My Bloody Valentine - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

My Bloody Valentine Reviews

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½ December 2, 2016
Of all the slasher-holiday movies that were made cheap and easy in the late 70s/early 80s, this is the mad fun. It's got a quirky Canadian vibe going and the setting/killer are very memorable.
November 1, 2016
A terrific slasher that's obviously inspired by Friday the 13th and Halloween but is all of its own, predominantly due to its setting. This film is made and set in Canada so isn't churned out of the holiday machine. It captures the fun of 80s horror cinema without ever being too annoying.
½ October 30, 2016
Valentine's Day is coming around and the young people of the small mining town of Valentine's BLuffs are organising a party. A few decades earlier an explosion at the mine trapped six miners underground. One, Harry Warden, survived, though in a deranged state. Warden is sent to a mental hospital but escapes and murders those he deems responsible for the mine accident. Now people are being brutally murdered again, and the townsfolk suspect that it is the work of Harry Warden.

Better than your average slasher-horror, not that this says much. Reasonable set up, and a decent amount of intrigue. Does fall back on many horror cliches, and the performances are so-so. Plot is ultimately fairly formulaic, but has its moments.
October 14, 2016
This terrific slasher flick from the 80's holds a special place in my heart because of how insanely Canadian it is. Shot on location around Nova Scotia (and featuring some incredibly thick east coast accents), it gives the film a unique atmosphere that sets it apart from other horror movies. The script is very formulaic, but it's surprisingly well-directed and acted, and has much more style and suspense than one would expect from a movie like this. The mine setting and the fact these are woking class characters instead of high school or college kids are a welcome change. My Bloody Valentine is all the more enjoyable now thanks to some long lost gore effects footage being rediscovered and put back in the film, making it one of the bloodiest slashers of the decade. It's scary, funny, campy and especially enjoyable for Canadian horror fans (seriously, Moosehead beer appears in almost every scene).
July 9, 2016
One of the greatest slasher gems of the 1980's.
½ July 2, 2016
For an 80's horror, this is passable. At the time, it would have added a little variation to the likes of Halloween, and Friday 13th, whereby the masked killer comes after their prey with a big knife. This time it's a pick-axe wielding maniac that tears out people's hearts. I actually watched the remake before this so I thought that would spoil the story, but to my surprise it has an alternative ending which I didn't see coming. It's very easy viewing in the sense that a legend from the past has supposedly returned to the village on the anniversary of a tragic mining event, and is keen on causing havoc at a teenage dance. It always makes me laugh how the youngsters all look about 50 years old, what with their crazy 80's hair and handle bar moustaches, but there's nothing wrong with a bit of retro. Given the generational gap, it's by no means as gory as the remake and a fair bit is left to the imagination but that doesn't necessarily detract from a horror that has got all the basics right. It lends itself to a sequel but as far as I'm aware, there still hasn't been one, so fingers crossed there may be something in the pipeline one day. It hasn't gone down as a classic but that could just be down to this lack of sequels as opposed to lack of quality, as the horror classics can tend to be associated with quantity and not necessarily quality. Definitely worth a watch, if only for the comical fashion that's on display.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2016
One of the best slashers from the 80s, My Bloody Valentine had all you needed in a horror film: Killer with rules, teenage lovebirds, scary costume, iconic weapon. It wasn't really that gory but the lighting combined with the atmosphere were good enough to give you the creeps.
½ March 13, 2016
As someone who could never stand "Friday the 13th," this film is a great take on the slasher flick. The characters always seemed to be more thought out and fully fleshed (pardon the expression) than the average people who populate slashers. The villain is a memorable one, and it has a great twist ending. I understand why it's rated so low on here (it's a good slasher, but a slasher's a slasher, and that's not a genre known for attaining "Citizen Kane' levels of cinematic greatness) but as a horror movie fan who appreciates effort and really good scares, I make it a V-day tradition to see this one.
½ February 28, 2016
In a long search for a slasher film I would consider truly great, My Bloody Valentine managed to catch my attention as a cult classic.

