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My Bloody Valentine / B2 / Japan

19.12.14

Poster Poster

This is the Japanese B2 for the release of the Canadian film My Bloody Valentine, which was one of several slasher films released in the wake of the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978). The film is set in the fictional mining town of Valentine Bluffs that is preparing to hold its first Valentine’s Day town dance in 20 years. It’s revealed that two decades earlier there was an accident down the mine that saw four miners die from gas poisoning and a fifth, named Harry Warden, survive by resorting to cannibalism until he was rescued. Two supervisors were blamed for what happened to the men as they deserted their posts to attend the town dance and a year later Harry returned to take his revenge, murdering the pair and cutting out their hearts, before warning that the town should never hold another dance.

Since Harry was eventually caught and locked up in an insane asylum the warning had become a distant memory and the people of the town decide to hold a new dance, which excites the younger generation of inhabitants. Shortly before the day of the dance the mayor of the town and the chief of police receive an anonymous gift in the form of a box of chocolates. When they open it they discover a bloody human heart. Soon after, a woman called Mabel is brutally murdered by a man dressed in mining gear and the town decides they have no choice but to cancel the dance. The frustrated younger townspeople decide to hold their own party at the mines the next night but they’re not prepared for the wrath of the mysterious killer and one by one they fall victim to his sharpened pickaxe.

Whilst far from the best in the slasher genre the film is certainly entertaining and features some pretty memorable kills. Notoriously the MPAA (the American ratings board) forced the filmmakers to make 9 minutes of cuts to remove most of the gory sequences. The cuts are now thought to have been a reaction by Paramount to the backlash they suffered over the gore in Friday the 13th (1980) and the director George Mihalka also suggests that horror films released in the wake of John Lennon’s murder suffered similar fates. The film was released with much of the footage reinstated in a 2009 DVD release.