January 22, 2009

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My Bloody Valentine 3D (R)
The pick axe comes through the screen and it’s headed right for your face! in My Bloody Valentine 3D, a movie which sort of fulfills its promise of shooting the blood and gore right into the audience.

It also sort of gives you a headache. This is definitely a movie to which you want to arrive early so as to have your pick of seats. Sit anywhere but the center (not too close to the screen, not too far away) and you’ll risk seeing some of the movie in blur-o-vision. As it is, a careless nod of your head will temporarily throw the 3-D effect completely out of whack.

Not that you’ll miss some important plot point. Basically, a miner’s-mask-wearing loon named Harry Warden (Rich Walters) kills some people during a cave-in at a mine and then goes into a coma and then wakes up on Valentine’s Day and then kills some more people and then dies maybe and then maybe starts killing more people on Valentine’s Day 10 years later. Or maybe it’s Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles), the rich boy whose family owns the mine and who is blamed for the cave-in. Maybe he’s the one perpetrating the second generation, supposedly-post-Warden-mortem killing. Or maybe it’s Axel Palmer (Kerr Smith), the young sheriff who married Tom’s one-time girlfriend Sarah (Jamie King). Or maybe it’s someone else entirely who has a grudge against Tom, who now wants to sell the mine and move the heck away from Harmony, the one-horse town where all this killing takes place. Whoever it is, they’re dedicated — not only do they kill their victims in the most grisly manner possible, they then hack at their chests, pull out their hearts and leave them in heart-shaped Valentine’s Day candy boxes for law enforcement. Because even psycho-killers know it’s just good manners to get something for the people you work with.

My Bloody Valentine 3D is, not surprisingly, crappy. It is not, however, crappy enough to be entertaining. And since it seems unlikely that it could have ever been a good movie, so-bad-it’s-good is really what this movie should have shot for. It has plenty of the elements — ridiculous acting, moronic dialogue, intentionally laugh-getting methods of death, extreme nudity (full frontal — female, of course) at inappropriate moments. And the 3-D effects are really quite low-rent in comparison with, say, the recently animated features that have incorporated 3-D on the ordinary theater screens. With enough friends and enough booze, I’m sure this My Bloody Valentine 3D could provide for a good time. But the true test of a so-bad-it’s-good movie is that even without the friends and the intoxication you can still have a good time. While I chuckled here and there, I also sighed, shifted in my seat and looked at my cell phone to figure out how much more of this limp gorefest I had to endure. Come on, bad horror movie, if you’re going to serve up such junk food, you need to go much heavier on the cheese. D+

Rated R for graphic brutal horror violence and grisly images throughout, some strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language. Directed by Patrick Lussier and written by Todd Farmer and Zane Smith (from the 1981 movie written by John Beaird and Stephen Miller), My Bloody Valentine is an hour and 41 minutes long and distributed in wide release by Lionsgate.