Film: My Bloody Valentine ****
Running Time: 81 mins
Director: George Mihalka
Starring: Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Paul Kelman, Cynthia Dale
Reviewer: Adam Wing
Twenty years ago the supervisors at the local mine were so eager to get to the annual Valentine dance that they failed to check on the levels of methane gas. A massive explosion ripped through the mine and five workers were trapped underneath the debris. Harry Warden was the only survivor, the experience drove him insane, and one year later he returned to brutally kill the two men responsible. He cut out their hearts, placed them in candy boxes and sent them to the authorities. Harry was later captured and sent to the Eastfield Asylum for the insane.
Now in 1981, the fun-loving residents of this peaceful mining town are preparing themselves for the first Valentine dance to be held since that fateful night two decades ago. Memories of Warden's murder have long since passed and a group of fun-loving teens/young adults are looking forward to cutting loose. However, the night before the event the town mayor receives a bloody heart in a candy box with a poetic warning. It seems that Harry has returned, and he might have some loose cutting of his own to do.
You can forget the recent remake because the original My Bloody Valentine is a vastly superior experience in every way. The group of friends are likeable creations, as was often the case in eighties horror movies, and the plot moves faster than a runaway mine cart. The only available UK release is hampered by severe cuts, but the original version can be found on import, which means My Bloody Valentine is a largely bloodless affair and lacking in token female nudity. The fact that it remains so highly enjoyable can be credited to a killer plot and several well-staged set pieces that really go for the jugular.
If you can track down the unedited version then do so, it retains the blood and guts merely hinted at in the UK edition. Despite this tiny criticism, My Bloody Valentine remains a hugely inventive slice of 80’s horror, and it’s a shame that the promise of further instalments never came to light - I guess that’s why we had to endure so many Friday the 13th sequels.