Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Canada, 1981. Canadian Film Development Corporation, Famous Players, Secret Films. Story concept by Stephen A. Miller, Screenplay by John Beaird. Cinematography by Rodney Gibbons. Produced by John Dunning, André Link, Stephen A. Miller. Music by Paul Zaza. Production Design by Veronica Hadfield. Costume Design by Susan Hall. Film Editing by Gérald Vansier, Rit Wallis.
Like so many horror movies made around the same time, this one shamelessly rips off Halloween, but despite this still manages to be entertaining. In the town of Valentine Bluffs (actually filmed in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia), the residents have for the most part forgotten the massacre that occurred many years earlier on February 14, so they’re not prepared for the fact that the killer has returned to do it again. Paul Kelman has come back to town after a long absence and finds, to his dismay, that his girlfriend (Lori Hallier) has taken up with a new boyfriend, which doesn’t make the two mens’ days working down a mineshaft that much easier to bear. They have their little personal dramas while the town gets ready for a big Valentine’s Day dance, all of which is overridden when the bodies start to pile up in increasingly gruesome ways (and, unlike movies that pretend to be gory but aren’t, this one’s tactics really are wonderfully gross). Moving along at a fine clip, the film has the right level of partially credible performances and ridiculous circumstances to complement its high body count, plus has a terrific climax in the mines after the kids have gone down there for kicks. It’s not terrifying or brilliant, but it’s good unclean fun and well worth giving a glimpse.