My Bloody Valentine (1981)

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Released 6-Mar-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror None
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1981
Running Time 86:41
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By George Mihalka
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Paul Kelman
Lori Hallier
Neil Affleck
Keith Knight
Alf Humphreys
Cynthia Dale
Helene Udy
Rob Stein
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Paul Zaza


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
German
Greek
English
Spanish
French
Italian
Dutch
Norwegian
Portuguese
Finnish
Swedish
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Moosehead beer everywhere.
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The town of Valentine’s Bluff has not had a Valentine’s Day celebration for twenty years, ever since a mining accident which ended in cannibalism and a psychopath taking retribution on the townsfolk a year on. Well, twenty years after the last series of grisly murders, the townsfolk are finally deciding to have a party. But a killer is back in town, and none too pleased that some people are enjoying themselves on this sacred day. Dressed as a miner, complete with an oxygen mask to hide his identity, he stalks the streets with a pickaxe in hand, killing the townsfolk off one by one, and leaving appalling poems in love hearts with his victims, warning of more killings to come if people don’t take him seriously and stop having fun on Valentine’s Day. Why don’t the townsfolk just put the party off a week and call it the ‘Dressed To Get Screwed’ party? I have no idea.

    My Bloody Valentine is a laughably bad horror movie from the early 80s, with a whole lot of hangovers still from the 70s. Corny, badly acted by everybody, and mostly just flat-out appalling, it was exactly what I expected of a low rent job like this. For average slasher fare, this is really only for those of you out there who like to see grannies getting cut up and thrown in tumble dryers and blondes screaming before having their hearts hacked out. In fact, this is unlikely to really appeal to you blood-lusting sadists because this film is so drastically censored, and consequently you don’t see much at all. Indeed, this censorship is done so appallingly that all you really get is the impression that someone has been killed, and probably rather violently, before being dumped in a tumble dryer.

    Don’t get me wrong – I have no problem with violence in cinema, or even sadistic violence and torture. I am a consenting adult who can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, and I like to be confronted. I am a big fan of the works of Larry Clark and was quite upset with the decision by the Office of Film and Literature Classification to ban his latest film Ken Park. That said, I like to have some point to the violence, or even absolutely no point, and a revelling in that absence. Nihilism has its own intensity. But this was just flat, monotonous, continuous and, after a while, it ceased to be funny and just got kind of boring. The first hour of this show is a total drag with much of the same thing on repeat. Tonal change somebody?

    As for so-called ‘character development’, I couldn’t understand why the two leading guys, TJ (Paul Kelman) and Axel (Neil Affleck) were fighting over the blonde Sarah (Lori Hallier), when her best friend Patty (Cynthia Dale) was (a) better looking in a buxom kind of way and (b) so much keener to get into it (as she says, “I have a dress that’s cut down to here, and slit up to here.” Pun intended, maybe?). Not that horror movies should ever really make much sense on an interpersonal relationship level, but this part of the characterisation just defied common sense and good taste ... like much of the rest of the movie. Indeed, the entire cast is so flat and dead already, not to mention totally annoying, it is a relief when they are finally culled off one by one. What’s the line? – “Everybody you meet in life you instinctually either want to f*** or kill.” Well, I was in little doubt as to what I wanted to happen in this show; I was cheering for the killer. Shame he works so d*** slow.

    If you want a good slasher flick, rent A Nightmare On Elm Street or Scream. Sure, I’ve got a hard-on for Craven, but at least those films knew how to have some fun and screw with your head a little at the same time. If you want some graphic and sadistic violence just to satiate your blood lust, rent From Hell or Hannibal. Those films had some class and style to them and still plenty of gore. If you want to see a very average and quite dated horror movie with nothing much special about it, except that you want the whole cast dead in the first five minutes of the show, My Bloody Valentine will do the trick nicely.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is close enough to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 as to make little to no difference.

    Overall, this is an excellent visual remastering of a film this old. The picture was relatively crisp and sharp throughout.

    Shadow detail was pretty good, but the picture does exhibit some grain which is more noticeable in darker shots. Considering the major chase sequence at the end is set in a mine, this can sometimes make it a little difficult to make out exactly what is going on. One shot that I would suggest is some kind of stock footage in incredibly grainy (22:34).

    Colours are pretty good for a film from this era, exhibiting a good vibrancy without having the glossy Hollywood feel or suffering from the washed out low-budget feel.

    There were no MPEG artefacts, and very little in the way of film-to-video transfer artefacts. I noticed some aliasing on the metal trimmings on vehicles at the dump at 30:36

    There were, unfortunately, a lot of film artefacts. Some of this was just dirt on the print. Examples can be seen at 38:19 and 68:02 - 68:09. More serious, however, are the various instances where the film flutters or wobbles as if fed through the camera incorrectly. These crop up fairly frequently, especially in the final chase sequence, and are very noticeable and quite distracting. See 63:36 - 64:30, 69:01 - 70:29, 73:30 - 73:36.

    Subtitles are available in English only. They are white with a grey border, and do not seem to deviate substantially from the actual dialogue.

    This is a single-sided, single-layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are five soundtracks available – English, German, Italian, French and Spanish – all in 2.0 Dolby Mono. The English, German and French tracks were good, but the Italian and Spanish overdub came with a drastic loss in sound quality and ambient noise.

    Regarding the English track, there was no problem with understanding dialogue, and surprisingly no real audio sync problems. Low budget horror movies like this are generally fraught with audio problems, but apparently the sound engineer had this one pretty much together.

    The score by Paul Zaza has excellent range for a 2.0 Mono track, and I was quite impressed by its usage in the opening credits sequence and some of the other ‘stalker’ moments. Shame the rest of the show was not up to scratch.

    On every other level, this audio was pretty much flat and mono-aural, with no surround or subwoofer use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, static and silent.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 version of this disc would appear to be identical, apart from the NTSC/PAL format difference. As yet there is no uncensored version available.

Summary

    My Bloody Valentine is a rather annoying slasher flick from the early 80s. Episodes of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer have been scarier, and the death scenes here were neither elaborate, creative and inventive (so as to be entertaining) nor in any way realistic (so as to be horrifying). The heavy-handed censorship ruins this for the hardcore gore fans, and the bad acting and slow pace of the first hour make this rather intolerable for anybody else.

    Video is pretty good, and I am quite surprised just how good a visual remastering this is, and why Paramount wasted so much time doing it when other films were far more deserving of such treatment. Film artefacts are a bit of a problem, though, and ruin the only good part of the movie when those annoying characters start to die a little faster.

    Sound is good for a 2.0 Mono mix, but nothing special overall.

    The extras were ... slashed.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
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