The other night I went to see My Bloody Valentine in 3D. If you had asked me what I was doing Friday night the day before this option would not have even entered into my mind. Honestly though, I’m glad I went.
I had no intention of seeing this flick. I’ve essentially been in a long hibernation from horror flicks for a couple of months now, and besides that I never saw the original and so have no vested interest in this whatsoever. Not to mention I really thought the trailer for this one, which I was subjected to before The Punisher last month, just looked stupid. I mean, while watching said trailer I kept waiting for ‘Beware – The Miner’ to resound across the theatre walls, delivered by that baritone voice over master who does all horror movie trailers in such straight faced, teen blood-curdling camp. So when said voice-over artist delivered, ‘My Bloody Valentine’ instead I remember thinking, ‘ah, okay. What the hell does mining have to do with Valentines Day?’
Well, I’m still asking that same question. As a movie, ie a construct of plot and purpose, this is offal, pure and simple. However (the big however, you knew it was coming) as a vehicle for slashes and hacks, screams, tits and sliced-open-sternums My Bloody Valentine really fucking delivered. And I have to say, I had a pretty good time sitting back and watching about half a town’s worth of yokels get pick-axed to death in such glorious 3D that at one point I actually forgot myself and hoisted a hand to try and deflect a lower mandible ripped asunder from some poor mother fucker’s face and flung out into the audience via glorious, glorious technology that is probably now 50 years old.
Sure, right from the start I was thrilled to see Tom Atkins’ name in the opening credits. In fact Atkins plus Kevin Tighe* make up a large part of what put this one in the black for me. Well, that and the fact that there is no, and I mean NO labored slasher flick (especially modern slasher flick) set-up. The killing starts within like the first ten minutes and doesn’t really ever relent. And you know what’s even better than an all slashing slasher flick?
Body count delivered in not 1 dimension, not 2 dimensions, but 3 head-splitting, chest-gouging, eye-impaling (yep!) dimensions!
It’s all about the 3D kids.
And I don’t really know why. I talked about this in an earlier blog, the fact that this considerably ancient technology (in Hollywood terms) has been unused and all but forgotten in the last several decades**. Studios and Theatre owners used to use this kitchie tech to lure people like Biff and his gang in back before the days of hover boards and life-vests-as-fashion, so how is it that I’m charmed as fuck now?
Don’t know, guess it’s just a combination of throw-back and something different, insofar as a theatre experience goes. Also I think intoxication and goofy story lines help. And again, this story is ridiculous. Miners gone horribly awry and Valentine’s day. It’s like a square and a circle, no matter how well you glue them together and try to keep a straight face about it, it just doesn’t fit. But from this I think the filmmakers find another strength – they understood this ridiculousness from the get-go and as such made no bones about not taking itself too seriously. I think a lot of the nu-horror suffers from this ‘serious’ problem, especially revamped slasher stuff because they all want to be deep and make some kind of terribly important sense, when all they really should be concerned with is being raw, pointless and visceral. And apparently there is no better way to accomplish this than in 3D.
Now, next time I start bitching about remakes I’ll pause, think fondly of seeing a man’s lower jaw fly across the room at me and use MBV as an exception. Although I probably should see the original first. Maybe. One might be enough.
* You may know him as Locke’s father on Lost
** Because I’m reasonably certain that the only people that went to see Freddy’s Dead were those of us who were underage at the time and thus had to sneak in, making it impossible to procure the necessary 3D glasses from the concierge.