Box art for My Bloody Valentine (1981)

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

horror, thrillers

On Valentine's Day 20 years before, an explosion of methane gas took the lives of a group of miners working in the Hanniger Mine.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Old-school slasher film is too gory for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this iconic slasher film -- recently remade as My Bloody Valentine 3-D -- is full of gory deaths, especially in this DVD's "Unrated" version; the stalking miner-suit wearing killer is also quite frightening. The film also has the requisite '80s slasher-film link between sex and death, where teens at play are targets for a killer's wrath while doing the figurative deed.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the appeal of the slasher film -- what makes these movies so well-loved, and such often-remade movies by modern Hollywood? Families can also talk about the Freudian link between sex and death in these films; why do these movies seem compelled to show teens being murdered during sex? Is it a cautionary warning, or grim exploitation?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: sick, twisted, and guaranteed to leave you numb, or nauseous, or both

- Bill Gibron,, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fresh: As far as slashers go, My Bloody Valentine is fairly standard stuff. And yet, the film contains a pleasing atmosphere, turning a day dedicated to love into a day to be feared.

- Dustin Putman,, Thursday, June 24, 2010


- Jake Euker, F5 (Wichita, KS), Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

After the success of Halloween, many saw it as an opportunity to cash in on its success. Many Slasher imitators followed, Prom Night, Friday The 13th, and of course this one. Of all the Halloween rip offs, This along with Friday The 13th are the best in my opinion. This film is very well done, the kills are entertaining and the cast does a great job. My Bloody Valentine was originally edited down due to extreme violence, the filmakers felt that because of the death of John Lennon, the movie would get a lot of flack for the violent contents. But on January 13, 2000, Lions Gate released an uncut version of the DVD. This new release with the lost footage adds so much more tension to the original 1980 theatrical cut, and it makes for way better viewing. The concept of the mine and the miner that kills people is brilliant and I think it makes My Bloody Valentine an essential Horror film to watch.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Tuesday, June 8, 2010

5 stars

From My Bloody Valentine: "Daddy's gone away, Harry Warden made you pay". That might quite possibly be the most haunting jingle in a horror movie. It is every bit as sinister as "One Two, Freddy's coming for you..." Twenty years after a Valentine's Day tragedy, a small town prepares for its annual holiday dance. When a box of candy arrives containing an eerie warning and blood-soaked heart, the townsfolk realize that this Valentine's Day romance is as good as dead...and so are they! And so finally the slasher 'Holy Grail' has been re-discovered and after twenty-eight years of patience, we can finally see the nearly-complete version of this hugely popular early-eighties slasher. Notorious for being the film most tortured by censors upon its initial release, My Bloody Valentine has become something of a cult classic with a large number of fans. Even the most lukewarm horror enthusiast must admit to being slightly excited by the prospect of witnessing all the notorious gore that has, up until now, only been seen in a set of studio stills. The previously available print was missing over 9 minutes of footage, which thankfully producer John Dunning has now located. The on-line campaign to get the full uncut copy restored and released was one of the largest of its kind and thanks to the efforts of the movie's legions of adoring fans, we now have a special edition disc with nearly all of the glorious splatter intact. A small mining town in Canada has become famous over the years after a maniacal ex-miner went on a killing spree in the early sixties. He was the only survivor from a fatal accident on Valentine's night that stole the lives of numerous workers and left him having to survive by feeding on the corpses of his colleagues. Harry Warden murdered the supervisors that he considered responsible for the tragedy and stuffed their hearts into candy boxes to remind the townsfolk that their incompetence should never be forgiven. Twenty years later and the town is preparing for its first Valentine's dance since the gruesome massacre, but it seems that it is not only the decorations and romantic spirit that has returned. As a mutilated heart is sent to the local Sheriff with a gruesome warning that there will be more murders, it seems apparent that Harry Warden has come back once again.... My Bloody Valentine is certainly a fine example of all that gave the most popular eighties slashers a significant standing in the annals of horror cinema. It boasts a likable cast that make up for their lack of A-list dramatic credibility with a warmness and depth of character that although laughably cheesy, evokes sympathy from the audience. The love triangle between the three leads is an intriguing sub-plot and the script is strong enough to allow the characters to work their way into the hearts of viewers. It can also lay claim to arguably the best arsenal of marketable gimmicks ever to be included in a single splatter feature and if the authentic calendar date doesn't induce your interest, then it's impossible to resist the excellent guise for the maniacal killer and the creepy mine location. The gas mask adds an extra dimension to the killer's essential-clichd heavy breath and the pickaxe makes for an exquisite tool for gory slaughter. You can almost visualize the director's smile upon witnessing for the first time the awesome sight of his bogeyman strolling through the dimly-lighted shaft and stalking his intended victims. In terms of slasher visualizations, it's pure poetry-in-motion and Mihalka understandably milks the possibilities. Mihalka is no John Carpenter, but he does an impressive job in building suspense and he creates one or two decent jolts. The cast are surprisingly good for complete amateurs and their above-average performances are a rare and welcomed bonus. It was a conscious decision from John Dunning, the producer, to use actors that boasted far more potential than they did impressive C Vs, because he wanted to invest heavily in the special effects. Mihalka has said that people don't go to see a slasher movie to witness a 'name' actor. He is right in acknowledging the fact that the amount of money a producer would spend on such a performer just to see him get splattered on the wall is an entirely pointless exercise. You only need to take a brief look at my review list to see that I am an avid 'slasher-fanatic', but My Bloody Valentine has never been amongst my favourites. I often wondered how the movie could have even been considered to be better than the likes of Intruder, The Prowling or even Curtains, because to me it felt like I wasn't watching the vision that Mihalka had initially intended. Now, with most of the gore intact, the film feels 'complete' and in its entirety it is a completely different concept. Despite popular belief, there were many early slashers that were stylishly produced and genuinely strong entries to the horror catalogue. My Bloody Valentine is one such feature and its well-deserving of its legion of admirers. The gore effects are as decent as their reputation would lead you to believe and the movie credibly mixes approachable characters and mean-spirited mass-slaughter to create an excellent mix of moods. Unfortunately we are still missing Michael and Harriet's death scene, which was either a decision by Mihalka (perhaps it looked too fake?) or that particular footage was never recovered by Dunning. It doesn't really matter however, because finally we have a copy of My Bloody Valentine that has nearly everything that was intended and Sylvia's remarkably grisly slaughter and the notorious 'pick-axe through the face' are visions that are an iconic part of the whole slasher cycle. If you are even a half-hearted fan of early eighties stalk and slash flicks then I urge you to part with your pennies for this excellent example of non-franchise slash with panache that sums up everything that was great about the early eighties domination. No collection is complete without this sitting on a shelf next to Joseph Zito's The Prowler and Mark Rosman's The House on Sorority Row. The Harry Warden legacy has finally come full circle.....sit tight and enjoy the bloody Valentine and cross your heart... and hope to die. On a side note, George Mihalka presented a sequel idea to the film studio but due to My Bloody Valentine?s lackluster box-office numbers the idea was shot down. I say, make it. That was the 80s, this is now.

- matertenebraum, Sunday, February 21, 2010

3 stars

I think the movie is at least worth watching, there were some nice crazy deaths in there. If only the movie was miner centric, he was the best part. It has a nice 80s slasher vibe to it, which gives it a lot of personality that it might not otherwise have.

- ythelastman89, Wednesday, November 18, 2009