Not since Friday the 13th Part 3 have I remembered so vividly a 3D horror movie. Now, with the release of a My Bloody Valentine remake in 3D, Lionsgate raises the bar, at least in production value.
When I first heard that My Bloody Valentine was being re-filmed, I thought to myself, “Huh?” I had never seen the original, so it took a bit of research to find out what the movie was all about.
In the original, directed by George Mihalka, a disgruntled miner named Harry Warden (played by Peter Cowper) goes on a killing spree, killing fellow miners by cutting out their hearts. Cutting to present day, a group of teenagers get the bright idea to hold a Valentine’s Day party in the mine where the murders took place. It proves to be a fantastic idea, as the party-goers are dispatched one by one. Is Harry Warden back from the dead with his trusty miner’s helmet? Possibly. The movie was reminiscent of those good old 80s slasher movies that we all loved. It was filmed in Canada (how about those Canucks?), and had 19 minutes of edited footage that was cut due to excessive gore, which was only included recently in a re-release by Lionsgate.
Now, Harry Warden is back. AGAIN. Lionsgate revisited the sleepy mining town of terror by recreating the movie, but this time in 3D. And that is where the story goes bad.
The original storyline is well intact. We have the flashback of Harry Warden (now played by Rich Walters) going crazy in a hospital a year after the original mining incident, which we never see but are told was a “mining accident”. We also don’t know why he started killing everybody. We can only guess it has to do with some workers union disagreement. What we do know is that he returns to the mines after leaving the hospital, and happens on a group of teenagers who got the bright idea to hold a Valentine’s Day party in the mine where the accident took place. After dispatching many of the teenagers, Harry Warden attacks Tom Hanniger (played by Jensen Ackles), but is held off by the police, who apparently shoot and kill Warden, and Tom is left a gibbering idiot.
Ten years later, Tom Hanniger returns to take over the mining company after the death of his father(this fact was left out until now) after being in a mental institution. When he arrives, murders begin. Is Harry Warden back from the dead? Probably. Slasher stars never stay down for long (see Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kreuger, Michael Myers, etc.). The town thinks Tom is responsible. Tom isn’t so sure (obviously). The hunt ensues to uncover the truth, before the whole town ends up dead, or the mine is sold to Germans.
The Good: My Bloody Valentine is brutal in the gore factor. It’s in 3D, and not like Friday the 13th Part 3. The theater gave us these big Buddy Holly glasses, and I’m glad I kept mine on. When a woman gets half her head severed with a shovel, and the 3D has the head slide forward at you, that’s good use of 3D. When a miner throws a pick-axe from fifty yards away straight at the audience, and it sticks into a car’s windshield, that’s good use of 3D. This movie played the 3D card for every grisly scene, as well as they should. There wasn’t much else holding this movie together. Besides the drunken old men playing caricatures of old mining men.
The Bad: Everything else. The storyline was annoyingly vague, which doesn’t work too well with a basic slasher movie. It’s as if the movie is meant to be watched after seeing the original to get the storyline straight. I hadn’t seen the original at the time, so I was stuck. The twist ending made me, and half the theater, throw up their arms in anguish, since it wasn’t suspenseful so much as, “So wait, why did this all happen?” Granted, it’s a slasher movie, but usually a storyline of “killer on the loose” doesn’t have so many scenes that you look back on and scratch your head about.
All in all, I give this movie 2 out of 5 bloody pick-axes. This movie should only be watched tongue in cheek for the visual effects. I can’t imagine how they’ll pull off the DVD release.