If you're going to remake a movie, when all's said and done, you might as well remake a bad one. This is the secret behind My Bloody Valentine, the new version of an early-'80's slasher flick which looked both cheap and Canadian — which it was, and which it was. Years after a catastrophic cave-in that took place on, yes, Valentine's Day, a small mining town is assaulted by a murderer dressed as a miner, slaying dozens of victims in spectacularly gory fashion while a small-town soap opera worthy of daytime television plays out.
See, Sheriff Axel Kerr and Jamie King are married now, but she used to be madly in love with Jensen Ackles, who's come home to sell the family mine, and all kinds of old feelings are being dragged up while plenty of innocent (and, in great horror film tradition, not-so-innocent) people are being slashed up. Director Patrick Lussiter clearly has a more capable hand with the blood soaked than the heart felt, though, and you can feel him and his actors straining with all their might to try and make us care about these character's inner lives while everyone around them is having their insides cut out.
Because, to be blunt, My Bloody Valentine is gory; superbly, stupidly, awesomely gory, with plenty of inventively-shot moments of death that will make any horror fan sit up in their seat. On the DVD's commentary track, a cooperative effort between director Lussiter and half of his screenwriting team, Todd Farmer, Lussiter explains the difficulties of getting a shovel laser-cut to precisely match the contours of an actresses' face so you can get the right look for a decapitation murder, then the problems of matching that footage to the digital beheading that happens next as the killer pounds on the handle to cut her head in twain; if you weren't so engaged by Lussiter's breezy, charming recounting of the difficulties of film making, you'd hurl.
And indeed, that tone carries through to the film even without the commentary track — that sense of oh-my-God-I-can't-believe-we're-getting-away-with-this on behalf of the people who made them that kept so many '80s slashers giddy as opposed to just gory, that made them thrilling as opposed to just tense and unhappy. Yes, you're watching a woman be chased by a murderer. But he's wearing a cool outfit, she's wearing nothing, and he's chasing her through the parking lot of a motel owned by a little person who's already had a few great lines … and we're not appalled but amused, not terrorized but tickled.
My Bloody Valentine was shown in theaters in 3D, which you needed the classic red-and-blue glasses to enjoy – if "enjoy" is the right word for describing the experience of seeing a human head split open by a pickaxe so that the victim's eye lunges out of the screen at you. The film's presented in 2D on this disc, and what's interesting is how well the film holds up as a piece of stylish, glossy, bloody horror entertainment even without the central gimmick; Lussiter may have made a 3D movie for theaters, but he made a movie first, and that commitment to storytelling shows through in the film regardless of how many dimensions it's in.