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MOVIE REVIEW

'My Bloody Valentine 3-D'

Technological advances -- and certainly not the plot -- drive the revisiting of an '80s slasher film.

January 17, 2009|Mark Olsen

Genre fans are nothing if not specific, boiling films down to their bare-bones essence for purposes of classification. Only they could invent a term such as "Canuxploitation" for horror films of the 1970s and '80s made in Canada.

Cross-pollination with new technology yields "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" as a result. Part remake, part continuation of the 1981 original, the new film connects to its predecessor most strongly by reviving the Jason-ish villain in an industrial jumpsuit, helmet and gas mask who dutifully works his way through the ranks of a small mining community. He wheezes and he kills.

"My Bloody Valentine 3-D" is a straight-ahead, meat-and-potatoes slasher-stalker picture. In 3-D.

Advances in digital technology have allowed the filmmakers to largely avoid the physical headaches that are perhaps the biggest hallmark of the cyclical attempts at 3-D moviemaking.

The effects here can be startling, but after a while the minor thrill of the trick is gone. How often can the evil miner swing his mighty pickax straight toward the camera?

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

Among other things rendered in three dimensions are gushing blood, a flying jawbone, an explosion, a shotgun, a tree branch, a pistol, an eyeball and assorted viscera and, yes, there is even a 3-D sex scene with full-frontal nudity.

Director Patrick Lussier, working from a script credited to Todd Farmer and Zane Smith, has fashioned a film that manages to acknowledge its predecessor without being enslaved by it.

In some ways, the filmmakers have created something too authentic in spirit to the original film, as it also fairly quickly becomes a plodding chore to watch. The added attraction of the 3-D effects only goes so far, and at some point the film has to sustain itself as a movie, and that is where it stumbles.

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'My Bloody Valentine 3-D'

MPAA rating: R for graphic, brutal horror violence and grisly images throughout, some strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language

Running time: 1 hour, 41 minutes

Playing: In general release

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