My Bloody Valentine (1981) Special Edition
The film takes place in the small mining town of Valentine Bluffs that 20 year previous suffered a methane explosion that trapped several miners. After six weeks only one survived, Harry Warden who was stark raving mad. A year later Harry escapes from the Hospital he's in and returns to kill the guilty foremen whose negligence he blamed for the explosion on Valentines day. He leaves a note that if the town ever celebrates Valentines day again they will all suffer the wrath of Harry Warden. Twenty years later that town is once again planning to celebrate Valentines day with a dance and party. All the workers at the mine are excited about this since there's nothing else to do in Valentines Bluff apparently. Promptly people start getting dispatched in creative ways with mining equipment and the town leaders decide to shut down the valentine dance. This of course doesn't fade the young mine workers who decide to sneak out to the mine and have their party there.
The filmmakers created a pretty iconic killer with his gas mask respirator and miner hat and light. The kills use mining equipment throughout and are pretty inventive at times. This is the first movie that I can think of that uses a nail gun to dispatch an unlucky victim. The killers outfit is creepy and really instills the same primal fear that Michael Myers and Jason did when they began.
The film was shot in Nova Scotia Canada and the film makers try using the dreary atmosphere the best they can. Its been my observation that movies can either embrace their location and live in it or they can try it make it look like something else entirely which often fails. The special edition restores all the cuts taken from the movie upon its initial release. Stuff that's pretty tame by todays standards but it does bring more coherence to the movie.
There are special features on the disc, the best being a featurette called Bloodlust: My Bloody Valentine and the Rise of the Slasher film, which only spends about 10 minutes in retrospective of the Original film and 15 talking about the new 3D remake. There are interviews with the cast and film makers of the original but it feels truncated. The comments are broad, and the interviews offer little more insight then where they filmed it and what it was like in the mine. There's also a film critic/filmmaker who made a documentary about slasher movies who offers some of the most pompous sounding comments to the featurette in talking about the heritage of slasher films. The featurette just becomes a commercial for The remake after that which is really unfortunate.
There's also something else that is sorely missing from this dvd and that's a filmmakers commentary. I would have really enjoyed hearing more about what was happening behind the scenes with this film. When you consider they were green lit in August of 1980 with no script, and then the film was finished and released by Feb. 14 1981 I think there's got to be some interesting behind the scenes anecdotes there.
While this might be the best DVD release this film ever sees I do wish there was more to it than a short retrospective and extended gore scenes. However its nice to see this movie get some of the love it deserves with a clean film transfer and uncut for the first time. Its a film that many overlooked in the past and its great that its getting its second chance.