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Top 10 Valentine's Day Themed Horror Flicks!

Top 10? Hell, the only 10! Well not quite, but damn close! Last year we gifted y’all with a robust double fistful of romantically tinged horror flicks to cuddle up to on Valentine’s Day, and now, as a follow up, we’ve done the unthinkable. We’ve actually tallied a solid list of ten horror/thrillers that happened to be set on Valentine’s Day itself. Now, some spend the entire day reveling in lovelorn lethality, some merely glance past the February 14th date, but in just about every case, old cupid’s shooting an arrow in the head, if not the heart. Ah hell, you’ve heard enough. Here’s the Top 10 Valentine’s Day Set Horror/Thrillers!

#10. LOVER’S LANE (1999) 

Before Anna Farris was spoofing SCARY MOVIEs and wooing the world as THE HOUSE BUNNY, she happened to stroll down LOVER’S LANE, a listless paint-by-numbers slasher flick about a man who went on an indiscriminant murder spree on Valentine’s Day 13 year prior, only to return to town to stalk and slash the victims’ children, foully disemboweling them with his hook-handed murder weapon. Lover’s Lane refers to a place for lovebirds to park their cars and make-out, which is where the sadistic slasher shows up for slaughter (hence the tagline: there is no such thing as safe sex). Now, this is clearly a bad and poorly made movie, but far more fun for ardent slasher completists than one might expect. GET HERE

#9. MY BOYFRIENDS BACK (1993)

I can’t be the only 10 or 12 year old one besieged by the inveterate run of MY BOY FRIEND’S BACK on HBO, can I? Not buying it! Thing is, I always dug the lighthearted tone and slapstick humor, almost playing like the best of a cheesy Tales from the Crypt episode crossed with a zanily cartoonish Sam Raimi flick. It’s a perfect intro for budding preteen horror fanatics. Love that shite! Of course, it would take decades to realize the film was directed by Bob Balaban, bringing his own mordant sense of humor to the flick, a la PARENTS. Granted, it would have been killer to see what Peter Jackson could have done with the script (he was offered to direct). Props to late greats Ed Hermann and Phil Hoffman for appearing in the film, and for McConaughey for making his big screen debut! GET HERE

#8. VALENTINE (2001) 

No bullshit, I adore VALENTINE far more than most. Yes, it’s abjectly terrible, but so what, it has a damn good bit of fun knowing just how derivatively lame it is. Moreover, the first time you see it, I’d argue the mysterious whodunit element of the plot actually works more than many of its ilk. Look, I love slasher flicks so much that I have the lowest bar of expectations to enjoy one. Just give me a gaggle of deplorably annoying teenagers, a cool location and a unique array of profligate death-styles and I’m a happy boy. To this end, VALENTINE checks off the most basic of slasher film rubrics, boasting a plot-line about a rejected childhood Valentine’s Day suitor out to vengefully vitiate his female deniers, decades later. The cherubic Cupid mask is a cute touch, but nothing tops Denise Richard’s getting drilled by the killer in a hot tub harder than Charlie f*cking Sheen! GET HERE

#7. HOSPITAL MASSACRE (1981) 

Also known as X-RAY, as well as BE MY VALENTINE, OR ELSE, the little known obscure early 80s slasher flick HOSPITAL MASSACRE just might be your required homework assignment for the week. As in, see this f*cking movie stat! Why? It features a vilely vengeful Valentine’s Day subplot, in which a gorgeous gal (Barbi Benton) visits an L.A. hospital for a routine checkup, only to be horrifically hunted by a sick psychopath in O.R. scrubs who she jilted on Valentine’s Day 19 years prior. It’s essentially the plotline for VALENTINE, but directed with beguiling verve by the Israeli madman Boaz Davidson (THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN). Oddly, the movie was made and released in Mexico in 1981 but had to wait until April of 1982 to arrive stateside. Props to Shout! Factory for issuing HOSPITAL MASSACRE on Blu-ray as a double feature with SCHIZOID! GET HERE

#6. PONTYPOOL (2008) 

