What’s been missing from the now-softer R incarnation for
28 years is a batch of outrageously cartoonish demises, some
eye-popping (quite literally for one victim) and others managing to be
ugh-inducing (such as getting scalded in a steaming pot of
frankfurters). A DVD extra features 10 industrial-strength grisly
sequences that were chopped to shreds in 1981, with an option that
involves cast and crew members recalling their participation in
introductory segments, including actors Helene Udy, Carl Marotte, Neil
Affleck (he recalls that no one in the cast knew the killer’s identity,
in an attempt to heighten their anxious performances) and co-producers
Andre Link and John Dunning. Director George Mihalka provides one
explanation for the edits: He links the December 1980 murder of Beatles
icon John Lennon to a subsequent grass-roots campaign involving the
suppression of gratuitous violence in then-current horror movies.
Miner offense: The heart-tattooed Pat Hemingway (right) is the first victim in 1981's My Bloody Valentine.
Special-effects makeup gurus Ken Diaz and Thomas Burman also recall their extremely realistic artistry in Valentine,
which is frequently cited by many participants on the disc as a
pioneering slice-and-dice movie. Still, you can easily identify the
long-censored inserted material, which betrays noticeable scratches and
slight color imperfections when compared to the final product. The
deleted scenes and intros run a collective 26 minutes; sans comments,
it’s aboot (as they say in Canada) 20 minutes.
There’s also a 20-minute vignette, “Bloodlust,” that
begins with more perspective from the original moviemakers, but 10
minutes later morphs into promotional puffery for director Patrick
Lussier’s 3-D remake; when new star Jaime King claims that her friends
have extolled the 1981 Valentine as “a big part of their
childhood,” you gotta wonder about their parental upbringing. Also on
the disc: The interactive extra “Bloodlines,” as the DVD remote control
navigates viewers through various screens citing horror genres from
“torture porn” to “backwoods bloodletting,” with explanatory paragraphs
penned by Adam Rockoff, author of Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film.
For the “Godfather of Gore” section, Rockoff’s blurb includes the
off-cited quote from director Herschell Gordon Lewis regarding his
notorious 1963 exploitationer Blood Feast: “It’s like a Walt Whitman poem: It’s no good, but it’s the first.”
Mysteriously, there’s no trailer for the 1981 movie (a
common fault with Paramount’s DVDs), but there is one for the 3-D
remake. The soundtrack options include the original mono and a
pepped-up 5.1 Dolby Digital remix that provides directional sound
effects and additional aural oomph to composer Paul Zaza’s creepy
score. While Orson Welles’ original version of The Magnificent Ambersons seems forever lost to history, at least now we can take comfort with a complete restoration of My Bloody Valentine.