Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Movie Review # 34: My Bloody Valentine 3D

Directed by Patrick Lussier

Remakes of classic horror films have become about as common as your first piss of the morning, and most of them are just that -- piss. Rather than reinventing the slasher genre, Hollywood has recycled it. But I don't care what anyone says, the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the first remake, not the mistake known as "The Beginning") was an excellent movie. Hollywood has cashed in on the remake craze these last few years and dished out dozens of awful reworks of cherished classics, much to the dismay of die-hard horror fanatics like myself. Needless to say when trailers for My Bloody Valentine started to surface, likely the only thing that got the attention of my fellow genre buffs was the fact that it was in 3D (apparently 2009 is slated for over 40 3D releases, most of which fall into the horror category). Now all we need is someone to open a drive thru . . .

Director Patrick Lussier claimed in a recent issue of Rue Morgue that his writers "stayed true to the story" as much as possible, which should be refreshing to fans of the 1981 Canadian original. Most directors claim to do this but very few actually succeed. So the story goes, a small mining town called Harmony is in chaos over an underground killing spree in Tunnel #5, where several miners died by the hands of a psychopath named Harry Warden who is left in a coma after the incident. The film opens in a hospital one year later, when Warden awakes from his coma and one of the best bloodbaths I've seen on screen ensues (the film crew admits to applying the blood to the set using buckets). Police arrive on the scene and are greeted by severed heads and mutilated bodies, with Warden leaving behind his trademark souvenir -- a human heart in a box of Valentine chocolates. Lussier claims the hospital scene is his homage to the original, a fitting intro to his version of the script.

Ten years later, main character Tom Hanniger (played by Jensen Ackles, whose bland and unintelligent delivery painfully resembles Keanu Reeves) returns to Harmony to negotiate the sale of the mine after his father's death. Too much time is spent developing this part of the story, because the audience really doesn't care about the mine being the locals' bread & butter - we just want to see some blood. MBV3D definitely delivers in this department. Warden's weapon of choice, the pickaxe, makes for some interesting kills that are further enhanced by the 3D, especially when the audience almost gets "hit" with a flying jawbone. In one scene a girl takes a shovel to the face, splitting her head in half at the mouth. Creative use of gore is the saving grace of this film, so much so that I'm willing to overlook the awful plot and poor choice of casting.

Unfortunately the film felt very long and drawn out, but just when boredom started to set in our masked miner appears for another murder. The gore factor is the strength of the film and holds our interest throughout. Messages like "Be Mine Forever" splattered in blood on the walls keep the Valentine theme going, and what is a horror film without some good old fashioned nudity? There's a great motel scene where blonde bombshell Irene (played by Betsy Rue) chases after her trucker boyfriend completely nude, wearing nothing but heels and carrying a pistol. This movie really has it all -- blood, violence, nudity, and even a midget, making it well worth the extra $2.50 for 3D glasses at the theater. I give it 5 toes and recommend it to anyone in the mood for a non-stop gore rollercoaster.

Check out the My Bloody Valentine 3D website over at:

No comments: