Friday, February 11, 2011

My Bloody Hand!!!


My Bloody Valentine, written by Todd Farmer and Zane Smith, based on the screenplay for the 1981 film of the same name written by John Beaird and Stephen A. Miller, directed by Patrick Lussier, starring Jensen Ackles, Jaime King and Kevin Tighe (2009): 11 years ago, Tom Hanniger (Ackles) accidentally caused an explosion at the mine his father owned. One man survived by killing all the other trapped miners so as to conserve oxygen, though when he was found, he was in a coma. Ten years ago, that man awoke from his coma and went on a crazy killing spree, nearly killing Hanniger before being forced to flee into a collapsing mine tunnel.

Now, Tom Hanniger is back to sell the mine. Selling the mine will put everyone in town out of work because I guess in the universe of this movie, mines can be packed up and moved elsewhere, just like factories. This last is not the dumbest thing in this slasher-movie remake.

According to some wag on the Internet, the original My Bloody Valentine (1981) is one of the neglected high-points of the 'Golden Age of Slasher Movies', by which I assume he means the late 1970's and early 1980's, and not the age of 17, which is really the age at which these things seem interesting. Never has a Golden Age of any cinematic sub-genre produced fewer truly good films, though. That said, this is a pretty inept entry in the recent slasher-film boomlet.

Tonal shifts from horror-comedy to apparently serious melodrama jar the viewer right out of any ability to enjoy the movie on either level. Some of the CGI comes across so laughably that the gold old days of on-set special effects look awfully good by comparison -- a shot of a woman's head bisected by a shovel looks like something a talented 12-year-old whipped up in between Pizza Pops, for instance, while the nods to the 3-D this film was screened in are the same old throwing-stuff-at-the-camera crap we've been seeing from 3-D movies since the 1950's. ZZZZZZZZ.

Jensen Ackles, best known for TV's Supernatural, looks embarrassed and out-of-place here -- indeed, he looks like he's stuck in the Supernatural episode "Hollywood Babylon", in which his character hangs out on the set of a slasher movie that looks way more interesting than My Bloody Valentine. Some of the surprising slasher-film tropes expounded upon the the terrific film-criticism text Men, Women and Chainsaws play out here -- ultimately, the true protagonist (and only competent 'good' person in the entire movie) turns out to be a woman; Ackles, though he headlines the picture, is only in about half the movie, and his character is something of an incompetent boob. So it goes. Not recommended.

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