Last year I invited Gabe Beer And A Movie over for a Valentine’s Day marathon. We reviewed two terrible versions of “My Bloody Valentine” and drank two thematically-appropriate beers. It was (to steal a line from a Valentine’s Day favorite) the beginning of a beautiful friendship. This year, we gathered to watch another bloody Valentine; this time the 2001 slasher “Valentine.” According to Amazon, this film stars “N/A,” but Amazon also gives this film 3 ½ stars, so I wouldn’t rely on it for accurate information.
What Amazon fails to recognize is that the cast of “Valentine” is a veritable Who’s Who of TV actors and Plucky B-List Sidekicks of the last decade and a half, proving that B horror movies won’t kill your career, but they may give it the zombie-bite of undeath. Arizona Robbins, Agent Booth/Angel, Bubble Boy’s Girlfriend, Elle Woods’ Sorority Sister, and Denise Richards (remember her?) make up the main cast. (Katherine Heigl makes a brief appearance too, but it’s brief enough that it doesn’t merit much more than this sentence.)
In brief, the plot of “Valentine” is a bloody mess of horror cliches: there’s a mysterious killer, a past sin that must be atoned for (in this case, bullying Alfalfa’s creepy nephew at a middle school dance), and a lot of pointless plot twists. There are also a couple of PG-13 sexy scenes mostly involving Denise Richards, Denise Richards’s bikini, and her attempt to go Maker’s Mark on a guy with some red candle wax. In case you were wondering how “Valentine” fits into the theme of Recycled Movies, you can rest assured that this film recycles enough bad plot cliches to qualify.
Anyway, our motley crew of Four Interchangeable Blondes And A Brunette are stalked by a killer with a Cupid Mask and a perpetual bloody nose. (Tangent: I can’t help wondering if, in our world of forensic DNA testing, one of the lab technicians at an early crime scene hadn’t said, “Hey, this blood leading away from the crime scene isn’t from the victim! It’s someone else’s blood! And look, that person has a criminal record! I bet he’s the killer!” It would have made the entire movie shorter and more interesting).) Unfortunately, thanks to the horror cliche that all cops must either be inept or lecherous (or both), the only detective in this film does nothing but hit on Denise Richards until he’s found bobbing in a pool.
Besides having a penchant for getting a bloody nose whenever he’s about to kill somebody, the killer in “Valentine” is not particularly interesting. Like weather-themed supervillains, holiday-themed serial killers tend to be on the lamer side of the serial killer efficacy chart. However, when you only have one shtick that makes you stand out from the masked-killer crowd, you need to embrace your shtick fully. Otherwise you’re just one of the faceless, lumbering horde of B-movie psychos. Cupid Mask starts out well. He sends creepy Valentines to Four Blondes And A Brunette. He even kills Blonde #2 with a bow and arrow. Nice touch. But after that, Cupid Mask abandons his holiday mojo. He starts killing characters pretty much indiscriminately (what did Minority Maid With 2 Lines ever do to him?). He uses a (figuratively) dull butcher knife for most of the movie. (The exception is Denise Richards’s death, which involves a hot tub, a drill, electrocution, and drowning. We can only assume this is because her bikini somehow grants Rasputin-like staying power.) Adding those problems to an ending reveal that manages to be both confusing and cliche, and Cupid Mask basically guarantees his chances of getting to a sequel are nil.
I’m out of things to say about this movie. Sometimes you just need a bad slasher to wash the taste of critical analysis from your mouth. Of course, then you need good beer to wash the taste of bad slasher movie away. Fortunately, as always Gabe provided good beer. Read his review of the movie and the beer here. Maybe next time we can watch a bad Rom Com instead. Anybody up for “Valentine’s Day?”