When it comes to slasher films, there are simple demands to make an enjoyable feature: plenty of violence and nudity. This means that My Bloody Valentine has minimal expectations to cater to, but the resulting feature turns out rather meandering. The opening scene depicts two people preparing to have sex in a mineshaft for some godforsaken reason. The general idea of it is ridiculous enough to bring laughter into the film, but unfortunately the sight of a half-naked woman is the most nudity the film will get. Though there are plenty of stupid teenagers in My Bloody Valentines, they don't entertain viewers with sex and nudity but are rather just plain stupid. Occasionally this is played off for comedic results, but it doesn't have the same extent of appeal within a slasher film that boobs do. It's as simple as that, but that's not how director George Mihalka sees it.
After the intro, My Bloody Valentine kicks off with gleeful energy and idiotic characters as a means of adding the elements of aforementioned humour. The film is able to consistently oscillate between this and horror to ensure that it takes itself seriously without neglecting the need to have some moments of silliness for the first act of the film. This keeps things mildly entertaining between the murders until the film hits its killing spree climax. Among all this, My Bloody Valentine takes only about 10 minutes before it explains who its antagonist is. Though this takes away the trope of mystery common in slasher films, it reveals the motives of the killer to audiences and offers a valid reason for the killer to be angry. However, this also leaves the potential for audiences to experience a twist which combats their expectations and plays with their certainties. My Bloody Valentine follows the simplistic conventions of a slasher film enough to cater to fans though it has some slight elements of innovation. However, none of them end up being all that transcendent amid the utter simplicity of the entire film.
For one thing, the predominant setting eventually becomes the mineshaft seen at the start of the film. This is good in the sense that it provides viewers with a sense of claustrophobia which combines which confines the characters to a setting of no escape, but the visual appeal of this gets old really fast and so the setting ends up as repetitive. Why the characters end up choosing to enter the location still baffles me, but the film does not encourage intellectual stimulation and so I didn't find concern in determining why. The fact that the film uses on-location scenery boosts the credibility of the narrative since its genuine nature works to make things convincing.
There ends up being a lot of blood in My Bloody Valentine which ensures that it lives up to the promises of its title and its generic contract as a slasher film. There are a large number of victims in the film who are given the unsuspected execution with a pickaxe before bleeding everywhere. One of them is a burn victim, but she is the exception and features some effective prosthetics. The killer goes through essentially the same method of killing every time, coming out of unsuspecting places to kill whomever with the same pickaxe. He digs into them with enough strength to deal a blow which doesn't require the actors to deliver melodramatic reactions to the generic stabbings of standard slasher fare. And thanks to the way the story is set up, the killer in the story is able to appear freely on the screen within the confines of his costume and yet maintain a hidden identity for the sake of mystery.
Frankly, amid the countless generic slasher films to come out during the heyday of the genre, My Bloody Valentine rises above many of the low standards. The quantity of nudity in the story is not one of them, but the fact that the film manages to capture so much on a minimal budget means that it keeps to its low-budget roots but never ends up feeling all that cheap. It's made with a higher standard of filmmaking than the creation of Friday the 13th (1980), but more simplistic ambitions than A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Director George Mihalka clearly set out to make nothing more than a genre picture which he most certainly achieved, and he did it with plenty of blood of gore to keep the visual experience rich in colour. And the plot of the film ends up stretched to little more than 90 minutes so that it doesn't overstay its welcome. To keep things engaging, the pace of the film moves along at a relatively brisk speed without obsessing over its story or taking things all that seriously. And to top it off, My Bloody Valentine is a standalone film and does not have its credibility disregarded by an endless array of unnecessary sequels, even though the conventions of its story leave it open for one. It eventually ended up with a remake which was more critically and commercially successful in a rare case for remakes, but My Bloody Valentine still maintains its credibility as a standalone cult classic by not having a story which has churned out a ridiculous number of different stories about how the antagonist can't be killed.
There are no cast members who make any kind of a serious impact in My Bloody Valentine because the film is short on characters as slasher films tend to be. Since there is also no nudity, the actors cannot be immortalized for their appearances either. They are all generic players in a thin story which is of no challenge to anybody, though this is probably a good idea since viewers would never have heard of any of the actors in the film.

