Movies From the Black Lagoon: My Bloody Valentine
Movies From the Black Lagoon
My Bloody Valentine - 1981, Rated R
Valentine's Day always gets the Lagoon all mushy but not for the obvious reasons. Valentine's weekend of 2004 marked the first appearance of the column in the Times (after four years at another paper). All I had to do to get the Lagoon out was put in 50 hours a week as a reporter for Floyd County. It was a fair trade and one that brought me into places I never thought I'd go and introduced me to public servants who share a strong passion for the county and its citizenry. It is Thanksgiving weekend as I write this so please forgive my sentimentality. Now on to the gore.
A lot of horror movies flooded theaters in the early 80's and most of them stuck to the same formula which pitted an unstoppable killer against helpless, over sexed, and frequently high teenagers. This effort deserves some props for having adult characters despite the fact that they are over sexed, mostly helpless, and frequently drunk. The story takes place in the Canadian mining town of Valentine Bluffs (come to think of it this film also deserves credit for being filmed in Canada and not trying to pass as a generic American location like some other flicks I know such as FRIDAY THE 13TH: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN.
The town is anxiously awaiting Valentine's Day and the ensuing dance that will be the first such celebration in twenty years. The reason being that the last party led to a pair of horrific deaths when a methane explosion killed all but one man on a mining crew. The lone survivor, Harry Warden, later found out that two supervisors ditched work and their responsibility to monitor methane levels in favor of the annual Valentine's party. Warden made it a point to attend the next party where he slaughtered both guys responsible for his friend's deaths and promptly exited after dropping off a note warning against any future celebrations.
While the miners get pumped up for the party the mayor and police chief receive a message warning them to cancel the celebration. The wording of the message is simple enough but the most compelling reason they find to pay attention is that it's accompanied by a human heart. The next day sees the death of the town's laundress and that is the last straw for both men who show good sense and cancel the gig. Unfortunately, they show poor judgment in explaining their action and resist imparting the news that Warden might be back. This leaves the miners with no recourse but to stage their own party at the mine's rec room. If you guessed that the killer is coming despite the lack of an invitation then go to the head of the class and enjoy the ensuing gore. Bodies begin piling up like a stack of buckwheats as the young people pair off and are slaughtered by a killer wielding a pickax and decked out in full mining gear.
Here they get original and spice up the stabbings with a few novelty killings such as the improper use of a nail gun and one death by drowning in weenie water. Eventually the bodies turn up and the party ends but a group has headed into the mine for a tour so two brave men head down after them. About the only thing that drags this one a bit is a protracted bit about a love triangle between the three young leads which stops the movie dead every ten minutes or so.
Best Line: "What are you guys doing with a loose heart?"
Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.