Saturday 13 June 2009

Move Review: My Bloody Valentine

I can't lie. I hate re-makes. I find them to be pointless cash-ins that only serve to rape the memory of films we love. God knows that there's precious few good horror movies around at the moment, anyway, so the prospect of digging an older one up, cutting all the violence and gore out to chase that ever desirable 12A certificate, polishing it, and slapping nu-metal/screamo soundtrack in only serves to demean the genre further. If you stick a shitty gimmick like 3-D over the top of it, then you're already raising my blood pressure further.

Here, then, is the twist: My Bloody Valentine is very good.

The film opens up when a cave-in in a mine traps six miners. Several weeks later when rescue teams arrive, they discover five dead bodies and miner Harry Warden, who survived by apparently killing the other miners with a pick-axe, in a coma.

A year to the day later (Valentine's Day), Harry Warden wakes up from his coma, killing virtually an entire hospital ward. At the abandoned mineshaft that was the site of the disaster, a party is in full swing, attended by a bunch of stereotypical slasher-movie teenagers, including Axel, his girlfriend Irene, Tom Hanniger (the son of the owner of the mine), and his girlfriend, Sarah.

Sarah gets separated from the group and, whilst searching for them, is confronted by Harry Warden in full miner's garb, carrying a blood-stained pick-axe. She runs for safety, finds Axel, and they hide from the killer. On their way out, they run into Tom on his way into the mine. Harry Warden hits him with the pick axe, injuring him, while the other three run for the car and leave him behind. Tom runs back into the mine in an attempt to get away from the killer; just as he's about to be killed, the police arrive and shoot the killer, but Harry Warden makes his getaway back into the mine.

Ten years later, Tom's father dies and he inherits the mine. Tom then returns to town after his father's funeral to sell it. And the murders begin again...

What impressed me most of all about this film was its willingness to eschew chasing after a gore-and-scare-lite 12A certificate, and instead just go for balls out 18 certificate gore and violence THE WAY A HORROR MOVIE IS SUPPOSED TO BE! YOU GET THAT YET HOLLYWOOD? Eyes are impaled on pick-aces, a mandibulectomy is carried out with a's like Jason never went to Manhattan, it's the mid-eighties, and all is well with the horror genre again. Breathe a sigh of relief.

The gore work, whilst mostly CG, is pretty impressive, although when viewed in the 2D version, the graphics sometimes look a little flattened. The retail package comes with two 3D glasses, but if you're watching it with a larger group, courtesy should probably dictate you watch the 2D version. Of course, let's face it: 3D is coming, whether we like it or not, and when in two years time everyone has 3D glasses coming out of their asses, this won't be a problem.

Don't get me wrong: My Bloody Valentine isn't without its weaknesses. The pacing is a little off at times, the characters seem to act stupidly and irrationally, the majority of the characters are paper thin cliches. The thing is, these aren't particularly the fault of My Bloody Valentine. Slasher movies are a genre in which cliches aren't negative things, but necessary requirements. We want our protagonists stupid, naked and dead. And My Bloody Valentine obliges.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Violence: Lots of eviscerated corpses and blood splatter. Several extremely detailed murders with spades and pick-axes. When I say "several" and "lots", it's code for "bucketloads".

Swearing: Consistent swearing throughout. We like swearing. It's big, hard and clever.

Sex/Nudity: One pretty explicit softcore sex scene, including naked tits and growler. Also it's a slasher film - all the breasts in it are huge.

Other factors in its favour:

3D effects are fun, and unlike a lot of conversions, it's still enjoyable in 2D.

Feels good to have a decent slasher movie again.

Well paced, and even made me jump a couple of times, which is pretty hard to do, as I've seen a lot of these things.

Overall: A pleasant surprise - a highly enjoyable and watchable re-make of eighties slasher movie. Great fun for most, and definitely recommended to snooty horror-movie elitists who think the genre's glory days are gone. - 9/10

My Bloody Valentine is available on DVD and Blu-Ray now, from all good retailers, including the E14 Amazon Store!

What's more, thanks to our friends at Lionsgate Films, we've got a copy of the movie to give away totally free! For your chance of winning send an e-mail to, containing your name and postal address before midday on Wednesday 17th June (UK time). The first name drawn out of the electronic hat will win a copy of this awesome movie.

By entering this competition, you declare that you are aged 18 years or over. This offer is only open to residents of the UK and Ireland.

1 comment:

  1. Is 3D REALLY coming to stay, whether we like it or not? Or is it going to be another flash in the pan like the last two times 3D was supposed to be the next big thing?

    Surely, just like the last couple of fad-phases when 3D assaulted our senses, everyone will eventually realise that it's just a cheesy novelty effect that only serves to completely detract from the only thing that's REALLY important in a movie: good story-telling.

    Of course, I have a rather more personal stake in the whole 3D business than most people, as I can only see out of one eye. Therefore, 3D doesn't fucking work for me. I've seen a couple of this latest batch of 3D movies, and the only way I know when there's a 3D effect is because the screen goes all fuzzy. I am hoping and praying that this current batch of 3D dies out as quickly as all the other 3D fads because, if it DOES become the norm (gods forbid) that could well end my lifelong love affair with film... and this would be nothing short of devastating to me, to be honest.

    Paulymorph: Old enough to remember when everybody was saying the same thing about 'Jaws 3D'.