Sunday, 28 March 2010

This Is Your Bloody Valentine Uncut !

Last year's remake of My Bloody Valentine (in 3D no less) seemed one of the more unlikely choices for the remakes mill, and while the 2009 film is mostly missable, Lionsgate marked its release by re-issuing the original on DVD and Blu-Ray in its complete, uncut version. My Bloody Valentine, a Canadian production from 1980, about a maniac pick-axing his way thru a small mining town, was always something of a marginalised film, it never quite made it to the inner sanctum of classic slashers, like The Burning or the early Friday the 13th movies, mostly because Paramount had allowed the MPAA to savage all of the kill sequences in the film, a policy which they extended to the Friday the 13th series as well. Worse still, Fangoria who covered the production of the film, ran some pictures of the gory effect shots which had failed to materialize when the film hit theatres in Spring of '81, leaving horror fans somewhat underwhelmed by what was a largely anaemic slasher film. Over the years, commentary on the film has centred on not what appeared on the screen, but rather what did not appear, and so My Bloody Valentine became unfairly dismissed as something of a half-assed film. It was there, but not quite there...

Now, all that has changed with the arrival of this most unlikely of film restorations. So, was it worth it ? Actually, yes... My Bloody Valentine now plays better than ever, with the re-instated gore amping up the horror, which the film badly needed. Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself, but I always felt that My Bloody Valentine had a kinship, not with the proto-slashers of Halloween or Friday the 13th, but rather The Deer Hunter, with both films capturing well, the milieu of life in a small industrial town. Whether it was a conscious decision or not, one of the pivotal characters in My Bloody Valentine shares the name of one the character from the Cimino film.

As for the outlaw gore, the film is strong stuff indeed, surprisingly so, and fans of classic era-Tom Savini will be well pleased with My Bloody Valentine's retro-fitting. This seems a good point to mention the Blu-Ray itself. The gore scenes were taken from an early assembly of the film and are rather lo-fi compared to the rest of the film (which looks magnificent in HD). It hardly matters, and won't spoil any one's enjoyment of the film, but wisely, Lionsgate have included an option of watching the film in its "original" version (ie. sans gore) which I would recommend to newcomers to the film - the switch from high-def to low-fi often telegraphs an upcoming murder. Either way, My Bloody Valentine has finally made the long journey home, and this new edition (which sports some nice supplements) is easily the best way to fall in love with this film again.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the original movie a lot. (I like the remake too - one of the few that actually work for me). I have a (lengthy) story to tell about the original MBV - think I'll post a link to a blog post about it rather than completely commandeer your comments section.