Fright Fest Review #19: My Bloody Valentine (1981)

The best gifts come from the heart.
The best gifts come from the heart.

Subgenre:  Slasher

Summary:  On the twentieth anniversary of a series of Valentine’s Day murders, the killer returns to his hometown to wreak havoc.

Review:  I’ve seen my fair share of Holiday-themed slashers: New Year’s Evil, April Fool’s Day, Leprechaun, and of course, Halloween.  While My Bloody Valentine certainly qualifies, it’s among the less gimmicky entries in the subgenre – it’s a slasher that takes place on Valentine’s Day rather than a Valentine’s Day slasher.

My Bloody Valentine’s plot is nothing original: vengeful killer, anniversary of past killings, horny teens, etc.…but it excels in its execution.  The writing is quite good for this kind of movie, especially the pacing; by and large, almost no time is wasted.  I also enjoyed the mining town setting after watching so many slashers set in the woods.  But where My Bloody Valentine really shines is in its methods of dispatching its victims.  If you found Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, or any of the other early slashers too tame, then this movie is for you.  Its kills are as gory as they are creative – don’t expect any mid-murder cutaways here.  Be sure to catch the uncut version; it’s well worth it.

The Verdict:  My Bloody Valentine stands out among its many contemporaries, and should satisfy even the most bloodthirsty gorehounds.  I give it seven-and-a-half malignant miners out of ten.

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