This is my little contribution to the holiday slasher sub-sub-genre. Why am I doing this instead of, say, reviewing something patriotic for the 4th of July? Because.
Besides, I’m obligated to watch The Patriot. I can’t escape it. It is my destiny! Whether I’ll review it is another story, but, well there you are.
So, let’s get into it, shall we? After Gorelord sent in his rant, I got the Urge. I just had to find these movies (well, the one’s I don’t own). I just had to watch them. And I just had to review them. I mean, come on, two out of seventeen? What kind of crappy average is that? While formatting that rant I realize something: much to my dismay, I had to review more slasher movies.
Here’s your plot. Twenty years ago, in the small, cheerfully named town of Valentine’s Bluff (“A Town with Heart”) a big explosion trapped several workers deep in the local coal mine. The town, in the middle of it’s annual Valentine’s Day Dance, didn’t do a damn thing about it. By the time the mine was cleared, only one man remained.
So he, of course, went on a murderous rampage, killing the Town Fathers, and swearing that, should another Valentine’s Day Dance ever be held again, he would soak the town in blood.
So the town, of course, decides to hold . . . (wait for it) . . . a Valentine’s Day Dance. Wow! I would have never seen that coming in a million years! Gee, Shaggy, you think this will prompt someone to copycat the legendary mad man’s killing spree? Do you think the above mentioned copycat will wear some sort of mask to protect his identity? You think his victims will be sexual promiscuous teenagers and people who say “I’ll be right back,”? Boy, do think the inept Town Leaders will panic and blame the infamous mad man, while simultaneously loosing all powers of reason and judgement?
“Well, I don’t know, Scoob, but I could sure use a joint right now.”
I always knew you were a pothead, Shaggy. But, if you said “yes” to any of the above, well, you’d be right . . . with one exception. While most American Slasher movie’s revolve around an isolated group of teenagers (the kind who would sneak off to the mine in order to have a Valentine’s Day Dance after the official one is canceled, say), this is a Canadian slasher movie. Yes, this flick hails from the land of Terrence and Phillip. This means the movie revolves around an isolated group of miners (and their girlfriends). Wow, what a change, huh?
When the movie isn’t ripping out people’s hearts (and putting them in festive heart shaped boxes), the movie focuses on a love triangle between T.J. (Paul Kelman, who looks like Rufus Sewell from Dark City), Axel (Neil Affleck, no relation to Ben), and the girl they love, Sarah (Lori Hallier, who looks like no one in particular, and acts just the same way). T.J. “went away” somewhere “out west” and came back when things didn’t work out to find Sarah (his former love) going out with Axel.
The love triangle might have worked. And Survivor might win an Emmy. Unfortunately, all 3 of these people are gigantic pantywaists. They spend the whole movie moping and sulking, completely unable to let go of the past, accept the present, or even think about the future. Mostly because Sarah can’t decide what the hell she wants. And T.J. can’t get over the fact that, sometimes, things can’t go back to “the way things were”. These, again, are our leads: giant thirteen year-olds with learning disabilities.
And besides them, we know absolutely nothing about anyone in this movie. People die in stupid ways (one idiot gets two rivets in the head, one for each time he says “I’ll be right back”) and I don’t give a crap about any of them.
Acting ranges from bland to cliched. Writing barely gets a blip on the radar. Jeeze, there aren’t even any good jokes in the sucker.
Now the killer (dressed as a coal miner, complete with helmet and oxygen mask) isn’t all that bad. He gets to kill some people in interesting ways that never get to far Out There. Plus his costume is actually kinda threatening, for a change. If it weren’t for the fact that he uses his powers of Offscreen Teleportation way too much, I might actually like the dude.
The gore FX work here is pretty impressive, too. Severed human hearts and other Evil Acts are well staged. But not even that can save this turkey. Crappy actors, crappy writers, characters you know nothing about . . . there’s almost nothing going for this flick.
Except, of course, the fact that you can really MST3K the crap out of it.