My Bloody Valentine 3D
Directed by Patrick Lussier. Starring Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Betsy Rue, Tom Atkins, Kevin Tighe, Megan Boone. (2009, R, 101 min.)
REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Jan. 23, 2009
If you've ever wanted to see a tiny motel owner smashed through her mandible and impaled on a ceiling by a miner's pickax, this is the movie for you. It's also the movie for you if you're just dying to watch a sexy blonde's head sliced in two – slooowly, oh so slooowly – by a razor-edged shovel or, alternately, if you find the idea of a smash-face baby Boston terrier bugging out his eyes in 3-D even remotely appealing. Did I mention the wealth of anatomically correct eyeball trauma? No? Well, this way-above-average remake of George Mihalka's plodding 1981 splatter film has it in spades and asses. As one retro slasher fan to another, I kid you not: My Bloody Valentine 3D earns every bloody drop of its hard "R" rating and does so with an eye – heh, heh – toward resurrecting the moribund Eighties-style slash ’n' splash teen slaughter picture with precious little irony or Scream-esque, self-effacing commentary. It's just guts, guts, guts (and attendant blunt trauma) from the get-goo to the final shot, all of it presented in fully immersive, well-choreographed 3-D. It is, in short, the best date movie of the year thus far. The, um, "plot," which deviates from the original in several substantial (but spoiler-ridden) ways, involves a mad miner working the seams of various teenage craniums while everyone else wonders who's really behind that trés kinky gas-mask-and-overalls combo. Hurt couture, indeed. As a sop to splatter die-hards (a thoughtful, pleasing sop, mind you), Atkins (Halloween III: Season of the Witch, The Fog) turns up as a local sheriff and is rewarded with one of the most memorable scenes in the history of splatter movies. The rest of the young cast is essentially forgettable, fodder for the madman's shaft or pole or … whatever. (Not since Flesh for Frankenstein's Udo Kier celebrated life by fucking death in the gallbladder has a 3-D film been so freakishly, fantastically phallic.) Beyond all those presumably intentional Freudian subtextuals – mine shafts, pickaxes, and gaping, bloody holes in extremely disturbing places – MBV 3D is full-on, old-school, Fangoria-approved, gorehound heaven – a supersaturated arterial goregasm with zero socially redeeming values for anyone other than first-year med students. (And someday it's going to make one helluva double bill with Coal Miner's Daughter.) Kickass.