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Blu-ray Review: My Bloody Valentine (1981)

One fateful Valentine’s Day up Nova Scotia way, a mine explosion killed a bunch of dudes because those in charge of making sure shit like that didn’t happen were partying hardy at the local holiday dance. As fate would have it, one man, Harry Warden by name, survived the explosion and went on to go on a murder spree of those involved in the disaster… and that stone cold mother fucker warned the town to never have another Valentine’s Day dance again, or else!

20 years later a group of “young” miners gets a wild hair to hold another dance, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, Harry (or a copycat) makes the scene and begins dispatching folks in ultra-violent ways (more on that ghoulish goodness below). Naturally the dance gets the ax, but our heroes decide to hold a secret party (who’s main attraction seems to be the large number of hot dogs on hand) at the coal mine which irritates our masked mutilator somethin’ fierce. Will anyone survive this dreaded lovey-dovey holiday holocaust?

Released at the height of the holiday horror boom of the early ’80s, My Bloody Valentine manages to not get lost in the sinister slasher shuffle and stands (severed) head and shoulders among the putrid pack. The reasons this fright flick achieves the above are varied; for one thing this flick is about as Canadian as they come which gives it a different vibe than the American product it was competing with at the time… and the mining town setting is both atmospheric and unique for the genre.

Another strength is the fantastic acting on display; we actually care a great deal for our plucky protagonists, and they come off as a super lovable bunch, even if they look a tad older than they are supposed to be, and our antagonist is visually stunning with his mining gear covering his frame from head to toe.

Of course these affairs are made or broken by the creative ways in which our hapless heroes are dispatched, and I’m pleased as poisoned punch to say the kills present here are quite imaginative and effective (even in their truncated Theatrical Cut format… though as before, more on that in a bit)… I mean you get a lady tumble dried to death and a dude drowned in boiling hot dog water for shit’s sake… and that’s just the terrifying tip of the icky iceberg!

To top it all off the closing credits feature a ballad about the film’s killer… fuckin’ bonus!!

As for extra features on this Blu-ray release, you get a party-sized assortment from the good boils n’ ghouls at Scream Factory! First up is a collection of all-new interviews featuring director George Mihalka (who details what an ass pain it was to get the film made), actors Paul Kelman, Neil Affleck, Lori Hallier, Helene Udy, Rob Stein, and special make-up effects designer Tom Burman.

Following that we get a side-by-side comparison of how the grizzly gore in the film was meant to be seen versus how it appeared on the silver screen, the picture’s theatrical trailer, TV and radio spots, and a still gallery… and that’s just disc one!

Disc two brings us an unrated cut of the film with all of that sweet bloodshed fully intact, and you can listen to an audio commentary from Mihalka his damn self describing the production in detail (though to be fair this is more of a nuts and bolts chat rather than a lively anecdote packed trip down monstrous memory lane) as you watch!

Also included are a conversation with the cast and crew from the 35th anniversary celebration of the film back in 2016, as well as a performance by Tom Kovacs from the same event in which he belts out The Ballad of Harry Warden mentioned above.

All in all, My Bloody Valentine is a fantastic stalk n’ slay flick, and rightfully deserves it’s place as slasher flick royalty… if you haven’t seen this, what the fuckity-fuck are you waiting for, and if you love it already, the extras here make this a must-own edition!

 

 

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