My Bloody Valentine (1981)

Article 3265 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-28-2010
Posting Date: 7-23-2010
Directed by George Mihalka
Featuring Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck
Country: Canada
What it is: Slasher pic

Twenty years ago, two miners left their posts to attend a Valentine’s day party, and their absence resulted in a mine accident that killed several men. The only survivor ends up killing the two miners, and swears that if the town ever holds another Valentine’s Day party, he will return and begin killing again. Now, twenty years later, another Valentine’s Day Party is being planned…

Slasher movies are rather formulaic. But one thing I’ve noticed about the ones I’ve seen lately is that those that try to vary the formula too much tend to fall flat. This one sticks to the formula, and it’s one of the better ones I’ve seen recently. It has its problems, of course; occasionally, characters act suspiciously for no other reason than to throw suspicion on themselves, some of the characters verge on the annoying, and the set-up for a sequel (that never came) is one of the dumber moments in the movie. However, it does quite a number of things right. There’s something suitably scary about a killer dressed in a gas-mask and wielding a pickaxe. Setting the last half of the movie in a mine is also quite effective. The movie is also well-paced; it distributes the murders throughout the movie, and the sequences in between are interesting enough to hold your attention. The acting is solid, and the characters are developed to just the right extent for this sort of movie. Many of the scenes are dark, but there’s enough lighting to keep us from getting too confused to follow the action. Best of all, the attack scenes are efficient and well-staged; there’s not a moment here where I find myself impatiently waiting for a murder to happen while the director protracts a scene in a mistaken attempt to build suspense. In some ways, these are minor pluses, but in a movie like this, they make the difference between a movie you enjoy and one that bores you. I enjoyed this one.

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