My Bloody Valentine is a half-decent slasher film: the story is generic, the method of murder is repetitive and there is no nudity but it still offers an original antagonist and plenty of blood to boot.
½ February 19, 2016
NOTE: This film was recommended to me by Bethany Rose for the "Steve Pulaski Sees It."

Perhaps if released in the late 1980's, or even the 1990's, George Mihalka's My Bloody Valentine would've been a film many slasher fans would've sneered at; it would've likely been a film dismissed as "more of the same" in a genre unwilling to subvert its more predictable principles to become something greater. Being released in 1981, however, when the slasher film was still a fairly new concept, My Bloody Valentine is actually a very significant for the time period. It's one of the few films of that era that didn't spawn a legion of sequels, let alone even a followup, and managed to tell its story and wrap it up without the feeling that it needed to build a cult of support and development around its pickaxe-wielding killer. It's a film that tells its story and leaves its mark.

The story is set in the small town of Valentine Bluffs, which is preparing for a Valentine's Day dance, the first in man years. A working class town where most men work as coal miners, the Valentine's Day dance was a popular event in the town before a mining accident occurred twenty years before. On-the-job negligence resulted in five men being trapped underground amidst dangerous level of methane gas. While four of the miners died, one survivor named Harry Warden survived through cannibalistic acts and was eventually rescued. A year later, after never being seen again, Harry exacted revenge on the supervisors that were responsible for the accident, killing them both and slicing through their chests to extract their hearts, which he left in Valentine boxes to be found; he warned Valentine Bluffs never to hold another dance again.

With Harry being locked in an asylum and a new generation of spry young kids wanting to commemorate Valentine's Day with a dance, the town complies and hosts another dance. Once again, as foreshadowed by a few of the older townspeople, murders begin happening by a man in a gas-mask wielding a pickaxe; Harry has presumably returned to avenge a town that has disobeyed his only wish.

My Bloody Valentine is rather dark and methodical for a slasher film, unwilling to commit to a more light-hearted aura like many of its successors would. Its fabulously paced score of synths and melodic music, composed by Paul Zaza creates actual suspense in conjunction with Mihalka's direction, which is filled with original camera-angles. Consider the closeups we see of the murderer, and the utterly gruesome deaths we see with an unblinking eye. Mihalka was going for something completely frightening and unapologetically terrifying with the mood he creates here, and it isn't until one sees this film after watching more comical entries into the genre that they realize what a breakthrough this film was, staying true to slasher films' original roots of being frightening, atmospheric, and tense.

The narrative is just believable enough to keep one watching, as it's not crafted in total randomness, and the deaths are just brutal enough to warrant some legitimate scares or jolts. Seasoned horror fans and cult followers will take note that pressures from the MPAA forced Mihalka to edit and scale-back his film significantly in the gore-department, and Mihalka's original cut, despite being filmed, has never been released to the public. An extended cut was released on DVD to coincide with the film's remake in 2009, adding three minutes to the film's original version, despite never releasing the completely untampered original.

With that, My Bloody Valentine is a particularly strong slasher because, for one, it recognizes its genre and respectfully handles its scares and its material, and secondly, plays along with the tropes by making this a heavily stylized slasher in aesthetic and atmosphere. It manages to be gruesome quite often, but elegant throughout, and with such a brutal concept, it's surprising that the result is so quaint.

Starring: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, and Neil Affleck. Directed by: George Mihalka.
½ February 6, 2016
Such a high score dissapointing...
January 14, 2016
Superior 80's slasher movie that stands out thanks to creepy atmosphere, good shocks and characters who react in realistic ways to the horror unfolding around them (a couple of scenes were friends find their other friends or lovers find their other half's are dead isnt played as the usual callousness known for the genre, here it's genuinely upsetting in places, lending a rawness to proceedings) it also has a good, creepy plot that unfolds like a proper murder mystery rather than a tacky stalk and slash-athon. Very recommended fro genre fans.
January 12, 2016
Best Moosehead beer commercial I've ever seen.
½ November 15, 2015
A very good Canadian slasher. I love the small mining town and the gritty textures of the mine itself. Make sure you watch the uncut version because almost all the action is cut out otherwise.
½ October 23, 2015
Amazing effects. Good story. I loved it. Why has it taken so long for me to watch this!!!!
August 27, 2015
Beware of the 14th if you value your life.

