of its remote location and that upon the film crew’s arrival, the town had even fixed up the mines to make it look more presentable. The Canadian vibe is strong, but in actuality the movie is trying to portray that it takes place in the United States -- what a big failure this is! You have actors who are well known in the Canadian film community such as Cynthia Dale (who was in a little known Canadian law drama called Street Legal among other things), even the town sheriff played by Don Francks, you have to recognize, especially his voice if you grew up watching TV as a kid on CBC, with shows like Captain Power And the Soldiers of the Future, the voice of Dr. Claw on Inspector Gadget, or the narrator on Danger Bay, you'll notice his voice more than his face. 

The gore is a real treat in this one too. The effects team lead by Tom Burman really outdid themselves and it’s a shame their work never saw the light of day until the unrated cut. You get some great pickaxe impalement's, beheadings, a body burned up in a clothes dryer and much more. The music was done by Paul Zaza (Prom Night) and at the end of the movie when the credits roll there is even an eerie campy song about the movie called The Ballad of Harry Warden by John McDermott. The kicker, like I said before, is the atmosphere which is utilized by the mine itself. We get a good suspenseful chase scene down there, as well, during the climax. There is also another great scene of a bartender in the local bar warning the kids not to mess around with the legend of Harry Warden, "It could be you!!!!" The original ending with the arm severing is kept intact too.

The plot of the movie takes place in the small mining town of Valentine’s Bluff’s where a mining tragedy years before put a halt to any Valentine’s Day celebrations. A group of miners were said to have been left down in the mine by careless supervisors, anxious to go to the dance. All of the miners died except one who went insane and ate pieces of the others to stay alive; this miner was Harry Warden. Warden was locked up, got out and returned to the town on one Valentine’s Day to kill the men responsible for abandoning him down in the mine. After this ordeal the town hadn't celebrated Valentine’s in years… until now. People start ending up murdered in gruesome fashion with their hearts stuffed in heart-shaped candy boxes, reminiscent of what Harry did years before.

My Bloody Valentine is a great slasher film. It’s campy, has some great creepy moments and should definitely please fans of the genre. This version is the only one to watch.



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