My Bloody Valentine

Year:  1981
Director:  George Mihalka
Cast:  Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Paul Kelman, Alf Humphreys, Keith Knight

In the small mining town of Valentine Bluffs things have not been the same since a freak mining accident claimed the lives of several men years before while the security was at the Annual Valentine's Day Dance. With a warning from one of the sole survivors of the accident never to hold the dance again, a group of local youngsters decide to hold the dance twenty years after the accident. Well needless to say (it is a slasher movie after all) on the eve of the Valentine's dance, people begin to be murdered by a killer disguised in a mining uniform and armed with a pick axe.

My Bloody Valentine was Canada's answer to the success of Friday the 13th and Halloween, and as the old cliche goes: Imitation is often the best form of flattery.  Sometimes downright creepy, other times very soap-opera-ish, My Bloody Valentine tries to develop its main characters and make the audience sympathetic to them before it sends them off to be butchered. A good thing to try to attempt in this genre, but this film goes about it the wrong way, resulting in many tedious and drawn out scenes between the heroine and her two love interests. However, the acting is above average for this type of film, and once the real action starts toward the end of the film, it transcends into a highly energetic and creative film. The menacing darkness of the mine itself provide the ideal creepy and clausterphobic setting for a film of this type and is certainly among the most memorable settings in slasher film history. It is a refreshing change from the camp/forest, slumber party, college campus setting that was seen in practically every other slasher picture released around the same time.

Overall, My Bloody Valentine is a well-crafted, well directed little film that serves as a paragon of the genre.  It is certainly deserving of the cult following that it has obtained.  This is a must see for any true horror fan.

Fright Meter Grade:

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