MY BLOODY VALENTINE
My Bloody Valentine was even bankrolled by Paramount, the distributors of Friday the 13th, who gave money to Canadian filmmakers with orders to make another film in the same vein. The set-up has an improbability, the least of which is its far-fetched reasons to get its characters down to the central location a decision to hold a party in a mine! At least once there, the location comes with an oppressively gloomy claustrophobia. Compared to most of the other tedious films to jump aboard the slasher trend, George Mihalka has for a film that was made soon after the release of Friday the 13th absorbed the formula quickly and serves the elements up with a more than reasonable degree of competence.
George Mihalka gives the film its share of unique moments like the weirdly fetishistic opening that bears absolutely no relationship to the rest of the film, with a half-naked girl going down into the mine with a guy dressed in full mining gear, caressing the gas mask of his air hose as absurdly amplified deep breathing mounts on the soundtrack, whereupon he impales her on a pickaxe just where she has a heart tattooed on her breast. The ending with the psycho of the piece disappearing off into the mine ranting: “Hanniger, Ill be waiting in Hell for you. Harry, Im coming. This whole fucking town's going to die, were coming back. Sarah, be my bloody valentine,” has something quite spooky to it.
Part of the legend of My Bloody Valentine is how it as originally cut. As producer Stephen Miller tells, the film was submitted to the US ratings board days after the John Lennon shooting in December 1980. This cast a sombre pall over events where the board ordered the film cut, not wanting to be seen to promote violence on screens. As a result, many of the gore-drenched scenes that George Mihalka had been given carte blanche to direct by Paramount ended up being curtailed or cut altogether. These include scenes such as Patricia Hamiltons gored body being found in a laundromat dryer; Carl Marotte having his head shoved into a vat of cooking oil; Harry Warden being seen devouring a human arm; Helene Udy having her head impaled through a shower head; and the killer ripping off his arm to get free from the fall-in at the end. All of these scenes are restored in the 2009 directors cut on dvd and make for a much better film.
The film was later remade in 3D as My Bloody Valentine (2009).
George Mihalka has made a number of other genre films including The Blue Man/Eternal Evil (1985), Psychic (1992), Relative Fear (1994), Watchtower/Cruel and Unusual (2001) and Race to Mars (tv mini-series, 2007).