Film: My Bloody Valentine
"Once upon a time
On a sad Valentine
In a place known as Hanniger Mine
A legend began
Every woman and man
Would always remember the time
And those who remain
Were never the same
You could see the fear in their eyes
Once every year
As the 14th draws near
There's a hush all over the town
For the legend they say
On a Valentine's Day
Is a curse that'll live on and on"
— "The Ballad of Harry Warden"
holiday-themed Canadian Slasher Movie
directed by George Mihalka.
Twenty years ago, in the sleepy mining town of Valentine Bluffs, a methane gas explosion at Hanniger Coal Mine trapped five miners in a shaft when the foremen who were supposed to be supervising left to go to a Valentine's Day party (similar to the absentee camp counsellors in Friday the 13th (1980)
). Six weeks later, the sole survivor of the accident, Harry Warden, was rescued; he survived by eating his dead coworkers and ultimately had gone mad. After a year in a mental institution, he escaped on Valentine's Day, killing and cutting out the heart of the guilty foremen, leaving a warning that the same would happen if the town ever again held a Valentine's Day celebration. With this nothing but a distant memory and Harry supposedly back in the institution, the town is now throwing another party. Murders of the same manner as before start cropping up, and the town sheriff orders the party shut down. But the requisite bunch of none-too-bright teenagers ain't happy about this and elope to host the party in secret up at the mine instead. Big mistake...
Known for having nine minutes constituting the gorier killings lopped off of it to comply with the MPAA. In 2009, the movie had a remake in 3D, named aptly: My Bloody Valentine 3D
. The remake coincided with a DVD release of the original movie, which had the cut footage reincluded.Quentin Tarantino
said that this is his favorite Slasher Movie
. The famous Shoegazing band of the same name
took their name from this movie.
The original film provides examples of the following tropes:
- Abandoned Area: A significant portion of the mine.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: The knife Axel uses to cut his own crushed arm off.
- The Alleged Car: Most of them.
- Axe Before Entering: The killer hacks through some boards at least once.
- Badass Mustache: Hollis.
- The Ballad of Harry Warden.
- The Bartender: Happy.
- The Big Guy: Hollis.
- Black Eyes of Evil: Invoked by the gas mask eyeholes, which seem to be pure black in every scene except one.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Axel, the only blond main guy in the film.
- Blood Is Squicker in Water: Sylvia gets impaled on a broken shower nozzle, which the killer then turns on.
- Blood Spattered Innocents: Jenny and Patty get covered Howard's blood after a noose cuts his head off, and a young Axel got splattered in his father's blood as Harry killed him.
- Boom, Headshot: Hollis gets a nail shot into the temple, then right between the eyes.
- Brain in a Jar: One is on a shelf in the morgue.
- Breast Attack: The first victim gets a pickaxe through the back and out a breast, which has a heart tattoo on it.
- Calling Card: Hearts in candy boxes, and threatening Valentine's Day cards.
- Canada, Eh?
- Carry a Big Stick: Axel whacks TJ with a log after mistaking him for the killer.
- Cassandra Truth: Happy, sorta.
- The Cavalry Arrives Late: Chief Newby, Mayor Hanniger and their posse reach the mine just after Axel is caught in a cave-in.
- The Coroner: He's perfectly fine with handling a fresh human heart with his bare hands.
- Actually, if you look closely he's wearing very thin clear nylon gloves. You can see the edges of them just under the sleeves of the white doctor coat. It certainly LOOKS like he's handling it with his bare hands, though.
- The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: The stabbed and immolated Mabel is listed as having died of a heart attack, so as not to panic the townspeople.
- Cruel and Unusual Death:
- Mabel getting pickaxed and shoved into a clothes dryer.
- Dave being drowned in a boiling pot filled with hotdogs.
- Sylvia getting impaled through the head by a broken pipe, which proceeds to shoot water out of her mouth.
- Curiosity Killed the Cast: Hollis dies looking for Mike and Harriet.
- Cutesy Name Town: Valentine Bluffs.
- Executive Meddling: Paramount infamously refused to allow the film's director to attempt to reassemble the film's original cut when the film was first released upon DVD, nor did they allow any sort of supplementary material to be filmed with the director or the actors involved in the film (as at the time, Paramount didn't think their slasher back catalog worthy of DVD extras or anything other than a bare boned release). This finally changed when Lionsgate secured the rights to the movie due to the then upcoming remake and released a new uncut version.
- Eye Scream: Happy's death.
- Failed a Spot Check: While getting beer out of a fridge, John fails to notice the killer stuffed Dave's body into it.
- Fight Scene: Between Axel and TJ, during the party.
- Final Girl: Sarah.
