*Minor spoilers follow in 5th paragraph
There’s nothing sweeter that watching a film that knows exactly what it is. At no point does Patrick Lussier’s MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D pretend to be anything but a mindless slasher film straight out of your DVD collection. The film is jammed with great kills, loads of gore and plenty of laughs and is sure to keep the hardcore horror nut entertained for most of its 101 minute running time.
In the remake of the classic ‘80s film of the same name (sans 3-D), Tom (Jensen Ackles) returns to his hometown on the tenth anniversary of the Valentine’s night massacre that claimed the life of 22 people. Instead of a homecoming, Tom finds himself suspected of committing the murders while he claims that “Harry Warden,” the murderer from 10 years ago who was allegedly killed, has returned from the dead and is the murderer.
The best way to describe Lionsgate’s film is as a ‘90s style whodunit with an ‘80s feel. The shoddy locations, cookie-cutter characters and generic “who’s the killer?” plot were derived straight out the ‘90s, where films like SCREAM, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER and URBAN LEGENDS mucked up the cinema. And yet, hiding behind those beautiful blue eyes was the heart of the ‘80s showing up right there in a Valentine’s Day chocolate box.
It all begins with ‘80s horror legend Tom Atkins (THE FOG, CREEPSHOW, HALLOWEEN III, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK) nearly stealing the show as Detective Burke. Writers Todd Farmer and Zane Smith never cheapen his performance to that of a gimmick and give him solid on-camera time that’s as blissful as watching someone get a pickaxe to the skull.
Speaking of pickaxes to the skull, what I loved about MBV was that there was obvious thought put behind the kills. It’s annoying when a character like Michael Myers has a knife and literally just stabs or slashes every victim’s throat with a load audio sting in the background. It’s obvious that Smith, Farmer and Lussier are horror fans because they really took some time in coming up with some of the most unique and fun kill scenes ever to grace the big screen. There are some seriously f*cked up scenes that range from midget murder to watching a naked chick run around hiding from the killer for nearly five whole minutes. While it might sound cheesy, the fact of the matter is it’s fun. Even writer Todd Farmer cameos (in one of my favorite scenes) as a douche bag trucker who gets what’s coming to him.
While the movie is pure popcorn entertainment, it still has its share of flaws that range from its pacing issues to the poor TV acting and line delivery. It’s also expected that we have a high level of suspension of disbelief as characters age ten years and look exactly the same and police officers continually go off on their own without calling for backup. One of the most obvious downfalls of the film are the cheap locations and lack of extras that make the film look more like a fantasy than something that would take place in the real world.
Even through all the flaws, there is enough blood, guts, gore and laughs to get you through the entire film. But wait a second, MBV was in 3-D, wasn’t it?! It sure was and the fact that the 3-D isn’t what makes this film good is where it gains its gold star (or smiley face, whichever you prefer). The 3-D aspects of MBV are just an added bonus; they’ve taken a fun film and thrown it in 3-D just for the f*ck of it. While there are a few gimmicky 3-dimensional moments, it impressed me that Lussier didn’t resort to the cheap shots just to make it entertaining. The new technology is pretty incredible: instead of everything coming “out” of the screening, everything within it becomes three-dimensional. The movie was filled with depth that made it feel as if they were acting the entire movie out right in front of you. But the most impressive part of the whole experience for me was that there were no trails, and it was crisp and clear (if only the cinematography was better).
The shocking revelation with MBV is that the film is good with or without the 3-D. Obviously I hope you get a chance to experience the film in all of its 3-dimensional glory, but even if you miss out, you’re still in for one hell of a great time. Grab a giant bucket of popcorn, sit back and enjoy one of the most entertaining theater experiences you’ll have in a long time (or at least until FINAL DESTINATION hits theaters in 3-D).