As pure spectacle, this 3D remake of the original, rather forgettable even by genre standards, B-movie from 1981 is above reproach. Sufficiently dripping in the traditional maniacally giddy genre-appropriate blood and gore that has become the requisite erotic imagery for all those slasher fanboys out there who venture out of their mother's paneled basements to see each and every one of these dime-a-dozen genre retreads, but going them one further by placing this particular dime-a-dozen retread (and it is just that at heart - any hint of originality has gone long ago) in the technologically advanced toybox doodle of real 3D. Of course this so-called technology too is nothing more than retread as Hollywood is merely lugging out that old white elephant of 3D from its fifties cinema Pandora's Box, but as far as spectacle for spectacle's sake goes, this particular retread actually works here, if only just to tickle and tantalize the fancies of those aforementioned slasher junkies with joysticks in hand.
Ubiquitously camp-riddled and full of (almost necessarily so) shoddy, wooden acting, My Bloody Valentine 3D, typically B-grade in all aspects from direction to screenplay and right back to acting again, still manages to deliver on the cheap thrills ad infinitum. Unlike most of the dime-a-dozen (there's that term again - perhaps with the economy the way it is we could do worse) horror film remakes that spot the landscape like popcorn and used condoms at a drive-in theater, My Bloody Valentine 3D uses its own genre limitations to its best advantage by staging the most ludicrous on-screen mayhem this critic has seen in a long long time - most notably an early scene involving a naked blonde, save for a pair of conveniently shod stiletto heels, a big-breasted dwarf, her bulldog and a ceiling fan - all in 3D. And all this is perfectly okay as it works on its intended level of titillation.
In another such scene, we watch as two lovely young women (another thing the genre needs is sex appeal) hear a noise in the back of the dark, closed grocery store they work in and instead of running out the front door and calling for help (a front door that is a mere six feet away mind you) decide to go deeper into the dark store to investigate said noise - all this with the knowledge that a maniacal axe-wielding psychopath is rampaging through their small mining town. Just as one expects characters to suddenly, and without much warning, save for a first note, break into perfectly choreographed song & dance numbers in a musical, one expects characters, whilst romping through a slasher movie to do the exact opposite of what any sane and rational person would do. In fact not only do we expect it, we desire it. We need it to happen. It is a necessity if the genre - more black comedy than horror really - is to work for what it is. Add the aforementioned three-dimensionality to the pot, with its flying severed limbs and blatantly organized phallic symbols (all the better to poke the 3D viewer in the face with), and one has a movie that, though it may only work on the most superficial of levels, still a movie that works.
Oft-criticized arthouse snob that I am (though, in actuality, a further off truth there could not be - I equally adore Antonioni and Nick Ray) it may come as a bit of a surprise to find out that I actually enjoyed this little slice of audacious spectacle - at least for what it is - but that is just the case. Perhaps it is not anything to write the New Yorker about - it only makes the grade by sheer spectacle (there's that word again) alone and is not about to make me rethink cinematic genres in any serious manner much as the revisionist movement made everyone rethink the Western - but, stilted as it is (and it is quite the stilted pop trash one would surely expect), it is still (pun very much intended) a bloody good time indeed. [02/03/09]