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My Bloody Valentine

Movie title: My Bloody Valentine (2009)
Grade: D+ (1 ½ stars)
Rated: R
Summation: A miner in a small town goes on a killing spree.
Spoilers ahead: No

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As an 8-year-old kid, I wrote a short story called "The Assassinators." It was about a band of 7 ex-military guys who got together and used their army connections to get a hold of high-end weaponry and went on a rampage killing. I was so proud of myself for coming up with what I thought was the greatest “shoot ‘em up” plot ever conceived until an aunt asked the question: "Why are these men killing?" "They're just bad guys," I replied. “Yes, but what’s their motivation?” I thought about it, but I couldn’t come up with an answer. Until she said something about it, it didn't bother me at all that I had written a story about smart, well trained guys risking their freedom and lives for no cause at all. Then it bothered me.

That's how it is in My Bloody Valentine, a remake of the 1981 original. It has its own style and a little to like, but it never explains why the killings began or what motivated them. The scenery is appealing. And who can't get into a foggy mountainous setting in a mining town? It looked and felt like West Virginia, though it was filmed in Pennsylvania.

What happens after the mining disaster, when the terrorizing Harry Warden becomes known? Some kids out on a date-night get attacked (not exactly surprising for a horror movie now, is it?) Some time passes, and just when you think the killing stopped, the nightmare begins again.

So what do we have so far? Thus far, we have a murderer who kills without motivation, terrorizes pretty-looking kids, and the third leg of this disappointing endeavor, a sub-plot love triangle between one girl, Sarah Palmer (Jaime King) and two old friends, Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles), a near-victim of Harry's, and Sarah's husband, Axel Palmer (Kerr Smith), the sheriff in town. The kid-ish cast taking center-stage in the storyline to appeal to the youth wasn't that bad. What could be called bad was the at times substandard acting and some lines delivered seemingly on a first take.

And you had better dig gore and 3-D if you want to like this because not much else is to be liked. What you will find is cliched moments of heads against doors being narrowly missed by pick-axes penetrating them, trained police officers getting snuck up upon and routed by a heavy-breathing, large guy in a cumbersome suit with a pick-ax, and the less-relevant characters getting snuffed out in the blink of an eye like those security extras on Star Trek.

What I really liked were the nude scenes, prolonged nude scenes where a beautiful girl shamelessly shows us her goodies for quite a while before succumbing to an inevitable death herself (it’s a known fact that anyone in a horror movie who has sex or gets naked must end up dead!) The nude scenes made the movie less bad. Oh yeah! I'd almost watch the movie just for those...almost.

A workable but still sub-par story does come together, but if you ask me, it just wasn't that interesting. What is it about a guy in a miner's suit who runs around with a light on his head and a pick-ax who gruesomely gouges people to death? Hmmm. Well, let’s just say it isn’t that scary, not enough to make a movie about. Anybody could dress up in a suit and chase people with garden tools, but I’d rather see a naked blond chick undress and screw, and when she’s done, run around naked with a pistol, baring all to the camera. Sorry, that's the only thing I liked about it!

(JH)

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Director: Patrick Lussier
Starring: Jensen Ackles “Tom Hanniger,” Jaime King “Sarah Palmer,” Kerr Smith “Axel Palmer,” Betsy Rue “Irene,” Edi Gathegi “Deputy Martin,” Tom Atkins “Burke,” Kevin Tighe “Ben Foley,” Megan Boone “Megan,” Karen Baum “Deputy Ferris,” Joy de la Paz “Rosa”
Genre: Horror

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