Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981). Director: George Mihalka. Screenplay by John Beaird.

In the small town of Valentine's Bluff there hasn't been a Valentine Day's dance for twenty years, not since several miners died due to the negligence of two partying supervisors who were later murdered by the maddened sole survivor, Harry Warden. In the meantime the mayor's son, T.J. (Paul Kelman) has come back to town after trying to make his fortune only to discover that the girl he abandoned, Sarah (Lori Hallier), has taken up with another guy, a friend named Axle (Neil Affleck). When the town decides to have a Valentine's Day dance, someone starts hacking up the residents, sending their hearts in little candy boxes to the mayor and the sheriff. No one, not even the institution where he was imprisoned, seems to know where Harry Warden is. Although the dance is canceled, some of the miners and their girlfriends decide to have a party out at the mine, even going so far as to descend into the mine itself for a little shenanigans, making them that much easier for the killer to slaughter. Supposedly many of the close-up gore effects in the film were excised, but the movie is entertaining enough without them, emerging as one of the better “slasher” flicks of the period. The mine setting is eerie and well-used, there is a generous amount of suspense, a fairly exciting pick axe fight to the death on a moving mine car, and some genuinely good acting as well. The usual cliches are therefore made more palatable.

Verdict: Quite entertaining if you're in the right mood. **1/2.

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