Okay, so of all the flicks on our list, this one portrays Valentine’s Day with the least amount of romantic prominence. And yet, technically, PONTYPOOL is indeed set on Valentine’s Day, as a deadly viral outbreak threatens the small Ontario town on February 14th. What’s so coolly original here, other than the kickass performance by stellar Canadian actor Stephen McHattie, is how the aforesaid virus is detected through radio transmission, as a shock-jock radio DJ begins filtering ferocious bits of info through his airwaves as the night wears on. Half of the flick takes place in the claustrophobic radio station, the other half in the Canadian frigidity, with the sum total likely equaling the most unique Valentine’s Day horror flick to date, using the unofficial day of love as a background to explore the threat of universal death! GET HERE

#5. DOWN (2019)

We’re happy to report that our most recent Valentine’s Day themed horror flick on the list is qualitatively good enough to rank among the upper-half. True talk, the fifth episode of Hulu Original’s Into the Dark series, DOWN, is a deeply duplicitous two-hander that gets stronger as it progresses, setting up a wildly unpredictable finale that atones for a few early cliché-ridden scenes. Directed by Daniel Stamm (THE LAST EXORCISM), the story centers on a man and women who happened to get stuck in a parking lot elevator afterhours, on a three-day holiday weekend (V-Day coincides with President’s Day here). Of course, it turns out this was no accident at all, but rather an elaborate kidnap and hostage scheme plotted by the man, in order to bed his stalked-upon female obsession. A solid back-and-forth cat-and-mouse match of wits that pays off handsomely and horrifically!

#4. ST. VALENTINES DAY MASSACRE (1967)

Codify it a crime thriller or a gangster picture all you want, the semantic argument does not change the fact that a real life massacre took place at the hands of mafia magnate, Al Capone, in 1929 Chicago. That is, swap the Tommy-guns for knives and you’d easily have one of the gnarliest real life horror stories of all time. The gist? Simple. In order to strike his most formidable foe, Bugs Moran, Capone orchestrated a sneak attack, in which he sent his men in hot, guns-a-blazing, disguised as policemen, until his rivals were mowed the f*ck down into a gory morass of bone, blood and viscera. The great Roger Corman directs, but the real reason to see the flick is for the powerhouse performance of the late great Jason Robards as Capone! GET HERE

#3. PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (1975) 

Few filmmakers have conjured such a mystifying air of ambiguity the way Peter Weir did with his lyrical curio, PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK. Having seen the flick for the first time fairly recently, the story about three students and their schoolteacher suddenly disappearing while taking a walk on Valentine’s Day in 1900, is as fascinating a movie mystery as I’ve ever seen. Part of this is due to the pacing, putting us in a time and place where time moved like molasses, which lends a kind of eerie hypnotic quality to the viewing. The unspeakable haunting of the townsfolk trying to solve what happened feels palpable, and we’re just as vexed trying to piece together the maddening puzzle, all the while steeped in the beauteous Australian idyll! GET HERE

#2. MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D (2009) 

One of the most difficult Original Vs. Remake face-offs we’ve seen in the past has to be that between MY BLOODY VALENTINE and its three-dimensional redo in 2009. It’s a tough call, as certain aspects of Patrick Lussier’s version – about a psycho killer a miner’s mask slaughtering Pennsylvania townsfolk on Valentine’s Day – actually reigns supreme. The whodunit mystery is just as adroitly maneuvered as in the original, keeping us guessing the identity of the killer all the way to the end. The acting goes a long way toward preserving the mystery, and the resplendent grue of the uncut version rivals the uncut version of the original, where the unflinching profusion of graphic gore was forced to be excised by the MPAA on both accounts. Simply put, MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D is the rare case of a remake being on par with its predecessor, the original of which ranks…

#1. MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981)

…Number one with a mother*cking bullet! Indeed, the one and only definitive Valentine’s Day horror film, George Mihalka’s MY BLOODY VALENTINE, really deserves rank as one of the all time best slasher films as well. At least, 1980s slasher flicks, from which the majority of them derive. In addition to brilliantly setting the film on a holiday meant for lovey-dovey romance and horny courtship, thereby subverting the happy holiday in favor of something far more sinister, the setting of an underground mine is a sheer stroke of genius. It gives the murderer reason to don the mining mask, and gives us reason to organically guess who among the miners is moonlighting as a pickaxe wielding murderous madman. The iconic heart-shaped candy boxed filled with a carved out heart, or a gruesomely decapitated head lolling around in a washing machine (both of which were affectionately called back by Lussier in the redo) easily prop MY BLOODY VALENTINE as the most beloved February 14th horror salvo to date! GET MBV '81 HERE, '09 HERE

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