I was pleased to see the amount of undead affinity our last Face-Off
garnered. Both flicks battling definitely have a special place in the hearts of horror lovers and ya'll did a fine job speaking from your tickers. I do believe Peter Jackson's Dead Alive did just solidify a victory. Thanks for showing the love.
And today, we are mixing love and horror into a fun little cocktail of carnage. With the lame, greeting card company-endorsed holiday, Valentine's Day, having just passed, today's Face-Off concerns two flicks that truly treat the holiday as it deserves to be treated. So, sharpen your cupid arrows and poison a box of chocolate hearts, because here comes the original My Bloody Valentine Vs. the My Bloody Valentine remake! (And just to make things clear, I am judging the uncut version of the 1981 original.)
The uncut version of MBV is a gorious display of kickin' pickaxe carnage! There's a horribly eye-popping impalement as well as some distgusting gorges through the heart area. Plus, we are treated to a nasty beheading, a dryer death on "burn" cycle, and some major nail gun carnage! It is disgustingly awesome, especially for a 1981 horror movie. Curse the censors for not making it fully available until recently. It's a totally different movie!
Not to be outdone, the MBV remake relishes its mean-spirited kills and holds nothing back in terms of blood or remorse. It also utilizes the 3D aspect to gleefully gory effect. When the pickaxe swings, the red stuff gushes and squirts so hard, you think it's going to hit you. There's an eyeball pop, bodies are torn open, and a jaw is unexpectedly ripped off. Some visceral, sick stuff!
Considering it's a slasher movie, MBV is surprisingly low on hardcore sex and nudity. In fact, I don't think there's any! That's a shame because we get a hot lady in a bra in the very first scene (but she is quickly killed). I mean, there are two couples that do sneak off for some horizontal action. Sadly, both get interrupted by strange noises or sharp objects. Seriously, what's with the lack of boobage in this flick?
Thankfully, the remake improves nicely on the severe lack of T & A in the original. Betsy Rue deserves some sort of award for the way she threw all inhibitions aside, stripped down to nothing, and just rocked some dude in bed with sexually-charged glee. Her moaning and wailing were music to my ears. Then her fully nude romp that immediately followed was a helluva cherry on top!
MBV did a very nice job of invoking the heart holiday spirit through the town of Valentine Bluffs (yup, that's the name of the town). Cupid and heart decorations are plastered all over the place. Boxes of chocolates (and human hearts) are put on display. The whole plot is based around the idea to throw or not to throw a big Valentine's Day party. This flick has more V-Day spirit than Hallmark.
Actually, Valentine's Day, the holiday, kinda takes a back seat in the remake. The only reason one of the main characters returns to town is because his father dies. It's only a coincidence that his return falls upon cupid's holiday. Plus, there is no Valentine's party and no real significance to the carnage happening around the 14th of February. It's like Valentine's Day was only included because the movie being remade was My Bloody Valentine.
Lori Hallier's "Sarah" definitely makes for a better than average 80's slasher female lead. She's saddled with the rare burden of having to not only deal with a psychotic killer, but also two beaus fighting for her affection. It's this "double deal" that makes her stand out. She is beautiful as well, though we never get to see any goods. Still, her strong will and ability to side with the "right" man makes her a memorable leading lady.
Jaime King is downright excellent playing her version of "Sarah". She's a mother, a wife, a former flame, and a victim and her somewhat aged performance adds just the right amount of sympathy to an otherwise hardcore, mean-spirited flick. This shouldn't come as any surprise because Ms. King has long been considered our generations greatest scream queen. Her talent certainly is reminiscent of a young Jamie Lee Curtis.
The original's slasher definitely had a nice penchant for swinging the pickaxe without remorse. Although his movements seemed a tad clumsy at times, he always made good when the time came to spill the blood of those celebrating V-Day around him. He's definitely got an old-school creepy vibe about him and his Darth Vader-esque breathing inside that mask is a nice touch.
The remake's slasher got a very smart upgrade here with a much more menacing aura as well as a helluva mean streak. There's just something about his swing of the pickaxe that screams I'm one evil motherf*cker. He comes off as bigger, stronger, and badder than the '81 incarceration that came before him. He is downright scary.
My Bloody Valentine ('09)
Holy shit! We have a remake defeating the original! Are ya pissed? Are ya glad? I've gotta know! Please, spit them bullets below like cupid firing a barrage of arrows. What flick deserved this victory? Basically, tell me if I'm crazy or not! And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org