Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Bloody Valentine (George Mihalka, 1981)

Since it's all I can think about at the moment, I might as well get it off my chest right away. And, no, what I'm about to say has got nothing to do with the slit on Cynthia Dale's third act red dress. Though, now that I think about it, the slit on her third act red dress is probably the most important Cynthia Dale-related aspect about My Bloody Valentine–the infamous Canadian slasher flick that could be construed as a ninety minute ad for Moosehead Beer–as far as plot goes. No, what I can't stop thinking about how Hollis (Keith Knight), the heavy-set miner who breaks up fights and isn't afraid to tell his friends to, "shut the fuck up," was able to woo a gal like Patty (Cynthia Dale), as she seemed way out of his league. Excuse me, I think you made a mistake. Where? When you wrote the name "Patty," I couldn't help but notice you put Cynthia Dale's name in parentheses. In other words, implying that Cynthia Dale plays Patty. Nope, that ain't a mistake, pal. The luminous as all get out Cynthia Dale plays Patty, Hollis' girlfriend in George Mihalka's My Bloody...Yeah, yeah, we know what the name of the movie. That can't be right, can it? If so, how did he manage to pull that off? Why are you asking me? Sure, I just watched the movie, but I'm just as baffled as you are. It should go without saying, but Cynthia Dale is the most attractive woman in the Valentine's Day obsessed Maritime community at the centre of this sometimes gory enterprise. No shit, Sherlock. Of course, she's the most attractive, she's Cynthia "Heavenly Bodies" Dale. What I'd like to know is, how did  T.J. (Paul Kelman), the town's resident hunk/bad boy, end up getting the short end of the stick–you know, Cynthia Dale-wise? Maybe the old adage, gentlemen prefer blondes, was a factor when it came time for T.J. to choose a girlfriend. Get out of here, that's kooky talk of the unequivocal variety. Did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, Patty is in love with Hollis? Ha! Ha! Just kidding, it still doesn't make any sense.

Even though I wasn't able to shed much light on the subject, I must say, clearing the air right out of the gate like that was quite therapeutic.

After briefly glancing at what I just typed, it has occurred to me that I might have been a tad harsh on Hollis. I mean, not only was I being unnecessarily cruel and superficial, I was starting to sound like someone whose personality resembles an overstuffed bag that contains a plethora of douche-like properties. Starting to sound like someone? Okay, I deserved that. But you have to understand, I was genuinely perplexed that a guy like Hollis was giving it to Cynthia Dale on a nightly basis.

Actually, it sounds like you're jealous. Me? Jealous...of Hollis. No way, man. Yeah, think about it. Your healthy, albeit, somewhat creepy fixation with Cynthia Dale has clouded your ability to watch this movie from an objective point-of-view. Go on. You see, every time you saw Hollis and Patty together in My Bloody Valentine, you would think to yourself: Why can't that be me? Interesting theory. It's pure poppycock. But interesting, nonetheless.

According to calendar, it's February 12, and we're about to visit Valentine Bluffs, a small mining town located just outside of, oh, let's say, Sydney, Nova Scotia. In order to peak our interest in disgruntled miners who murder people with pick-axes, hot dog water, plumbing fixtures, nail-guns and the tumble dry setting on your average laundromat dryer, the film gives us an opening scene that features a miner in a gas mask killing a blonde woman with a pick-axe. It's pretty standard stuff as far as opening scenes go, but the pick-axe blade does penetrate the blonde right through the area on her chest where her heart-shaped tattoo was located. Ouch.

Welcome to Valentine Bluffs. Didn't you already say that? No, I think I merely informed you that we're about to visit Valentine Bluffs. Now, we're officially entering Valentine Bluffs. Anyway, it's obvious right off the bat that there's some tension between miners T.J. and Axel (Neil Affleck). I'm guessing it's over a woman. Surprisingly, it's not Cynthia Dale's Patty, but a blonde named Sarah (Lori Hallier) who the miners are fighting over. After work, the miners head over to the local community centre where the town's "womenfolk" are busy putting up Valentine's Day decorations for the big dance scheduled to be held there on the 14th.

The reason the mayor of Valentine Bluffs, Mayor Hanniger (Larry Reynolds), wants Mabel (Patricia Hamilton), head of the decorating committee, to downplay the fact that this is the first Valentine's Day dance to be held in the town in twenty years is because it was twenty years ago on this very day when a disgruntled miner named Harry Warden turned his pick-axe on his superiors.