A small mining town named after Saint Valentine takes St. Valentine's Day very seriously; unfortunately, an unfortunate event occurred twenty years ago and numerous people were brutally murdered. The town tries to overcome this historical fact by throwing a huge town event that will end with a dance. Shortly after festivities begin, so do the murders.

"You know what would look good on you?"
"Suck it in and zip it up."

George Mihalka, director of Bullet to Beijing, Dr. Lucille, Sticks and Stones, Watchtower, Thunder Point, Relative Fear, Straight Line, and The Psychic, delivers My Bloody Valentine. The storyline for this picture is cliché and very straightforward. The kill scenes were classic slasher film from the 8os feel and the acting was mediocre. The cast includes Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Alf Humphreys, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy, and Thomas Kovacs.

"I've got a Valentine for her she's never going to forget."

This was recently added to the Netflix on line queue so I added it to the wish list. This was very average, didn't add many unique elements to the slasher genre outside of the setting, and the kill scenes were not great. This is only worth seeing if you're a fan of the genre.

"It can't be happening again!"

Grade: C-
½ August 21, 2015
Still such a great slasher. Proud Canadian film too... lol. It's great to have all that uncut footage back in the movie now, even if it looks rough as hell...
½ June 17, 2015
Your average dumb slasher.
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2015
I've come to the realization that one of my favorite things to do, even though I've done it twice, that I can think of, is ordering pizza and then watching a campy 80s horror movie. I remember doing it with Fright Night a year or so ago and I had a lot of fun. I don't know what it is about the combination of pizza and an 80s horror movie but it's, honestly, a perfect combination. With that out of the way, I reviewed the remake on here and I thought it was a terrible movie. Just terrible. I don't honestly remember much of the film itself, other than I hated it, so I cannot really compare the two. But, by and large, it's similar with the exception of the reveal of who the villain is. I wouldn't call this movie good, at all. Nor would I even go as far as to call it above average. But, you know what, I had a blast watching this film. I don't know what I could say that was good about this movie. Because I think its camp-heavy factor come from the fact that the movie 34 years old. Who knows. Maybe this was considered campy even back in the day, but I somehow don't buy that. Not that I think it was taken all that seriously either. But yes a lot of these 80s horror movies have a certain charm about them that makes them a lot of fun to watch regardless of whether they're actually good or not. And I think this is the perfect example of it. It's probably the type of film that would work best watching with a group of friends so you can spend a good time laughing with and at the movie. The film itself isn't actually incompetently made, far from it. It's just that everything surrounding that, the story and the acting, are honestly a little goofy. The thing that sucks, however, is that the version on Netflix is the version that was edited for theaters to avoid an X rating. To think of how far horror movies have come that the thought of this movie getting an X rating in this day and age just seems laughable as shit. There's, apparently, a 99 minute version of the film that was the original edit of the film. This version has never been released on VHS or DVD and apparently was aired only once by a cable channel. But, and this is probably true, a lot of that is probably expository. I'm sure the 99 minute version is gorier, but I doubt that there's 9 additional minutes of violence in the film. I don't think there's enough violence in the film that there's a conceivable way that the 9 minutes that were cut out were 100% gore. I'd still like to see the original cut of the film however. I can't really say much else, honestly. This isn't a good movie and it's probably tame by modern horror standards, but it's so campy that I honestly had a lot of fun watching this. It's just an easy film to watch and it'd probably be even more fun if you watched this with a group of friends. Not good, but I would recommend it as a silly Netflix watch.
April 19, 2015
My Bloody Valentine is a pretty solid slasher film that manages some pretty gruesome shots if you manage to watch the uncut version.
What may seem like standard stuff and been there done that slasher stylings becomes something more when you realise this film is from 1981 which puts it near the start of the slasher craze. ie. people were copying Bloody Valentine rather than the other way around.
That being said, this is an early low budget Canadian slasher so it doesn't have all the flare and spice of modern films but then again... aren't most the really good slashers early low budget and sometimes even Canadian? ;)
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