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My Bloody Valentine (1981) (Blu-ray)

My Bloody Valentine Blu-rayReviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Neil Affleck, Cynthia Dale, Don Francks, Lori Hallier, Patricia Hamilton

Directed by George Mihalka

Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment


Way back in the early Eighties fans of horror and Fangoria Magazine in particular were way stoked for the new holiday-themed slasher My Bloody Valentine. Part of the reason was that Fango ran a spread containing some particularly juicy photos of people slaughtered in all manner of heinous ways. Most of us love that kind of thing, and it seemed as if the killer, Harry Warden, was ready to take his rightful place on the throne of slasher royalty. Then something weird happened — Paramount, in their infinite wisdom, decided to strip the kills out of the movie almost entirely, and as a result the people who were anticipating it were left dumbfounded and feeling kind of cheated.

Yet, despite the neutered celluloid massacre it suffered, the movie still found its way into the *ahem* heart of the fanbase because everything else about it was pretty much rock solid for a slasher flick. Years later when MBV appeared on DVD, it was delivered as a bare-bones release, and the excised footage everyone had been clamoring for was deemed non-existent by the studio. Fans were crushed but kept the faith.

My Bloody Valentine Blu-rayEnter Lionsgate — bless their black little hearts. With their bigger budget remake My Bloody Valentine 3D slated to be unleashed, they secured the rights of the original movie as well, and everything that had gone along with it including — saints be praised — the missing gore! Not just content with releasing this found footage as deleted scenes, Lionsgate actually took the time to go back and re-edit it back into the film where it should have been in the first place. The result? A true gift for fans and elevation in the horror hierarchy for a movie that was pretty damned good to begin with!

I’m guessing you know the tale of Harry Warden pretty well by now so I’m not going to bother with a total plot rehash. Instead let’s talk about the footage and how it looks and fits in. Truth be told? I’m pretty shocked and beyond pleased. Most of us have already read about what was cut countless times by now, but actually seeing it? Honestly? It was easily more violent than even I had expected. Warden doesn’t fuck around, man. Heads are torn, bodies are disemboweled and/or impaled strategically, nail guns are employed to grisly use, eyes are popped from their sockets, limbs are severed and even sometimes eaten, and oh, the brutality of the scene with the infamous Dryer Lady? I thought we would just get a longer look at her corpse. No. We get something a lot cooler that had me giggling like a schoolgirl who had just discovered her play-time crush. Suffice it to say this version of My Bloody Valentine is surprisingly as carnage filled as hardcore gore classics like Maniac or The Prowler. I loved every single second. Wow.

My Bloody Valentine Blu-rayThe only slight downside is that most of the inserted scenes are not of the same high caliber picture quality as the rest of the movie, which was lovingly remastered and looks astonishingly good. There are pops, scratches, and other artifacts present, but you know what? Who gives a shit? My Bloody Valentine — after decades — is now finally complete and plays better than it ever has. My hat is off to all those involved and responsible … thank you, thank you, thank you!

The DVD of this release looked very good. Even with the edited in gore scenes … but this? Holy shit! It’s like seeing the film yet again for the very first time. We’re talking looking and sounding crystal clear here, people. The ‘Gate has put out some very good looking Blu-rays over the years but for a film of this age? This takes the cake!

I wish I could be as positive about the special features, which are good in and of themselves but still pretty sparse. All we get is your standard behind-the-scenes featurette in which the cast and crew get to quickly tell this movie’s tale, a text-based clickable slasher film history, and the cut footage presented as deleted scenes that you can play with or without introductions by the cast and crew. Know what’s missing? First and foremost a “Play All” option for the deleted scenes (going back to the menu each time one ends is pretty bothersome) and of course a proper commentary track. With all that this flick has been through, I would have loved to hear its full story.

Don’t wast a second. If you’re a fan, you need this cut of the film ASAP so click below and get to ordering. For the purists out there the original theatrical cut is also included, but I’m thinking you’re never going to watch that again. I know I’m not. Spread the word, and rejoice! Harry Warden’s original rampage is back with a blood-soaked vengeance!

Special Features:

  • Two versions of the film — Theatrical and Extended
  • Deleted footage with director, cast, and special effects designer introductions
  • Bloodlust: My Bloody Valentine and the Rise of the Slasher Film featurette
  • Bloodlines: An Interactive Horror Film History

    Film:

    4 out of 5

    Special Features:

    3 out of 5

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  • Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

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