Don't Go Breaking My Heart.
First, let's chit chat about the remake of MY BLOODY VALENTINE. Right on the cusp of 3-D, the re imagining delivered. Expanding rather subtle plot points, like having one of the big death sequences happen in the grocery store where the girls work was a master stroke. I love a good chunk of time in a grocery store during a horror movie, e.g., The Mist and The Intruder. If you have ever worked in a grocery store you will understand how fun it is to see people being hunted down by a killer as they run past boxes of cereal and canned goods. We have a clean up in HBA (health,beauty and accessories)! Also, the new My Bloody V had naked chick. She OWNED that role. I heard a distinct sigh of sadness when her character was gone. And she was in 3-D. Everything else about it was fine, just fine. Nothing terribly exciting, but a fun time at the theater. But let's get serious....
In the boom of slasher films that were birthed by Halloween and Friday the 13th, one truly stands out above the rest. MY BLOODY VALENTINE has something that the others don't have. Heart. excuse the pun, but it's true. For years, fans of the film have had to sit through the head scratching version that was available on VHS and then on DVD. The great thing about it, was as the years passed, we learned that that choppy editing wasn't just shitty film making, but it was stuff that was actually cut from the movie. TONS OF scenes. And all the death scenes. All the gore. Gone. There are times when you couldn't even tell who was being murdered or how they were being done in. It is enough to make you cut your own heart out. But one of the great things about these assholes that THINK they can remake classic horror films and not have a fresh take on it, is that movie studios are FINALLY listening to fans. Director's cuts and extended editions of films are being released. With the brand new re- release of the original MY BLOODY VALENTINE, we get to see a piece of BadMovieArt that will blow your fucking mind!!
Luck is on our side, because the not only does MY BLOODY VALENTINE have all the "lost" footage, but almost 90 percent of it has been worked back into the movie using a method called Seamless Branching. All the gore, all the guts and all the yucky hearts ripped out of people. For Jesus' sake! The movie is called MY BLOODY VALENTINE! You can't cut out the gross out scenes involving hearts.
As the movie opens we see two horny miners getting all sexed up. What I love about the opening credits, is that they have a made for TV look to them. They are just kinda there as a woman in her late 30's is stripping to her bra and panties. She has three different colors of green eyeshadow on and a little heart tattoo above her right boob. It is more like an X marks the spot. Then it happens. The screen gets a little grainier and a little deteriorated. It is slightly jarring at first, but then you realize what is going to happen. They have edited all the cut scenes back in! The gore is shocking and hardcore. What happened to my innocent little bloodless version of MY BLOODY VALENTINE? Honey, it is GONE! And what is the best part is the special effects range from outstanding to well....they needed to work on it just a touch more...but that just makes the movie even better.
We venture to the town of Valentine's Bluff. It is just west of Centerville which is just west of Eastville. I know that doesn't seem important, but it is a major plot point. We are introduced to the cast of characters, mainly big, dumb (but hot!) miner types, out to have a good time. The girls of the MY BLOODY VALENTINE are God sent. Townies on the make for a husband and beer. My kinda ladies. The entire film is shot on location in a mining town in Nova Scotia and that aspect lends the film a true sense of grit and realism that is refreshing. Everyone seems slightly or not so slightly broke down. Everyone seems to feel like they are stuck in a dying mining town and they don't seem to really care anymore. Paul Kelman plays T.G. who left town to do the reach and try to make his dreams come true, but alas, he found himself back in Valentine's Bluff. Kelman is a DREAMBOAT! I love a hot and sexy miner!
Actually, all the men are pretty hot. And there is a hot shower scene with all the miners getting all gussied up for a night out on the town. Everyone is in great spirits, because for the first time in 20 years, they are going to have a Valentine's Day dance! Everyone is talking about it! Catch the Buzz! T.G. arch rival, Axel, yells, "It's gonna be a HOT TIME this Saturday!" as he shampoos that mine out of his hair. We follow the guys as they head out to the local watering hole to get smashed and smash each other up. The crusty old bartender warns them to not have that Valentine's Day dance and calls them a bunch of assholes for no reason. There will be trouble for sure. They ignore him and continue to get drunk. Of note, it seems that the cast is really drinking during the scenes and in between takes. They is so much beer in this movie. MOOSEHEAD BEER is everywhere! And either MBV had an amazing set designer who strategically placed half empty (or half full depends on how you look at it) all over the bar or the cast getting CRUNK. I like to think the set designer was a visionary. The cast seems to belong to that school of acting where you look directly at the camera and say your lines. It makes you feel like you are part of their gang of friends.
