A Different Sort of Love Letter – My Bloody Valentine (1981)

When it comes to slashers, Canadian-made My Bloody Valentine is one of the all-time greats. Featuring an urban legend within the film about a miner that returns every Valentine’s Day to butcher and murder should people decide to celebrate, it captivates and entertains from the very start to the very end.

While a lot of masked men would go on to become slasher mainstays in numerous sequels The Miner or Harry Warden would only star in this one. Despite there being a remake many years later, it would have little teeth so to speak and fail to come close to the quality of the first that it was based upon. Directed by George Mihalka, the man would create a moody and claustrophobic slasher that would set the stage with a young woman being killed, thereby letting the audience know what was to come should they keep watching which of course, they would. Taking place in Valentine Bluffs, a town with a name a little on the nose, they would decide to hold a Valentine’s Day dance for the first time in twenty years as that story about Harry Warden had fallen into almost disbelief, nobody believing it anymore. A few would still remember but with so many years having passed, most think there is no reason at this point and time not to hold one. It is here where the horror truly begins, though they know it not and it leaves audiences wondering just how it is that Warden would have known the townspeople are having a dance as he no longer lives in said town having left many moons ago, a question that Mihalka would soon answer.

So with a little bit of mystery running along in the background, it is not long before the blood and guts of the film, quite literally, start to emerge as one by one, the killer cuts a lot of the people down. What is refreshing about this film is that those who star within, while still young, are not the usual high school or college students that slashers typically sport. Here, these are all working men and women in a small mining town where life is a little tough but where they know how to have a good time when needed. That being said, The Miner will kill anybody and everybody that gets in his way and does so in spectacular fashion, there being enough blood and gore present to satisfy the most die-hard of fans. The special effects are incredible to see as the insides of people are suddenly on the outside and for those that like seeing graphic carnage, they will not be disappointed.

Altogether, My Bloody Valentine is slightly cliché when it comes down to it, the story of a killer coming back to seek revenge being told many a time in many a film but it was made exceptionally well with a solid cast in Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck and Cynthia Dale to name a few and remains as good a film forty years later from when it first premiered back in 1981.

4 out of 5

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