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The Reluctant Austinite flips at BNAT X for MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D!!!

Hey folks, Harry here... The greatest surprise and bit of awesome for me at BNAT X was MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D. When the film was offered to me, I almost didn't accept it because they wouldn't show it to me early - and I had ZERO word of mouth. But the folks at Lionsgate swore to me that it was awesome. Ok, their funeral, I thought. Besides, I didn't have a horror film this year otherwise, I had a perfect programming slot for it. And HOLY SHIT! This film isn't genius or brilliant or terrificly original, but it knows exactly what it wants to do. And that's entertain the hell out of ya by playing with the tried and true convictions of the slasher genre and a new superior level of 3D technology... which delivered the gore better than I have ever seen in 3D before. Absolutely awesome! Here's a genre fan that worked for eons in a great alternative Video store in Louisville and his take on MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D...

The Reluctant Austinite here. Last week I very willingly traveled to the coolest city on Earth to attend the coolest movie geek gathering in the Milky Way galaxy, Butt-Numb-A-Thon X. This was my seventh voyage to BNAT. I missed the first couple, and one year I chose to use my vacation week to attend Fantastic Fest instead. As an admitted addict of the schlock horror genre, I got a woodie when Harry announced to the crowd that the following trailers would set up the next feature and the first trailer was for the original 1981 "My Bloody Valentine." I knew at that moment we were either seeing the re-make of "Friday the 13th" or the re-make of "My Bloody Valentine," and there seemed to be a running theme of Real 3-D features at this year's BNAT, making the later seem most appropriate. Now let's get this out of the way first: The Canadian 1981 "My Bloody Valentine" is no masterpiece of the genre. It's no "Halloween" It's no "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Hell, it's not even "Terror Train," "The Funhouse" or "Hell Night." At best, it sits on the shelf with other follow-the-leader slasher flicks of the time like "Prom Night" and "Final Exam." In my opinion, this makes it perfect fodder for the re-make grind mill. It takes a special kind of ineptitude to take a piece of exploitation crap like "Prom Night" and make an even worse PG-13 piece of milquetoast like the recent re-make, but bigger disappointments and much horror fan scorn have come from those films that tried to re-imagine the sacred cows of the genre. Gus Van Sant's "Psycho," Rob Zombie's "Halloween" and Marcus Nispel's "Texas Chainsaw" were doomed from the start. It just wasn't possible to improve on the original and anything less just wasn't worth the effort. Don't even get me started on "The Fog." However, "My Bloody Valentine" gives the filmmaker a lot of wiggle room, and here director Patrick Lussier wiggles his ass off. This potential bottom row disaster proves to be a tremendous amount of fun for the horror fanatic. Unlike "Prom Night," which decided to scale back on the gore and appeal to the Hannah Montana crowd, this flick immediately covers the screen (and the audience by simulation) in blood and guts. I kid you not. This is the film I wanted to see as a youngster sneaking into the theater to see "Friday the 13th 3-D." That lackluster sequel just gave me a headache, as the technology at the time was only used to boost sales for crappy films like "Jaws 3-D," "Space Hunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone" and "Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn" (which was one of the trailers we saw at BNAT). The Real 3-D technology used to bring "My Bloody Valentine" back to life takes the concept of "stooging" to a whole new level. One of the first gags in the movie has a pick axe being jammed through the back of some poor sap's head, tearing out his eyeball on the way through and shoving it in the audience's face. Ouch. Screams and laughs ensue. The story serves as a sequel to the original as much as a re-make. The original psycho in a miner suit, Harry Warden, is one of the only survivors of a mine explosion and collapse that survives by killing off his co-workers with a pick axe so they won't suck up the remaining air. He's rescued, but has gone insane in the process, escaping the hospital and leaving a bloody trail of bodies in his wake. This is all happens in the pre-credit sequence, and Harry cuts loose on a stereo-typical band of beer drinking teenagers before being gunned down by Man-God cop, Tom Atkins. Stop there. Tom Atkins. THE Tom Atkins. I have a horror geek man crush on Tom Atkins, but who can blame me? Who else could play a doughy middle-aged doctor that bangs a 19 year old babe and likely every other babe in the hospital in "Halloween III"? Who else could pick up a hitch-hiking Jamie Lee Curtis, tell her he's weird and get to bang her 30 minutes later in "The Fog"? From "Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo" to "The Ninth Configuration" to "Escape From New York" to "Night of the Creeps" to "Maniac Cop" and "Bruiser," Tom Atkins has more genre street cred than any other character actor alive outside of Dick Miller, and he's terrific here. Atkins thinks he has buried Harry Warden forever, but 10 years later the nightmare returns for more bloody hearts delivered in candy boxes. One of the teenagers who survived Harry's bloodbath is now nearly 30 and has spent most of his 20s in a mental hospital due to the trauma he experienced. When he returns to Valentine Bluff to resolve some family business with the mine, the bloody miner reappears and starts throwing his pick axe at the screen. An old flame and a romantic triangle involving the town sheriff are part of the plot, but who cares when the creepy heavy-breathing miner is literally gouging out our eyeballs with his pick axe? Outside of Tom Atkins, none of the actors are going to win any accolades, although Jamie King tries valiantly to be sympathetic as the heroine and focus of affection in the story's love triangle. This ain't "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Nobody is expecting Oscar worthy acting or screenwriting, and nobody is going to get either. What you will get is a movie that could have easily been made and released in 1983 pumped up with the kind of in-your-face 3-D that Jason Vorhees would have traded his treasured hockey mask for, giving him the ability to not only slaughter the brainless horny teens in the film, but also to reach out from the screen and crush the skulls of those in the audience. "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" was a breath of wretched, acrid decaying flesh amid the dramatically heavier films of BNAT, and I think audiences might get their eyeballs happily poked like a room full of Fulci victims when the film opens in mid January. Until next time, I float through space like an Unidentified Flying Oddball. The Reluctant Austinite out.
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