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Why’s there no blood splattering on me from the movie screen?

By Staff | Jan 27, 2009

Here comes another boogieman from slashing cinema past. Harry Warden does not have the name recognition of Jason, Freddie or Michael. Yet, Warden took viewers into the deep, dark venue of a coal mine and sought revenge on corporate officers who allowed a mishap.

“My Bloody Valentine 3-D” misses those few sentences of explanation. Instead, good looking teens head into a mine shaft for a little drinking and kissing on Valentine’s Day; their exotic hook up locale turns deadly when a miner carrying a pickaxe instantly juggles the body part counter meter.

 Responding favorably to the extra dimension, “Valentine’s” 3-D works best on mine train rides, axes in the eye, and other well-integrated shots, all of which do not cry “awkward, it’s just for 3-D.” Unfortunately, you do not feel compelled to duck blood or bodies flying into the audience (because the filmmakers did not add what would seem no brainer scenes.) On the other hand, the rampant plunging of the bloody axe wavers from ho-hum to a crude attempt at a who-dun-it mystery. The latter would have delivered if not for the lack of motive.

Once the film — partially shot in coal towns near Pittsburgh (which doubled for Point Pleasant in “Mothman Prophecies”)  — achieves a comfortable small town feel, the suspect and romance games begins. 

Briefly, Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles) returns to his hometown of Harmony still grappling with unresolved emotions of 10 years past when he and a number of teens went into a mine tunnel to party. On the Tenth Anniversary of the Valentine’s Day massacre in the mine, Tom reunites with former sweetheart Sarah (Jamie King fresh from “The Spirit,” “Fanboys” and getting ready for “Sin City II”), who in the intervening years married his best friend Axel (Kerr Smith), now the town’s sheriff. Intent on selling the mine and thus putting many of the townspeople out of work, Sarah pleads for reconsideration.

 Director Patrick (“Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000” and sequels) Lussier has weaved a supermarket splat and streaking “I didn’t know you taped me” hooker into the mix. One injects tension (though one victim escapes through a window into the waiting arms of the devil in a miner’s oxygen mask and axe without so much as a scream). As for the naked lady, she’s good for some comic relief just before the bloodletting begins.

 Continuity snafus break the grisly cutout hearts. For instance, Pennsylvania trees and foilage are not in full bloom on Feb. 14, are they?  Besides the atrocious lack of motive (which should have been plucked from the 1981 version), the resolution rehash does not convince, leaving viewers with the feeling they were dumped unmercifully into a bottomless mineshaft and forgotten.

Contact Tony at trutherford@graffitiwv.com