New April Netflix Offerings

Another month, another slew of catalog titles on streaming Netflix

Death Wish

Action & Adventure: Ambush at Dark Canyon, Bad Company, Braveheart, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Death Wish, Death Wish 2, Death Wish 3, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, No Holds Barred, Point Blank (1998), The River’s Edge

Classic: The Bells of St. Mary’s, Cheaper by the Dozen, For a Few Dollars More, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Graduate, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, Jane Eyre (1944), Les Miserables (1935), Man Hunt, The Odd Couple, The Robe, There’s No Business Like Show Business

Comedy: Act Like You Love Me, Amanda, Ass Backwards, Barton Fink, Bending the Rules, Click, Comic Book Villains, Coneheads, Going Ape!, Lars and the Real Girl, A League of Their Own, The Man with One Red Shoe, Mean Girls, The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear, Pumpkin, The Queens of Comedy, Scary Movie 3, Sommore: Chandelier Status, Spanglish, Steel Magnolias (2012), Stuart Saves His Family, Women Who Kill

Documentary: After Porn Ends, Berkeley in the Sixties, Commune, Craigslist Joe, Decoding Deepak, A Fierce Green Fire, The Goebbels Experiment, The Heart of the Game, Jake Blauvelt: Naturally, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, Mortified Nation, Moto 5, NotBad, Orgasm Inc., Shenandoah, This Ain’t California

Drama: Ali, Amistad, The Brooke Ellison Story, The English Patient, E.T.X.R., In the Hive, Inside Out, Inventing the Abbotts, A Man Called Peter, My Bodyguard, No Way Home, Now is Good, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Rocky 1-5, Roger Dodger, Secret Things, Sense and Sensibility, Strangers in Good Company, The Thomas Crown Affair, Titanic, The Turning Point, The Yards

Faith: The UnderShepherd

Family: Jumanji, The Little Prince (1974), The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Princess Twins of Legendale, Baby Genius: Mozart and Friends, Baby Genius: Animal Adventures, Baby Genius: Favorite Children’s Songs, Baby Genius: Favorite Nursery Rhymes, Baby Genius: A Trip to the San Francisco Zoo

The Terminator

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Dragonslayer, The Fifth Element, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Running Man, The Terminator

Foreign: Alice, Amores Perros, The Black Tulip, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Midnight F.M., That Splendid November

Frankenstein's Army

Horror: Axed, Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, Frankenstein’s Army, Germ Z, The Legend of Hell House, My Bloody Valentine (1981), Stephen King’s Thinner, Survival of the Dead, Tentacles

Television: The Great Train Robbery, Care Bears: Welcome to Care-A-Lot, The Hive, House M.D., The Inexplicable Universe with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Last Tango in Halifax, League of Super Evil, Mumfie, The Paradise, The Player: Secrets of a Vegas Whale, Royal Pains, The Wotwots,The Writers’ Room, and a new season of Bob’s Burgers

Thriller: Angel Heart, Chinatown, Murder at the Presidio

My Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine is available on Amazon Prime

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

“There’s a big Valentine’s day party planned in the little mining town of Valentine’s Bluff. It is the first Valentine‘s party in 20 years, because then there was an accident in the mine, and the accident happened because the men responsible for the security were at the party. The sole surviving miner killed them, and told the town NEVER to arrange a valentine party again. The party begins, and so does the killing.”

“From the heart comes a warning, filled with bloody good cheer, remember what happened as the 14th draws near.”

“We’ll have a party in the mine! “

Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (both 1960) were the progenitors of the slasher movie. Strangely Peeping Tom was reviled and ruined Powell’s career while Psycho was quite popular and a departure from Hitchcock’s standard. There were other proto-slashers that followed in the wake but it was not until John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) that the slasher became popular.

Sadly directors did not understand what Carpenter had created and only took away from it, ‘masked maniac kills teenagers’. Friday the 13th (1980) took that formula and added scenes from Italian giallo films, courtesy of budding makeup artist Tom Savini.

By the time 1981 rolled around the slasher genre was in full swing. Tom Savini turned down Friday the 13th part 2 because he was busy working on The Burning. George Mihalka was supposed to direct a slasher called “The Secret” but naturally the title was changed to cover one of the holidays.

Unfortunately the MPAA, perhaps due to the rising popularity of slashers and/or backlash from the death of John Lennon (yes I know he was shot and not stabbed but still), had stiffened their guidelines. My Bloody Valentine had to cut part of each of the kill scenes just to get an ‘R’ rating. Mihalka claimed that 8-9 minutes overall had to be trimmed (though the restored version only adds about three minutes – I’m not sure how that math works). The Amazon version certainly brings the gore.

My Bloody Valentine is a prime example of the slasher genre. It is a simple formula – gather a group of people in an isolated location and kill them off one by one, preferably in a gruesome manner with sharp implements. One thing that sets Valentine apart is that instead of teens, we have working stiffs (admittedly most of them are young) in a mine.

The cast does just fine, not as bad as in some slashers but no standouts either. Paul Kelman plays T.J. Hanniger. Lori Hallier is Sarah, our love interest without a last name. Neil Affleck, who plays Axel Palmer, has gone on to some success behind-the-scenes with a little show called The Simpsons.

A large part of the success of My Bloody Valentine is the setting. The real life mines make a great chase location and the equipment not only provides our requisite mask for the killer but also supplies handy pickaxes. Another reason for the success is probably the volume, frequency and tone of the killings. This was a pretty brutal film back then, even with the MPAA mandated cuts.

Remake-itis: My Bloody Valentine was remade as My Bloody Valentine 3D in 2009. It starred Jensen Ackles from Supernatural which is funny because his Supernatural co-star Jared Padalecki starred in the Friday the 13th reboot. Valentine 3D was good cheesy fun with lots of gore and nudity. specifically designed to take advantage of the 3D.