Valentine’s Day is upon us, meaning that it’s time to snuggle up and watch the most romantic flick ever made: My Bloody Valentine. This Canadian slasher follows a madman dressed as a miner who goes on a killing spree in a mining town as the citizens plan to throw a supposedly cursed Valentine’s Day party.
Released as part of the holiday-themed slasher craze following the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween, My Bloody Valentine is typical of the genre in many ways. But it’s gained some street cred, not only for its atmospheric coal-miner locale and its iconic killer, but also for being one of the most brutal and gory dead-teenager flicks of the time, which is probably why it’s Quentin Tarantino’s favorite slasher movie of all time.
The film was actually so intense and, well, bloody that the original cut would’ve been given the dreaded X rating. The director actually claims that the then-recent murder of John Lennon was part of the backlash, but as any Friday the 13th director will tell you, the MPAA didn’t let up on slashers until well after the ‘80s.
So a tamer version was released, with the uncensored cut gaining a mythic status. Slasher fans talked about these lost scenes for decades, clamoring to see the full version. Thankfully, Shout Factory delivered an Unrated Version with their Blu-ray release, and fans could finally see the footage that so offended the MPAA.
Well, they could see “most” of it. But did you know that there was a kill that was so vicious that it STILL hasn’t been included in any subsequent release?
Considering that the Unrated Version includes footage of Harry Warden eating another person’s arm and then literally ripping somebody’s heart out, that’s really something to think about. But apparently, there was a death scene for Mike and Harriet, one of the main couples, that was in such bad taste that it was straight-up deleted by the filmmakers, despite their penchant for ultraviolence that runs throughout the rest of the film.
According to ScreenRant, the scene would’ve had Mike and Harriet celebrating Valentine’s Day the only way that teens in a slasher movie know-how. And during their sexcapades, the psychopathic miner pops out and kills both of them with a drill.
The scene is so lost that I couldn’t even find a screenshot or a still online, meaning that the negatives were probably destroyed or locked up really tight in some vault somewhere.
This is not dissimilar from another two-for-one kill that’s been lost to time. In Friday the 13th Part 2, there was deleted footage of Jason stabbing two teenagers with a spear, making a kebab of them.
Still, the scene made it into the final cut at least, albeit watered down. A production still of it was even included on the back of the VHS box. But this kill from My Bloody Valentinewas so nasty that it got the (pick) axe. And unlike the other unrated footage, there’s really no chance of seeing this scene being restored. Perhaps it’s for the better since Mike was actually one of my favorite characters. And the original My Bloody Valentineis actually full of likable and charming characters.
It’s also going to do wonders for My Bloody Valentine’s mythic reputation and lends the film a sense of mystery. As great as it is to see lost footage restored to our favorite movies, I miss the old days when the most you could see would be grainy screenshots, and your imagination would really have to fill in the blanks.
This is a different scenario, but take the scrapped ending of Exorcist III. Fans had talked about that ending for decades, building it up in their minds. But when the ending was finally included in the Shout Factory release, those same fans were met with disappointment. Mystique matters.
Either way, My Bloody Valentineis the ultimate slasher flick to watch this Valentine’s Day. That is, if your style of romance involves seeing teenagers getting their faces shoved into boiling hot dog water, or watching a woman’s bludgeoned corpse getting deep-fried in a dryer. Still, I’d watch it over The Notebook any day.
Check out the Unrated Version if you want the gnarliest cut, but the original edit is also worth your time. Either way, make sure you pick up the Shout Factory release for their restoration because it was surprisingly difficult to track this flack down on physical media before then. And while you’re at it, do a double feature with the 2009 remake with Jensen Ackles. Thankfully, the MPAA lightened up and the filmmakers were able to deliver some graphic kills. In 3D, no less! And maybe consider putting on a My Bloody Valentine record for the full My Bloody Valentine’s Valentine’s Day.
Would you like to see this lost kill? Are there any other deleted scenes from slasher flicks that you’re dying to see restored? Let me know @ gabe_theis. Until then, have a Bloody Valentine’s Day, folks!