The next day, everyone is decorating the town hall for the big dance. Old Maple is head of the decorating committee and it seems she got all the youth of Valentine's Bluff to help her. Since they are all drinking beer while tooting up the hall, it seems she paid them in beer. Never a bad thing. They are just excited to be doing something besides mining. They might have done it for free, but beer always helps in Nova Scotia, USA. Then it happens. The sheriff gets a bloody heart in a candy box. OOPS! "It CAN'T be happening AGAIN!", he exclaims! We need a flashback ASAP! Later that night, the kids are back in the bar drinking and rebel rousing. T.G. is wearing one of the hottest outfits known to man. Painted on jeans, big belt buckle and a white ringer t shirt, that is so thin, you can see his hairy nipples. When he leans against a pinball machine, I swoon. So, the kids are STILL yakking about the Valentine's Day dance and the bartender has had it with them and we get the town curse FLASHBACK!!! I won't spoil it for you, because it is a great moment in the film, but naturally all the kids don't believe him. But Miner 49'er doesn't like people to have VD dances, that is for sure!
Once of the most amazing and most notorious parts of MBV comes early. Death by My Beautiful Laundrette. Quite possibly one of the most disgusting uses of the spin cycle I have ever seen. AND This was CUT FROM THE ORIGINAL RELEASE!! WTF!!! Okay, I'm just glad we can enjoy it now. The next day ,Friday the 13th, the sheriff informs the kids that they are cancelling the VD dance and there are to be NO parties what so ever. There is a good chance Miner 49'er is back and he HATES parties on Valentine's Day, so no parties, 'kay? Trying to sort out the details of what is going on, the sheriff calls the mental institution that housed Miner 49'er and we are introduced to my favorite character in the movie, Mrs. Raleigh. She picks up the phone at the institution and proceeds to read the sheriff to filth. He screams at her, but she ain't having it. Then she says it! "I will have to go and look through the micro-film and that could take days!" The sheriff screams, "DO IT!" Ah....I love a good hunting through micro film scene. I have a feeling she isn't going to do it though.
Once again, going for realness, we get a scene with T.J. and the object of his affection and Axel's discussing life, liberty and all that other stuff. And Sarah, played by Lori Hallier, produces real tears! Real tears! A tender moment! You git it girl! I love when people give it their all. I don't care if you are cast in a supposedly shitty slasher film, you better bring it! People will remember.
Poor Sarah. She is a trainwreck. She is torn between two hotties, her best friend is a total nightmare and she wants a raise at the grocery store where she works. She is stuck in this dying town, wandering aimlessly through life, not really connecting with anyone or herself. See what those tears told us?! I'll say it again, Git it girl! And all this while seemingly high on coke. TALENT!
So now the party is officially cancelled, but the kids have a great idea. There is a rec room down in the mine with tables and chairs and a ping pong table. PARTY TIME! The cast hauling the most beer I have ever seen hauled are ready to celebrate their bloody valentine FINALLY! This got me thinking. Why are these kids so excited about a party when they have a party every night at the bar? I guess anything to move along your life in this stifling town would get your excited. Why not.
It doesn't go well. As you would have assumed. Wiener Juice death. Scary as fuck shower murder. Both scenes had been slashed to bits by the censor board. And what is great about watching this version is you know as soon as you see the beautiful transfer to to grainy, the shit is going to go down! It is an eye ball popping, water spouting good time. The main cast decides that it would be "fun" to go down into the lower depths of the mine. What a great idea! Actually it is only Patty's idea. Patty is the lovable goof of the friends with a set of killer legs, that she used to her advantage in her follow up film HEAVENLY BODIES. Patty goes on and on about how fun it will be and since she has such a larger "personality" they do it just to shut her up.
One of my favorite moments is when T.J. catches wind that the cast is going down in the mines and he chases after them screaming, "Don't forget the rule! No women in the mine!" What the hell kinda of shit is this? What about shouting, "Don't forget the rule! Wear hardhats! Don't go into the mine at night!" But no, women can't go in. Luckily, the girls shrug him off and climb in the the mine cart, it's like a roller coaster! So while they are down in the mine, mass hysteria breaks out when Gretchen, the bitch of the friends, discovers a heart in the boiling wiener pot! Miner 49'er is BACK and you are on his shit list for throwing a party. He hates parties!! Everyone scatters and arch enemies, T.J. and Axel, must band together to rescue the woman they both love, oh and Patty.
In a nutshell, if you watched the original cut of the movie, it basically adds up to a bunch of people running around in a mine and every once in awhile there will be one person missing. The cast gives good face when they get killed, but we have no idea what is going on. BUT!! in the extended version, you get all the joy and merriment, the filmmakers want to give you. I would say a good 15 minutes of solid scares and yucky stuff. Once again, the picture turns to grain and you get super excited because you know it is coming. It is like suspense on TOP of suspense. When Tommy does the body drop, you will shriek with joy! Those poor saps in 1981 who didn't get to wonder of seeing that happen the in the theater. Too bad....
The ending is legendary. Cream of the crop. It totally goes for heart and squeezes. And then you get laughed at for watching it by Miner 49'er while the credits roll. This movie has hung around three decades now for a reason. It is charming, gory and Canadian. They tend to do things a little rougher than we do, but they always have fun.