Cigars in Cinema Reviews
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
February, the month of love. The month that contains the Hallmark holiday; Valentine’s Day. Lots of reds and pinks, chocolates and pictures of cupid amongst other things. That’s usually what is seen and heard in the month of February. Whichever way you look at the holiday that is Valentine’s Day, I think it’s safe to say that most people don’t think about horror movies. This is where I come in. Yes, I am a “horror nerd” which is pretty evident on most of my social media handles as some variation of Horrordude. Some of my favorite horror movies are in fact movies based on or around various holidays. That being said, there was no way I could pass up the opportunity to write about one of my all-time favorite slasher films; “My Bloody Valentine”!
For this article I will be discussing the original 1981 release of the film, not the 2009 remake. I will say that I am a fan of the remake, the original is criminally unappreciated and should go down as one of the best in the genre. I would like to add that when El Presidente himself contacted me about writing a “cigars in cinema” article, he specifically asked if I watch movies other than horror films because he didn’t want STRICTLY horror movies for the article. I replied yes, I watch other films too and cigars in cinema was born. Looking back, I have written several articles that pertain to horror but like I said, I just couldn’t pass this one up. 80’s slasher films tend to keep a lot of the main attributes. A killer or killers essentially picking off people one by one with a sharp object(s).
This film follows that recipe and has some likeable characters, awesome 80’s score and of course practical special effects rather than digital effects which are widely used in more recent films. The film tells the story of Harry Warden, one member of the crew that works in the mines. 20 years earlier (20 years from when the movie came out in 1981) the town had planned a big Valentine’s Day party for everyone in Valentine Bluffs. A lot of the crew working in the mine that were responsible for safety left early to attend said party, an accident happened trapping Harry and some other workers. Harry eventually killed everyone off to cannibalize them before being rescued and warned the town never to have another Valentine’s party or else. Fast forward to present day where the towns people decide, you know what? It’s been long enough and decide to throw another party and guess what. People start dying. But wait! That was 20 years ago, it couldn’t be Harry Warden could it? Follow the towns people of Valentine Bluffs as they try to discover who in fact is, killing its townspeople. This movie is filled with a lot of fresh-faced actors and a director who in fact is still busy but not known by many. Sit back and light up a cigar on Valentine’s Day and give it a watch!
This part of the article is where I talk about the cigar, hence the title of the article; “Cigars in Cinema”. As I have said in other articles, sometimes the cigar doesn’t take on much of a meaning where sometimes it really defines a character or can show the progression of a character. This is one of the instances that the cigar does not play too much of a role in the progression of a character. The first time we see a cigar is in the hands of Mayor Hanniger played by Larry Reynolds approximately 7 minutes and 30 seconds in. He is seen walking with Mabel talking about the towns Valentines party with a cigar in his hand. Is this seen as a status symbol? Could be. In fact, you only really see the mayor WITHOUT a cigar maybe once or twice in the whole film. To be honest, I totally forgot there was even a cigar in the film until I just recently watched it and got super excited that I got to write about it! So, if you are looking for something different to do this Valentines Day, I recommend you check this out. If this was already part of your plan for the holiday than cheers to great minds thinking alike!! I will leave you with one of my favorite lines from the movie; “Beware of what you make fun of, you little asshole!”
1.) The film was shot in authentic mines which were often as much as 900 feet underground. Only certain lighting devices could be used in the mines because of the potential danger of methane explosions.
2.) According to makeup effects artist Thomas R. Burman, one of his gory creations was realistic enough that director George Mihalka threw up at the sight of it.
3.) Quentin Tarantino has named My Bloody Valentine as his all-time favorite slasher film.
4.) Body Count: 12
5.) The filming location, Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia is a small Canadian coal-mining town. The area was filled with closed pit mines, bootleg mines and underground mines, which were shutting down (due to economic and environmental issues), at the time filming took place. Since then, the mine used as the “Hanniger Mine”, called the Princess Colliery Mine in real-life, has been dismantled, buried and turned into a park/museum.