Thursday, 26 February 2009

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

Dir: George Mihalka (Les Boys IV, Pinball Summer)
Cast: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight, Cynthia Dale, Don Francks, Peter Cowper
Canada, 1981

Seen: Jan 25, 2009 (original version) & Feb 21, 2009 (with deleted scenes)

Reason to see: It was one of the picks for February for the Final Girl Film Club. I chose it over the newly released with 9 or so extra seconds edition of Friday the 13th (1980).

I have no idea what compelled me to watch the original film instead of just going for the straight up uncut version. Perhaps because it is a film I likely would have seen in its original version, but hadn't, so thought original than uncut would be a more authentic experience.

The film is a lot of fun, I think what I appreciated the most about it was how Canadian it felt. Not in an artsy fartsy way, but how it felt like regular folk at their regular jobs who have fun after work and plan for parties on holidays. Yes, I'm sure this happens worldwide but there was certainly a homey quality that made it extra charming. That is until all hell breaks loose! It is a slasher movie after all, and it has all the classic elements required: creepy backstory, young people messing around, a 'nice town' and of course a menacing baddie in a crazy outfit and claustrophobic location. Seriously, whoever thought of using a mine as a location is a genius. And the miner mask? Jeepers, gives me the creeps!

The effects ranged from a few "what is that?" to "ewwwwwwww I know what that is!" but were always impressive, especially considering it's from 1981. The uncut version certainly gave you 'more'. More blood, more guts, more effect, more impaling, more everything for any scene that ended in someones demise. My only beef with that was watching it on DVD the quality of the image from the regular to the delete scenes was extremely obvious as it when from crystal clear to grainy. But! It made it clear to tell it was the extra footage and that it was going to get beyond bloody.

It was my intention to see this at the January screening at the Bloor which would have been a 35mm print uncut for the very first time presented by Rue Morgue, and even had director George Mihalka in attendance! I was so excited. But, as it turns out it was a freaking cold day (January in Toronto can be like that), so I decided to call it quits. A blessing in disguise as that night the entire West End of the city fell under a blackout, including the theatre. So, I snagged the DVD from Best Buy of all places and watched from the comfort of home. Twice.

Warnings: Not for the faint of heart.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend for fans of classic slasher films

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009

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