A heart-friendly Atkins diet

Human body parts flying off the screen??? Yes, please!

bloodyvalentine3dfinal2(The 4 star rating applies only to the 3D adaptation of this movie. The 2D version gets 1 star.)

My Bloody Valentine 3D is the first film of 2009 that I got excited about.  I had heard so many good things from people, that going in I knew it would be a good time.  Having said this, the film is not without its problems.  To understand what makes it so much fun though, let’s first get familiar with the term “fan service.”

Fan Service: “…scenes designed to excite or titillate the viewer.  Basically, if it has little plot-redeeming value, but makes the viewer sit up and take notice, it’s probably fan service in one form or another.” -UrbanDictionary.com

That is the definition of fan service, and fan service is the definition of MBV3D.  This movie fits nicely into the “slasher” genre of films, never tries to be anything more, and is better as a result.  A loose remake of 1981’s My Bloody Valentine (which is actually much better), the film takes place in a mining town where Tom, played by Supernatural‘s Jensen Ackles, returns after a ten-year absence.  He fled in fear following a crazy-ass massacre.  Now he’s back and just in time for more murders.  Almost everyone suspects him of being the mysterious killer, except his old gf played by Jaime King.  Add a pick axe wielding killer in a mining suit, a little person being stabbed and electrocuted, a completely naked woman with a gun, a human heart in a Valentine’s Day box, and the THIRD DIMENSION, and you have a slasher film that oozes fan service.

The Third Dimension

That’s right, this movie is really in 3D, and not the blue and red glasses kind.  Not even the clear glasses from 7-11 that you got in the early 90’s to watch that live Rolling Stones concert. It jumps out at you in full color and truly delivers the goods. The filmmakers took the gimmick of 3D and developed the whole movie around it, so you get so many gags and surprises that you totally forget about things like “plot” and “acting.” The best part was seeing how they took advantage of the depth of field, and of course how they made human body parts fly out into the audience.  The downside is that the film is projected digitally, which means that when people start running around on screen, it gets very confusing.  Another down side would have to be the acting of every one.  Every one except:

Tom Atkins (aka “That Guy” from many random movies)

The last film I saw with Tom Atkins was Halloween 3, and I doubt that he’s done much work since then. Having said that, his inclusion in the film is true horror nerd fan service.  In MBV3D Atkins plays Burke, an old town crony that nabbed the killer 10 years ago – OR DID HE?  While Tom’s mustache may be less glorious than in days past, he makes up for it by acting the snot out of every scene he’s in.  Somehow this old pro has risen from the ashes of 80’s misogyny to dominate a new millennium teen slasher remake!  He brings his “A” game and forces the rest of the cast to do the same…when they share a scene.  Unfortunately, when Atkins is not on camera, the acting goes back to being terrible.  He also gets the best death in the film, which has to be seen in 3D to be believed. Ultimate 3D fan service!

The worst part of the film is the last 15 minutes.  No spoilers, but basically they run out of ideas before the movie ends.  The ending reminded me a lot of Wes Craven’s Scream.  I loved that movie when I first saw it because for random reasons I was forced to leave 15 minutes before the end.  When I finally saw the end, it was just lame, and the same is true of MBV3D…luckily the rest of the film more than justifies a three dimensional viewing.

My Bloody Valentine 3D is a great movie going experience.  I will not say it is a great movie, because it wouldn’t work in 2D, but I will say that I haven’t had that much fun at the movies in a long time.

Catch it at VA Center Commons or Carmike for the actual 3D experience.

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Scott Burton

Scott Burton is a tireless composer and guitarist in Richmond. He writes reviews about obscure movies for RVANews, and he writes music about obscure movies for the avant jazz group Glows in the Dark.

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