My Bloody Valentine/DVD/Special Edition Review

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< My Bloody Valentine‎ | DVD
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PICTURE: The first thing you'll notice when you watch this long awaited special uncut edition of My Bloody Valentine is how beautiful the film transfer looks. The picture is gorgeous. Presented in (1:78:1) 16 X 9 Anamorphic Widescreen. Colors are bright and the saturation and dark levels look incredibly good.

AUDIO: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound | Original Mono. The sound is sharp and clear. A superb audio accompaniment to match the visuals. One sequence that really stands out in surround sound is when the group of partygoers travel down into the mine. Its like a rollercoaster ride. The throbbing and rumbling bass sounds inside the mine also crank up the excitement.

SUBTITLES: English, Spanish

Special Features

Bloodlust: My Bloody Valentine and The Rise of the Slasher Film: What we know now as the "slasher film" was initially born when Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) was released. The film introduced a new style of onscreen death to movie audiences and inspired future films by laying down a different way to design horror film plots/characters. The "psycho killer" cycle continued in the 60s and 70s with Italian giallo cinema (murder-mysteries) then moved across the Atlantic to Canada with Bob Clark's groundbreaking proto-slasher Black Christmas (1974). In 1978, taking inspiration from both the Italian gialli and Clark's Black Christmas, John Carpenter's Halloween brought the slasher film back home to the United States and gave us the masked slasher icon Michael Myers. In 1980, Director Sean S. Cunningham made Friday The 13th which streamlined the slasher/stalker formula even more. In 1981, George Mihalka's My Bloody Valentine was unleashed. The unique thing about this film was its authentic setting and character portrayals in a small mining town in Nova Scotia. This was also essentially the first "working class" slasher film, as it revolved mainly around real blue collar mine workers. The film picked up all the subtle nuances and specific details of how the smalltown miner's lived and worked and it added alot of depth to the standard genre movie. It also broke away from The Final Girl theorem and had a girl and a guy fighting the killer during the climax. These aspects set the Canadian film apart from the other slasher genre films of the day. This well made, informative featurette includes interviews with the cast and crew including Director George Mihalka, Co-stars Neil Affleck and Lori Hallier and Producers Andre Link and John Dunning.

Bloodlines: An Interactive Horror Film History: One of the coolest features on the Special Edition is this interactive family tree that shows the many relatives of the main slasher film subgenre. Each one is broken down into certain films and given a historical overview. (Note: these are not in specific order):

Psycho--->Mini Hitchcocks--->Psychological Thrillers (Brian DePalma's Sisters, Dressed To Kill, Obsession) ---->Italian Gialli--->Slasher Godfathers (Black Christmas, Halloween)---->Rape-Revenge (The Last House On The Left, I Spit On Your Grave)--->Classic Slashers (Friday The 13th, Happy Birthday To Me, My Bloody Valentine and many more)--->Slasher Parodies (Student Bodies, Scary Movie)--->Rubber Reality (A Nightmare on Elm Street)--->Backwoods Bloodletting (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Motel Hell)--->Post Modern Slashers (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream)--->Torture Porn (Hostel, Saw, House of 1000 Corpses)

Deleted Footage with Director, Cast and Special Effects Designer Introductions: Unlike the previous video releases of this film, My Bloody Valentine now truly lives up to its colorful title. The brutality, gore and red stuff is here for all the fans that have been waiting for decades to see it. Each scene is introduced by various cast and crew members of the film which gives more insight to the ideas behind them. You can also watch the scenes as part of the uncut film played in its entirety.

  • Opening Sequence: The first cut scene takes place before the opening credits and features Harry Warden/The Miner impaling a woman on his pickaxe. It's an incredibly good FX scene.
  • Mabel in the Dryer: Laundry owner Mabel is found dead and extremely burnt in a drying machine. What makes this sequence most effective is the fact Mabel's charred, bloody corpse is shown spinning and flopping in circles.
  • Happy's Surprise: Bartender Happy sets up a fake Harry Warden/Miner dummy to scare the local kids. When he tries his clever shock toy out he is attacked by the real Harry Warden and gets a pickaxe to the chin. The pickaxe comes out Happy's eyesocket, thus popping his eyeball right out. If that wasn't enough The Miner uses this as a handle to drag his body along awhile.
  • Dave Gets Dunked: Dave cooks some hot dogs and ends up getting his own head plunged into boiling water by ol Harry Warden. The heat makes his skin boil off. A simple but nice FX sequence.
  • Sylvia in The Showers: Sylvia is picked up by Harry Warden and impaled on a very sharp shower her head! Then Harry Warden turns the water on turning her into a human fountain. This is one of the best shock sequences in the film!
  • Nail Gun: Wisecracking Hollis gets a real headache when Harry Warden shoots two nails into his head.
  • Beheading: As the kids try to escape the Hanniger mine by climbing up a long ladder they get a real scare when their friend falls from above and gets his head torn off from the impact of a rope being tied around it.
  • Pickaxe to the Torso: Harry Warden delivers a pickaxe to the midriff of one of the female partygoers whose trying to escape the mine.
  • Axel's Flashback: We see the horrific incident that created the monster Axel became.
  • End Sequence: Axel cuts his arm off to escape the police and sings the eerie Harry Warden song as he dissapears into the darkness of the mine. This is certainly a much more shocking ending than the edited versions!

THE FINAL WORD: This Special Edition DVD of the 1981 Canadian slasher classic is a must own for fans. The extra features (esp the deleted sequences) are excellent and will keep viewers very happy with a thorough celebration/appreciation of the film.

Reviewed by Pete

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