Original Vs. Remake: My Bloody Valentine
Welcome back to another round of Original vs. Remake. Last time we did Flatliners. This time, we’re focusing on a movie that may be just a few months out of season. My Bloody Valentine. Lilyn tackled the remake and I snarked, uh, watched the original. How do they stack up? Let’s see!
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Synopsis: A decades-old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine’s Day turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer’s order and people start turning up dead.
I feel like Lilyn got the better end of the deal with My Bloody Valentine. At least she had some eye-candy to check out in-between ridiculous scenes. No such luck for me. I have no idea what age range the actors are even supposed to be in. They’re called ‘kids’, they act like teens but they look almost forty and work in mines.
And this town really, really gets into it’s Valentine’s Day, right down to the radio station named Qpid (which I have to admit tickled my punny bone) and even decorating the laundromat.
When the hearts start hitting the fan the Sheriff and the owner of the mine wants to keep it quiet because…reasons. The chief among them being that they don’t want to create a panic that the dreaded Harry Warden is back! Dun, dun, dunn! Although, in a town of what looks like about twenty people what’s the worst that could happen? People stay inside and lock their doors? I don’t think there’ll be a stampede or anything.
Even though I snarked my way through the better portion of My Bloody Valentine, it is a fun 80’s horror. It doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. I can’t even really place it in the spatter horror genre because the deaths are relatively subdued. One particular favorite is where a couple, quite literally, got screwed. And right after a guy gets nailed. Most deaths happen off-screen and the ones that don’t are pretty gore-less. There was even a pretty cool staging that I would have liked a more frontal view on but we only get an oblique look at it. The villain was pretty cool and creepy looking. I’ve always thought miner’s clothing and masks, particularly the older ones, to be a wee bit unsettling. The fact that he does look quite normal and the deaths are entirely plausible gives it a bit of a creep factor that it wouldn’t have had otherwise.
For all the general horror movie silliness occasionally (like a knife suddenly appearing in a hand, braids that turn into free-flowing hair and a coroner who can tell the exact age and sex of a victim merely by looking at a heart) there are actual moments when people do the common sense thing. I know, I was just as surprised as you. When stuff starts getting real the non-essential actors escape and get the police. The lead female actually looks grungy and stringy at the end. There were a few other surprising common sense moments. The rescuers discovery of the survivor, Henry Warden, makes a bit more sense in this version. They open up to find him alive and noshing on his buddies.
I have to give it props for having minimal background music. There are a few songs played as background bar music (I could be mistaken but I’m pretty sure one of them was a Dolly Parton song) and very light music in the more tense scenes. The only time I cringed was a love scene by the water where the music was so romantic cheesy. I will also fully admit to loving the end credit song – The Ballad of Henry Warden. It now resides snugly on my player.
Remember when I said there were some good music and common sense choices? Well, don’t apply those to the ending because it’s a bit “Um, uh, ok then”. Not so much because it’s a huge twist or anything but the music choice for that particular scene is a bit of a head-scratcher. As are the actions of the characters.
All in all a fun eighties horror and not too bad for a starter in the genre or for those viewers that prefer minimal gore. In fact, looking at the synopsis for the 2009 movie the killer seems to be more effective by 2009. The total body count, in the past and present, is around ten (perhaps fourteen).
My Bloody Valentine 3-D (2009)
Synopsis: Tom returns to his hometown on the tenth anniversary of the Valentine’s night massacre that claimed the lives of 22 people. Instead of a homecoming, Tom finds himself suspected of committing the murders, and it seems like his old flame is the only one that believes he’s innocent.
I watched this My Bloody Valentine because it had Jensen Ackles in it. His lips and cheekbones are more than enough to make me spend a few of my precious hours watching a movie, okay? And while there is absolutely nothing to merit this being called a good movie in any way, shape, or form, it was still an entertaining one. (Not quite a ‘so bad it’s good’, but at least mildly entertaining nevertheless.) Unlike the original My Bloody Valentine, this one doesn’t show the town getting all crazy over the holiday. Instead it uses it here and there for a few bloody images, and a chance to have a bunch of teenagers at the mine so that they can start dying ridiculous death.
The sheer amount of deaths in this movie make it fun to watch. From the eye-popping opening death, to drunk old men getting creamed, and that final “he’s not dead, have one last death!” scene. If you can think of a ridiculous way to kill someone with a pickax, Harry Warden has you covered! Some of them will have you laughing, some of them will just make you cringe.
My Bloody Valentine makes no sense at all. But it embraces the fact that it’s a no-think-zone slaughterfest. So that’s okay, right? Like the fact that Harry Warden – after a year in a coma – can get up and just go on slaughtering people like it ain’t nothing. When in reality, dude would probably have to spend quite a long time building up his strength to even do more than hold his own dangly bits to have a wee.
Most of the characters aren’t really worth talking about. But I must note that Jaime King has my full admiration for her scene in which she stalks out of the hotel room naked to lay some hurt on a scumbag. (She also had me laughing with a very well-quipped line during a gratuitous sex scene a few minutes previous) It takes steel ovaries to bare it all over a few seconds, much less as long as she did. And Kerr Smith… Has Kerr Smith been in anything since 2010? (Mostly TV shows that I don’t watch, it would seem.) Anyways, I cannot stand his character in this movie (just like in all the other movies I’ve ever seen him in) so I spent a lot of the movie anticipating his gory yet satisfying death.
Okay, I know it’s a “3-D” movie, but can something other than phallic representations occasionally fly at my face, please? Seriously. Out of all the things that could have flown at my face, it was one ball and umpteen hard pokey things!
Having read Gracie’s review above (and listened to her snark a little bit during the actual movie watching), I definitely got the better end of the deal. I got Jensen Ackles and, er, bouncy Jaime King, at least. All in all, the 2009 version of My Bloody Valentine probably is a good bit better than the original, but it’s still a movie you only want to pull out with some absurd drinking game like “Do a shot when someone dies via pickax”. Or if it’s Valentine’s Day and you’re angry at the world and single. That would work too.
Which movie gets your love? Either, neither or both? Let us know down below! Also, if you have any recommendations we would love to hear them! We may not always be able to do them due to availability but we’re always open to suggestions!