Jensen Ackles, Kerr Smith, Jaime King, Tom Atkins, Kevin Tighe
Todd Farmer, Zane Smith
It's not very often while watching a horror film that the word gleeful comes to mind.
Gleeful is the first word that comes to mind while watching "My Bloody Valentine 3-D," a remake of a 1981 low-budget horror flick of the same name minus the 3-D.
Despite its technological upgrades, "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" is almost orgasmically retro in its look and feeling.
Fans of old school horror and gorehounds are likely to find "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" an absolute scream.
"My Bloody Valentine 3-D" starts off in the small town of Harmony (giggle), where a mining accident has killed 5 men and left one in a coma. The one, Harry (Rich Warden), awakens from the coma after a year and almost immediately goes off on a killing spree taking 22 lives before he's gunned down, repeatedly, by local law enforcement.
10 years later, Tom (Jensen Ackles, "Supernatural"), the company's heir, returns to Harmony to sell the company and rekindle a romance with his old flame, Sarah (Jaime King). Just as Tom arrives, a new killing spree begins and Tom becomes suspect #1.
Or is he?
Truthfully, what I've just written is about as close as you're going to get to a solid storyline in "My Bloody Valentine 3-D," a film less concerned with storyline and character development and more concerned with finding really cool ways to make the 3-D effects pay off big time with graphic killings, falling objects, rampant nudity and much, much more.
By now, you may be saying "But Richard, you bash the "Saw" series constantly over this very issue. What gives?"
This brings us back to the word I used in the very beginning...gleeful.
"My Bloody Valentine 3-D" is so faithfully retro, consistently over-the-top and mind-numbingly ludicrous that it feels less like a "Saw" styled assault on the senses and more like a Bruce Campbell-inspired gorefest that is frequently funny and offers up an almost silly reverence to 80's style horror flicks.
Directed by frequent Wes Craven collaborator Patrick Lussier, "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" is undoubtedly far better to watch in 3-D than in your typical 2-D. In 3-D, Lussier's abundance of pickaxe slaughters, eyeballs, bullets, fireballs and other flying objects will have even the heartiest horror fan jumping from time to time.
"My Bloody Valentine 3-D" also features an abundance of full frontal nudity, courtesy of actress Betsy Rue, who may very well have the most extended and gratuitous horror film nude scene in quite a few years.
While the cast is unlikely to be lining up for Oscars anytime soon, they do a good enough job here and may find themselves acknowledged by the various horror awards that float around. Along with Ackles and King, Kerr Smith does a nice job as the local sheriff and Sarah's husband. In a decidedly retro move, Kevin Tighe (of TV's 70's "Emergency" series) and Tom Atkins ("The Fog," "Maniac Cop") serve up flashbacks of the most pleasant kind.
If graphic violence and gratuitous sex are bothersome to you, then by all means avoid "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" in 2D or 3D. While the film is far more satisfying in 3-D, even in a traditional theatre there's no denying it's destined to be one of 2009's most graphic, raw and bloody cinematic experiences.
Unabashedly retro and unapologetically gleeful, "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" is worth a view on the big screen for true fans of the horror genre.
Who knows? Maybe your honey will go with you to "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" if you axe her nicely.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic