Nobody likes being alone on Valentine’s Day, so with that in mind I invited over Gabe Feinberg from the fantastic blog Beer And A Movie to indulge in every single person’s secret Valentine’s wish: watching couples suffer. We chose “My Bloody Valentine,” a 1981 “classic” and the 3D 2009 remake. Gabe also brought over two thematically appropriate beers: Porterhouse Red Ale and Hop Head Red IPA, about which I knew nothing except that I was glad of their presence, because these movies were pretty terrible.
The first “My Bloody Valentine” (1981 starring some kids with hilarious Canadian accents) shows how one-dimensional horror movie ideas can become. You can almost hear the writer saying, “Okay, we’ve seen people killed with carving knives, machetes, and chainsaws. Has anybody used a pickaxe yet?” The movie is set during Valentine’s Day, presumably because it was one of the few holidays left that didn’t have a horror movie attached to it. In a set up that’s both ludicrous and stale at the same time, a deranged miner goes on a killing spree on Valentine’s Day in Valentine’s Bluff, warning the town never to celebrate Valentine’s Day again. 20 years later, some sex-crazed teenagers do, and bloody hijinks ensue.
For the most part, the film is a lame, tame rerun of the same slasher cliches: lumbering masked killer slashes, teens having sex die, white-clad virgin lives, twist ending happens, etc. (Unfortunately it skips my favorite genre trope: the ass-kicking, virgin (usually) Final Girl.) It’s also a surprisingly tame “R” rating, with a body count of 9 and almost no blood. It also doesn’t have many scares. However, one scene is done very well: A girl runs from the killer through the showers of the mine while hanging miner’s gear drops down around her. It’s disorienting and builds tension well. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie does not follow suit.
The 2009 remake answers the question all remakes must answer (why remake this movie?) with the answer: Because now it’s in 3D!!! Unfortunately for our little viewing party, I do not have a 3D TV, so the best we could do was have Gabe yell out “3D!” every time a something came shooting towards the screen. And wow, did that happen a lot! The filmmakers pulled every last gimmick they could to throw things (literally) at the audience: pickaxes, gore, explosions, naked women, you name it. Warning, bloody picture ahead:
As this picture illustrates, the movie also takes a very hard “R” in the classic “gritty reboot” sense: full nudity, triple (or quadruple? I lost count) the number of bodies, lots and lots of blood. The other gritty reboot idea they pulled was the psychological thriller, an idea that was so poorly set up that when the big twist reveal happened, we were left scratching our heads. (The plot changed dramatically from the first film, but was lousy enough not to warrant a summary here.) Otherwise, it is a rehashing (reslashing?) of old genre tropes, with the exception that the black guy doesn’t die.
If you want to hear more about the beers we drank, Porterhouse Red Ale and Hop Head Red IPA, head over to BAAM for Gabe’s full analysis. You can also follow him on Twitter at beerandamovie1. I highly suggest you check out both, and get ready for more BAAM/WRM crossovers in the future! Maybe next time I’ll try reviewing the beer…