Valentine (2001)

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Valentine (2001)
Starring: David Boreanaz, Marley Shelton, Denise Richards, Jessica Capshaw
Director: Jamie Blanks
Synopsis: Wronged Geek returns from the dark past to exact revenge…again!
“should have gone for laughs” Empire

shoddyTotal Film

doesn’t deliver the goodsTime Out

 

As if to prove a point that things absolutely must go round in circles, along comes Valentine almost exactly 20 years after its mentor the none-too-chilling My Bloody Valentine. Indeed the films share more than just carbon-copy title and theme; they both had shoestring budgets and feature an array of “aspiring” Barbie and Ken clones in the guise of actors (turns out these are Gap models undertaking the natural career move!).

The movie was shot in rapid time by Urban Legends director Jamie Blanks – 53 days to be precise….(whatever took them so long!?) The plot is vintage, dead-on-arrival, stale as mildewed socks, low-grade, low brow masked slasher (think Burning, Curtains, Prom Night, Terror Train, Friday the 13th’s Parts 3 – 9, Halloween’s part 4-6 etc, etc.) on the loose kind of mayhem. This time we have 13 year old nerdy-geeky-cretin asking the class babe’s for a dance on Valentine’s Day of all days…….I mean what was he thinking!? Finally after copping a few catty salvo’s from the babe’s, he lands the class chubby who is then busy slurping on his buck teeth when they are caught by the horrid class bullies. Chubb squeals claiming geek attacked her, thus poor moron (Jeremy Melton) is sent to remand school for bad eggs where he becomes a Michael Myers wannabee and we the audience are brought forward into the present….13 years on from that fateful incident.

The bitchy girls have mutated into ghastly Barbie clones, each more frightening than the other…and far more alarming than the masked killer who soon starts offing them, and any one else who comes in his/her murderous, blood stained (drippy nosebleed!) way. The prelude to the first death scene is easily the strongest part of the film – Masked knife-wielding maniac stalks his victim in a room full of fresh cadavers! One can be excused for momentarily believing that all the venomous reviews had been misguided, but only momentarily – it’s all downhill from the fifth minute on.

A Major problem is that none of the characters evoke even the slightest speck of sympathy, in fact more than that – each one is utterly loathsome and you wish gruesome barbarism to be performed on them in the most horrendous manner as soon as possible! No such luck, the gore is strictly off screen in the wake of Hollywood’s post-Columbine clean up act so those aspirations of at least watching some mindless bloodletting are sadly dashed. Yet, as the rest of the movie is so utterly predictable the death scenes, however tame, remain the best bits.

The killer has spent many hours copying the movements and mannerisms (almost shamelessly) of the peerless Michael Myers (from Haddonfield, Illinois) – the greatest of all masked marauders. He needn’t have bothered. The killer’s appearance is the only memorable aspect (thus the one star rating) of an otherwise utterly dull affair – he looks impressive in his cherubic cupid mask and his tattered overcoat, nose-bleed and all. And the prerequisite killer-twist in the tail is about as lame as they come. We later find out that the movie was green-lit by Warner’s when they found that TV hunk David Boreanaz of Buffy and Angel fame had signed on! – What a world! What a world!

The vicious reviews were after all, spot on.The film is a painfully boring experience and an embarrassment to the (slasher) genre. Denise Richards meanwhile adds fuel to the theory that playing a Bond Girl is a career kiss-of-death?