When the miners enter the community centre each miner runs into the welcoming arms of their respective girlfriend. All except T.J., who watches Axel embrace Sarah with a scornful unease. And, yes, Hollis is warmly greeted by Cynthia Dale's Patty. The only other coupling of importance is John (Rob Stein) and Sylvia (Helene Udy). Why are they important, you ask? Well, Sylvia is played Helene Udy (Pinball Summer and Nightflyers), and, as everyone knows, I'm a diehard Udy-ite.

If T.J. has a thing for blondes, why he doesn't he make a play for Gina Dick's Gretchen? I mean, judging by the way she is constantly rebuffing the advances of Howard (Alf Humphreys), the goofball of the group, it would seem that she's available. And, of course, she's blonde. It's obvious you know nothing when it comes to matters of the heart. He's not interested in Gretchen, he's in love with Sarah, and that's that. Yeah, but Sarah's with Axel. Deep down T.J. knows Sarah still loves him. In other words, it's only a matter of time before Sarah comes to her senses and realizes that T.J. is the man for her.

And I must say, it's the authenticity of this love triangle that makes My Bloody Valentine stand out from the slasher crowd.

After being told to "beware the 14th," Happy (Jack Van Evera), the bartender at The Cage, treats the miners and their girlfriends to a gripping yarn about Harry Warden, a Valentine's Day averse miner who was left stranded down in the mine twenty years ago as the town partied. Warned that anyone who dares celebrate Valentine's Day will hear from Harry Warden, Happy makes a pretty convincing argument. However, the miners and their girlfriends seem unconvinced (that's just Happy being Happy) and proceed to go about their business.

My favourite piece of business involved Patty excitingly describing the structural makeup of the dress she plans to wear to the big dance to Sarah as they walked down the street. According to Patty, her dress will boast a large slit down the side. In fact, she's so excited about the slit, she points out its length on the drab skirt she is currently wearing. I don't know 'bout you, but I definitely can't wait to see this dress of hers.

In a strange twist, the slit on Patty's dress actually helps out when she finds herself tapped in the mine during the film's climatic showdown. Wait. How did Patty end up in the mine? It's a long story.

When one of the townsfolk is killed by a dryer, the mayor and the chief of police (Don Francks) agree that it's a good idea to cancel the dance. Yet, when the miners and their girlfriends find out about this, they secretly move the festivities to the mine (the mine's rec room to be specific). Weren't they scared that they might get murdered by a pick-axe-wielding maniac? Get this, the chief of police, in his infinite wisdom, decides not to tell them about the maniac. So, what you're saying is, Patty and her slit-adorned red dress are in mortal danger? You got that right.

Yeah, but like I was saying, the slit on her dress will give Patty a distinct advantage. No, hear me out. The slit allows her to move freely throughout the cramped confines of the mine. Won't the slit cause her legs and crotch to get cold? After all, mines have a reputation for being quite chilly. Not to fear, tan pantyhose are here. Huh? She's wearing tan pantyhose. Oh, I see. Check this out, the pantyhose will provide her with the warmth her lower extremities need. And, not only that, the pantyhose will cause her legs to appear more shapely than they already are. Awesome.

The version of My Bloody Valentine I watched had more gore added to it. And while I appreciated the extra bits of violence, I thought, no, don't tell me, you thought the film could have used more slit? Whoa! How did you know I was going to say that? Lucky guess. But yeah, more slit would have been nice. Actually, more Cynthia Dale in general would have been nice, too. Anyway, the best as far as kills goes has to be the water pipe death. Two and a half bloody pick-axes out of four.


  1. As a fellow unattractive chubby-wubby, I kind of admire this film for its (albeit) awkward imposition of a fantasy world where a luminous women is in a romantic relationship with one of us revolting pig-men.

    Anywho, I FINALLY got the internet connected in my new apartment in Tokyo. Looks like I have a large amount of fashion-foward reviews and detailed analysis of naked writhing to work through.

  2. "Revolting pig-men"? That's kooky talk. We're all beautiful our own way. Ugh.

    Good to hear from you again. :)

    I've posting been posting three a week as of late (I'm a tad backed up).