Way back in the early 1980's, when Ronald Reagan was president, and man and dinosaur still fought for dominion, 3-D flicks made their first "comeback". Between 1982 and 1983, no less than a dozen 3-D films (a quarter of them the third entries in hit series like the Jaws, Friday the 13th, and Amityville franchises) hit my local cinemaplex, and, like a good little adolescent with allowance to burn, I lined up to see them all. Most of the movies were downright horrible, but the funny thing about 3-D is that audiences are often willing to overlook a movie's intrinsic qualities as long as enough stuff pokes 'em in the eye. Take away the 3-D, however, and it's like peeling back the curtain in Oz.
That brings me to My Bloody Valentine 3-D, the loosey goosey remake of the classic 80's slasher of the same name (sans the "3-D" of course). The film opens with a longish montage of newspaper clippings detailing a grisly accident in the Hanniger Mine, in which the sole survivor, Harry Warden, murdered the other miners he was buried with to prolong his air supply before slipping into a coma, himself. The accident was caused by a careless mistake by young Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles), son of the mine's owner, making him none too popular amongst the local townsfolk, but, despite his status as town pariah, Tom and his girlfriend, Sarah (Jaime King), attend the big Valentine's Day party a few months later, much to the chagrin of Axel Palmer (Kerr Smith), who, like many in the small town of Harmony, lost someone special to them in the mining accident. Tom isn't the only unwelcome guest, however, as Harry Warden's awoken from his coma, and, after butchering his way out of the local hospital, crashes the party. Harry kills just about everyone in the mine save for Tom, who is rescued at the last second by Sheriff Burke (Tom Atkins). Burke shoots Harry, but, as the tunnel caves in around them, Harry disappears.
Ten years pass. After the death of his father, Tom returns to Harmony for the first time since the Valentine's Day massacre to sell off the Hanniger Mine in hopes of finally starting a new life. His decision, of course, isn't a popular one with the town's citizens, as it will potentially put the bulk of them out of work. Complicating matters are Tom's feelings for Sarah, who is now married to town sheriff, Axel. With Valentine's Day just a few days away, Axel's already got his hands full with the annual media scrutiny that descends upon his town every year, let alone having to deal with the return of his wife's old flame. But when the first of several bodies start piling up around him, it soon becomes obvious that Tom Hanniger isn't the only old friend back paying Harmony a visit this Valentine's Day.
The original My Bloody Valentine is an old favorite of mine, but even I'll admit that half of that film's charm lay in its goofiness. My Bloody Valentine 3-D is equally goofy, with lots of dim characters doing all of the stupid things we need them to do so that they can find themselves on the receiving end of Harry Warden's pick-axe. We're rewarded with some truly stunning and over-the-top kill scenes that are an absolute blast in 3-D. To call this film a bloodbath would be an understatement, as it seems that director, Blankblaninship, was determined to use every drop of Karo syrup and food coloring at his disposal. Limbs are hacked off, skulls are shattered, eyeballs are literally flying at you left and right (seriously...this dude has a thing with eyeballs). It's a hell of a lot of fun, and surprisingly effective in the home environment (although it helps if you've got some other people around to share the experience).
Going back and watching the film in 2-D, however, isn't nearly as much fun. While the film, itself, looks much nicer than the purple/green hue given to it by the glasses, the special effects aren't nearly as impressive, and the films mechanical flaws (mostly issues with pacing, clumsy dialogue, etc) are that much more glaring. Of course, the greatest problem with watching a 2-D version of a 3-D film is the obtrusive nature of the myriad scenes shot specifically for 3-D effect . If you don't catch my meaning, go back and watch the lingering Yo-Yo scene from Friday the 13th 3-D (or the bit where the hippy holds the joint out in front of the camera for what seems like an eternity, or any scene involving something you can poke someone with) and you'll see what I'm talking about. There are a few scenes in My Bloody Valentine 3-D that just look ridiculous in 2-D. That being said, there's really no reason anybody should be choosing to watch the 2-D version of this film over its intended 3-D presentation, as that's akin to watching a porno movie with all of the sex cut out of it; absolutely pointless.
3-D films aren't exactly easy on the eyes, given the fact that one need wear a pair of red and blue (or, in this case, sort of a lilac and green) glasses to get the effect, but, once my eyes adjusted, My Bloody Valentine looked pretty darned good! The 1080p transfer offers a stunning amount of depth and detail for a 3-D flick, and, while the colors aren't exactly vivid, they're not the usual murky purple I've seen on previous 3-D discs. The aforementioned 2-D version of the film looks better (as it should), with more fine-grained detail and a better overall representation of the film's color palette.
Both versions of the film feature the same 7.1 DTS Master Audio soundtrack, and it's positively kickin'. The bass is rich, full, and, when the situation calls for it, downright hostile! The subwoofer gets a fairly intense workout thanks to a multitude of musical stabs and aggressively mixed sound effects, while surrounds are implemented nicely, with enveloping effects working across the sound field.
My Bloody Valentine comes to Blu-ray with a smattering of supplements, the most compelling of which is the feature-length commentary track by director, Patrick Lussier, and writer, Todd Farmer. The duo deliver a breezy and conversational track full of behind-the-scenes tidbits and factoids, as well as a fairly in-depth discussion about the 3-D process. A trio of very short featurettes (SD), several deleted and extended scenes (SD), a really funny gag reel (SD), and the film's theatrical trailer (HD) round out the extras.
In theaters, My Bloody Valentine 3-D was an absolute blast, so I was curious as to how the experience would translate to home viewing. Surprisingly, I found the 3-D even more effective (I mean, hell, I had the best seat in the house!) thanks to the razor sharp transfer Lionsgate's Blu-ray presentation offers, and, thanks to a few inebriated friends, had just as much fun screaming at my television set as I did howling at a movie screen. While My Bloody Valentine 3-D may not be the best movie in terms of overall quality to come out on the Blu-ray format, it's certainly one of the most entertaining!