Slasher Classics: My Bloody Valentine (1981)

September 20, 2008 by  

By 1981, slasher flick fever had definitely overtaken the American box office. There were a slew of horror flicks about guys in masks, killers at camps, and even Christmas time wasn’t safe anymore. But what about what was going on in Canada? Things okay up there? Well, not in the town of Valentine Bluffs. Even with free health care, relatively decent cost of living, and plenty of hockey, there were problems with the increase in crime rate. Of course, don’t tell Michael Moore that. This story will make him choke on “Bowling for Columbine”!

This little classic took us away from the sleepy summer camps, and the noisy streets of the city, and even the suburbs. We go right into a mining town in this one. It’s a nice departure, and almost made me think if Michael Cimino would have had a little more of a dark sinister edge to him, maybe this would have been a direct rip off of “The Deer Hunter”. After all, wouldn’t it have been a great horror story? Vietnam vet comes home and instead of trying to hunt deer (which he can’t anymore) he hunts humans? It makes sense! Wow, what a missed opportunity. Think of what “The Deer Hunter” could have been!

Anyway, so yes, we have this little town that is your average, blue collar town and we focus on a group of fun loving miners who are all geared up for the upcoming Valentine dance on Saturday night, the 14th. Remember, this is Canada. But, who knows how many mining towns had their own little Valentine dances here in the great U.S. of A.? There is a snag in the little arrangement, however. You see, twenty years ago, a mining disaster cost the lives of four miners while the two supervisors went to the boss Valentine dance, left them right before the mine collapsed around them. The four men died, but there was a fifth man. Harry Warden was found alive, and angry. He exacts revenge on the two supervisors, decked out in his mining outfit (Slasher Horror Movie Rule #1: The killer must be in uniform!), and he’s committed to an institution. But they say…every year he comes back, and if there’s a Valentine’s dance scheduled, death awaits!

Now, is it just me or is this a subtle way of keeping kids away from dances? Maybe this is how Canada handles their low crime rates. They make slasher movies about things they don’t want their kids doing. I wonder if they’ve made a movie about hunting down hockey players who sign with southern states in America?

So, the way this killer “warns” you he is going to attack, is he sends out valentines with bloody hearts in it.

Lunch is served!

Lunch is served!

The mayor is scared to death of Warden ruining the dance and killing everybody, and after the brutal murder of the Party Committee Leader, Mabel, he cancels the dance.

But, these young horny miners and their girlfriends ask, WHAT ABOOT THE PARTY? They don’t care about heeding the warnings about Harry Warden. They want to get down, listen to really bad Canadian rock music, and drink Moosehead all the way into the wee hours of 11:00pm! That’s how they do, ay?

So, unfortunately for the mayor, and the dumb kids, Harry Warden is going to be making an appearance. He Choo-Choo-Chooses them as his next victims!

While the kids try to get him to Bee Friends with him, he won’t have any of it. The kids are picked off one by one, and the climax takes place in the mine, where of course some of the kids wanted to go to take a ride down the mine shaft. Haven’t you always wanted to do that?

Good thing we got free health care, ay?

Good thing we got free health care, ay?

The film does a great job setting up the killing scenes for the most part. There is always the false-scare once or twice, and the lighting is dark enough to give you the creeps, but not blot out what you need to see. There’s enough blood and gore to keep you sickos who enjoy that kind of thing satisfied (myself included), and the characters, while stupid and Canadian, are pretty fun and colorful. You have the regular assortment of the assclown who snorts beer to get attention, the fat guy with the mustache (pictured above), and you have two men vying for the heart of one girl. Now this is the one side of the story that at times gets so melodramatic, you’d think you were watching a Norman Mailer movie and/or a daytime soap, but it doesn’t crowd the movie too much. And the twist at the end is a very sweet and predictable pay off that makes very little sense, but is just as satisfying as watching the Canadiens beat up on the Maple Leafs. Or vice versa, depending on where you stand with that rivalry.

In any event, this is probably the best Canadian horror film ever made–but then, it’s going up against movies like “The Final Sacrifice”, so I don’t know if that’s a shot or a compliment. But either way, it’s good fun, and it’s classic.

Probably the guy who wrote this movie.

Probably the guy who wrote this movie.

So I recommend sitting back, cracking open a Moosehead or LaBatt’s, put on your netted trucker foam hat, and watch a bunch of Canadian teenagers get killed, ay?

I mean that’s what it’s all aboot, right? Sorry that was a typo.

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