3D Old School Slasher
Trivia The original My Bloody Valentine was released cut in all territories as apparently the studios pre-cut the film before it even got to the censors in an effort to try and meet a wider audience. That films director, George Mihalka, found the excised footage a few years ago and has been trying to get an uncut version released but there were always rights issues with Paramount refusing to fund a new version. However, to coincide with this release Lions Gate bought the rights and have released a special edition version as of January 2009. This version only has a run time three minutes longer than the original though, prompting much fan speculation that this isn’t the definitive version we’ve been waiting for. Some fans think that of the lost footage, some of it is just scene padding talky stuff and that has still been left on the cutting room floor. The truth of the matter, as with all these kind of things, is probably going to be a long time coming.
Two scenes from the original movie are recreated quite faithfully in the new 3D version. The first is tumble dryer murder and the second is the scene down the mine when a character is running from the killer and she suddenly finds herself surrounded by hanging miner’s suits.
A lot of the characters from the original made it in to the remake, most notably Alex, Sarah and Tom, although Tom was called T.J. first time around. If you’ve seen the original and are expecting the ending to be the same, don’t. Let’s just say the 3D remake doesn’t have the same twist and leave it at that.
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My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
17th Jan 09
A young miner returns to his home town on the tenth anniversary of a Valentine night massacre that claimed the lives of 22 people, only to discover he’s the number one suspect in a recent spate of copycat killings.
The original My Bloody Valentine is possibly one of the most underrated movies to come out of the early 80s slasher boom, started of course by the phenomenal financial success of Halloween. We at eatmybrains.com watched it at Zombie Club a couple of years ago and enjoyed it immensely (click here for our ever honest write up of that evening), noting that for once decent characterizations and a good script can carry a slasher movie with not as much gore as you’d expect. Yes, we originally thought that My Bloody Valentine was a well made but tame beast, until all that confusion over how the killer looses a hand in the final encounter came out. How can that be? Did we miss something? Well, yes. The original was pre-release cut by between 3, 7 or 9 minutes depending on what source you believe by the studio to get an ‘R’ rating, and even though the footage resurfaced a couple of years ago, Paramount refused to release the uncut copy, probably because the general over saturation of the US DVD market meant it wasn’t financially worth it.
Anyhow, the 3D remake has a plot that’s different to the original, but not a million miles away. This one tells the story of Tom Hanniger’s (Jensen Ackles) return to the small mining town of Harmony ten years after a string of unfortunate events. To start with, teenage Tom’s mining inexperience attributed to the cause of an accident in the mine tunnels his father owns which killed five men and put a sixth man, Harry Warden, into a coma. Warden awakes from the coma one year later and heads to the mine where the local teenagers happen to be staging a Valentine night party. Armed with a pickaxe and glorious 3D he goes on a killing spree until the Police gun him down, and Tom leaves town to come to terms with his grief. Ten years later, Tom returns to a frosty reception as his then girlfriend Sarah (Jamie King) is now married to his former best friend Axel (Kerr Smith) who is now the small town sheriff after taking over the role from the legendary Tom Atkins (yes, the Tom Atkins). Also, with his father passing away recently Tom now owns the mine and the locals are none too happy about his plans to sell. And to add insult to injury, there’s a copycat killer on the lose killing people in a miner’s outfit just like Harry Warden’s and the finger of suspicion is being pointed firmly at Tom, which is a little unfair considering how many secrets the inhabitants of Harmony have hidden in their closets. And what happened to Harry Warden anyway? Or is this Harry Warden, returned to finish the job he started ten years previously?
All will be revealed, as they say, and a lot of fun will be had in the process. Let’s not beat about the bush, My Bloody Valentine 3D is barrels of fun from start to finish, and plays for cheesy 3D thrills all the way. The pick axe straight at the camera is the favourite, but there are plenty of aerial takes to impress you too. The shots of the cast running around in the mines trying not to get killed are also ace fun though, as you never know when the masked killer is going to jump out. There's some full frontal 3D nudity, which is nice, and there is also a generous amount of gore on show which is thrown around the screen quite liberally, although a fair amount of it is CG, especially the splatting on the screen stuff that is supposed to give us those 3D chills (although studios have been using 3D CG effects as far back as Jaws 3D, so lets not be too harsh on them for that). Look out in particular for a character getting his jaw ripped off – that made me cheer out loud which I think pissed off the high brow journo sitting next to me. And I didn’t notice the score of the film at all, so it must have done its job pretty effectively then if you believe in the ‘you shouldn’t notice a good score’ way of thinking.
Nobody is going to win any acting awards for slasher fair like this, but the cast do a fine job with what they’ve got, and the nature of the plot means at any one time a handful of the cast could be the killer. Until they are unceremoniously dispatched that is, so pay attention at all times! Ackles is believable as the prodigal son with a chip on his shoulder; Kerr Smith is similarly convincing as the small town sheriff with personal life issues, mainly that his wife’s ex-boyfriend is back in town. Jamie King is also very believable as the young mother with decisions to make and Tom Atkins is, well, he’s Tom Atkins. To tell you the truth I couldn’t tell you how good his performance is as every time the fella appears I found myself just starring at the screen in amazement, sometimes mumbling ‘that’s Tom Atkins…wow…’ under my breath. Tom Atkins. Wow.
So go to the cinema and see this flick. I haven’t enjoyed a 3D movie for a long time (what the hell was Scar 3D all about? Shame on you Angela Bettis) and while My Bloody Valentine 3D probably stands up well on its own in 2D, if you wait for this on DVD you’ll miss out on a seriously cool evening, which is why we're giving this baby 4 stars (what the hell, we are a genre site). You might even be able to take your missus with you for a change, although I wouldn’t play the ‘cut a whole in the popcorn box’ this time around, if you know what I mean.
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