Posted by Timo |

Another movie that scared the shit out of me in the early '80's, I revisited it for the first time last night.

1960 - in a small mining town called "Valentine's Bluff", 2 mine supervisors leave their posts to go to a valentine's day party and abandon the 6 miners below. A explosion traps them and 5 of them are killed. the 6th, Harry Warren, survives by eating the dead miners and subsequently goes insane. Understandable. he gets rescued and shortly thereafter murders the 2 supervisors that left them to die. He is shuttled off to cookoo camp and the the town vows to never have a valentine's day dance again.

20 years later, the town decide it's time to have a Valentine's day party.
The mayor receives a box of chocolate containing a human heart and an ominous note warning about what will happen if the Dance goes on. Has Harry Warren come home to Valentine's bluff? They cancel the dance to be sure, but some of the teens decide to have their own party...at the mine where they all work! Very Convenient for a murderous miner, eh?

oooh! Well...

This is a movie that was written entirely from other horror movie scripts. it's basically a re-hash of "halloween". the crazed murderous lunatic escapes and returns nto his hometown to extract his revenge on the silly teens in the town, while the cop, or the doctor or the mayor try to solve the puzzle.

For the most part, it still works, but there is some severe dating going on here. the humour is beyond lame and every single cliche is intact. The killer is dressed from head to toe in a black miner's outfit (and, yes - there are many pick axe murders) which is quite ominous and the film features several good "black christmas"-esque Killer POV shots and the creepy breathing from the mask. Once the action moves down into the mine it gets realllllly creepy. The print of the dvd is excellent and even though the bulk of the Mine scenes are pretty dark, it's easy to see what's going on. Some one is killed with a nail gun, another has her head jammed onto a shower spigot. there's even a shocking twist ending when the identity of the killer is discovered.

my biggest complaint is that a good 9+ minutes of gore was cut from the film to keep it from an X rating and it's painfully obvious on this dvd.
Related to that, Andre told me about a cut he saw with way more gore and a slightly different ending. In my version, the killer is buried but escapes when the cops dig him out after a cave-in - he simply runs away on the other side of the rocks. Andre told me that in the version he saw The killer is caught and handcuffed to another character but gets away during another cave-in by cutting off his own hand! And it's true, Because on my dvd, you see the killer getting away...with part of his arm gone!

Why paramount can't be bothered to restore it is beyond me. This kind of horror movie is pale to the gore ( and overt cruelty ) we get in movies these days like Hostel, Saw, etc..

Well....I have to say that I still enjoyed it 26 years later.

and YES, it's slated for a remake in 2008.

Here's the trailer:

And here's the Quite Effective opening scene ( semi-NSFW):