- Five-Finger Fillet: Played by Axel and Hollis.
- Flashback: Harry's origin is shown through a series of them.
- Flashback Cut: Used to show Axel was present when Harry killed his father.
- Flipping the Bird: Axel gives it, after losing to Hollis in the knife game they were playing in the bar.
- Freudian Excuse: Axel was traumatized as a child by witnessing Harry violently kill his father, one of the neglectful mine supervisors.
- Foreshadowing: "Oh, come on, you'd forget your head if it wasn't tied on with rope!"
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Sarah smacks Patty when she refuses to leave Hollis's body.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Only if you're watching the cut version.
- Grumpy Old Man: Happy.
- Harmful to Minors: Axel witnessing Harry butcher his father.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Axel haphazardly swinging his pickaxe around in an unstable area causes a collapse.
- Hope Spot: The elevator and ladder.
- Hooks and Crooks: Happy's body was stuck on one.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Along with Valentine's Day, there's also a chunk of the film set on Friday the 13th.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Hollis and Patty.
- Hysterical Woman: Patty after Hollis's death.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Via a drill.
- Improvised Weapon: Pickaxe, clothes dryer, shower pipe, industrial drill, nailgun, log, shovel and rock.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: While hanging from some rafters, Howard mentions he has "a hangover".
- Ironic Nursery Tune: Axel sings his own version of "Daddy's Gone-A-Huntin" while stumbling off into the mine.
- Jack the Ripoff: Axel.
- Knife Nut: After losing his pickaxe, the killer goes after TJ with a knife.
- Laughing Mad: Axel, in the end.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: When looking for Mike and Harriet.
- Life or Limb Decision: After being pinned by rubble, Axel escapes by cutting his own arm off.
- Lingerie Scene: Right at the beginning.
- Local Hangout: The Cage.
- Love Triangle: Sarah, Axel and TJ.
- Male Gaze: As Sarah and Patty are climbing a ladder.
- Malevolent Masked Men
- Nail 'Em: Hollis's death via a nail gun.
- No Party Like a Donner Party: Harry survived being trapped in the collapsed mine by killing and eating the other trapped miners.
- Off with His Head!: Howard was actually hung, but apparently the drop was so high that the rope had enough force to decapitate him.
- Re Cut: The assassination of John Lennon led to a backlash against violence in the media, resulting in the film being trimmed considerably. Thankfully, a decent amount of footage survived, and was reinstated in the 2009 Special Edition.
- Red Herring: Harry Warden died five years ago.
- The Reveal: Axel is the killer.
- Rival Turned Evil: Axel.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Harry killing the foremen whose negligence resulted in him being trapped in the mine.
- Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue: One is dead, and so are you!
- Scream Discretion Shot: Mabel's death.
- See You in Hell: "Hanniger! I'll be waiting in Hell for you!"
- Sequel Hook: An injured Axel runs off into the mines, ranting to himself and vowing revenge on the entire town.
- Shower Scene: An all male example.
- The Sheriff: Chief Jake Newby.
- Shovel Strike: TJ fights the killer off with one.
- Similarly Named Works: Besides the band, there was a slasher novel titled My Bloody Valentine released in The Nineties.
- Small Town Boredom: Why TJ left Valentine Bluffs for the West Coast. As he put, "I fell on my ass out there", so he had to come crawling back home.
- Stay in the Kitchen: There's a rule about no women in the mine.
- The Stoner: Howard, judging by his hat, which prominently displays a marijuana leaf.
- Stuff Blowing Up: How Harry got trapped in the mine.
- This Cannot Be!: Mayor Hanniger's reaction to the first heart and note sent by the killer.
- This Is a Drill: Mike and Harriet are found skewered by a big one.
- Title Drop: "Sarah, be My Bloody Valentine!"
- Title In: February 12th, 13th and 14th.
- Ultimate Authority Mayor: Mayor Hanniger.
- Vader Breath: The heavy mining gear has this effect on the killer.
- Villain Opening Scene
- Villain Song: "The Ballad of Harry Warden", which plays over the credits.
- Villainous Breakdown: Axel goes batshit in the end.
- Visual Pun: Hollis's hat has the words "Kiss My" printed on it, above a picture of a donkey.
- Vomiting Cop: Close. Upon finding Mabel's body, Chief Newby starts gagging a lot.
- Wait Here: Said by Hollis and TJ to Patty, Sarah and Howard before they go looking for Mike and Harriet.
- Weapon of Choice: A pickaxe.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: TJ and Mayor Hanniger.
- We Used to Be Friends: TJ and Axel.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: So, exactly who was the woman who got killed in the opening?
- Wild Teen Party: Older than teens, but the principal is the same.