How odd that I should kick off a horror movie in October about Valentine’s Day, huh?
The small town of Valentine Bluffs is a mining town where not much happens. Twenty years before the start of the film, a mining accident compounded by human error doomed a group of miners, save for one, to a horrific death deep in the shafts on Valentine’s Day. The sole survivor, Harry Warden, declared that the town’s one big event – an annual Valentine’s Day dance preceded by various Valentine festivities – should never occur again, lest he come back to hack and chop the town’s residents into itty bitty pieces.
Two decades later, the memory of Harry Warden and the miners has faded and the town decides to bring back the Valentine’s Day festivities. So…not the smartest idea ever, I think.
My Bloody Valentine is hysterically good. See, one of the main problems is that in this mining town, the men seem to grossly outnumber the women. And like all small mining towns, there’s not much to do.
I think you can infer what a lot of their free time is spent doing. So setting up a Valentine’s Day dance that’s more cheesily decorated than my eighth grade formal is totally exciting for the town.
My Bloody Valentine doesn’t steer away from the formula of the horror genre at all; it racks the characters up, puts ’em in place and then uses the character of Harry Warden to knock most of them down. The most notable thing about it is that the climax of the film takes place in a mineshaft, which is kind of creepy and cool. The most obvious thing is the Valentine’s schtick: Harry Warden leaves heart-shaped candy boxes filled with the cutout, still bloody hearts of his victims for others to find. Well, that’s charming!
He also likes to leave little notes with his real Valentine’s hearts. Harry Warden is not the best poetry writer ever. You have to wonder if it would kill him to write a murderous haiku, or perhaps a vengeful limerick. No points for originality, Harry Warden. No points.
Perhaps the most horrifying of all are the fashion choices of the townsfolk. Sure, this is a backwoods little mining town where no one is getting a subscription to Vogue or anything, but you’d think this monstrosity wouldn’t even be accepted by a mining town populated by people that think Valentine’s Day is the biggest holiday of the year.
Look at this enraged man. He is wearing a half-unbuttoned shirt…with a neckerchief.
There is no place in this world where that is right or acceptable, folks.
It’s not anything newfangled or exciting, but My Bloody Valentine does have its moments; there’s something phenomenally creepy about a guy in a miner’s outfit stalking people and cutting their hearts out, then taunting his victims with style and panache. There’s also the nifty switcheroo at the end where you find out who the real killer is. What baffles me is that this is Quentin Tarantino’s favorite slasher movie (whaaa?) when it’s really just a holiday slasher flick that’s kind of a dime a dozen, fun and all…neckerchiefs and all.