A movie like Valentine’s Bluff is a fanfilm of the original My Bloody Valentine, so it should look bad, right? Well, no. Many people have made homages to their favorite movies and they looked somewhat decent. Valinetine’s Bluff is intended as an unofficial sequel to Valentine, but it looks more like a porno without the graphic sex scenes.
There is a painfully long scene at a bar in which you can tell none of the actors were on the set at the same time. They’re always looking off camera and talking to someone, but yet their dialogue doesn’t align up. They’re not playing off each other. My guess is most of the actors hired were only hired for one day so director Tom “Smitty” Smith filmed all of their scenes at once. To avoid continuity errors, he just shot each scene the same. Every frame in the bar scene, the actors are center screen talking to someone off camera.
Set 40 years after the events of My Bloody Valentine, the town of Valentine’s Bluff is struggling following the closing of the mines. The town’s mayor Thomas Otterman (Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman, who’s a delight but not used as much) is wanting to get some other businesses in town while the townspeople at municipal building question what he’s doing. Otterman is turning the murderous events into an tourist attraction. Most of them deliver lines of dialogue that seem like they just read the script 10 minutes before filming and have been replaying the dialogue in their head so they wouldn’t screw up. Then, they just blurt it out when they are cued.
There’s a guy, Murphy (Roland Keller), who’s the son of T.J. Hanniger and Sarah Palmer from the 1981 movie and she’s died. So he travels to Valentine’s Bluff with his girlfriend, Abby (Sarah Schoofs) to tell T.J. (Jeff Swisher replacing Paul Kelman). They meet a lot of resistance in town and a meeting with T.J. and his current family goes badly. And then, they pretty much vanish from the movie as the focus shifts to T.J. and hs family.
Actually, what happens is a killer dressed in a miner’s workclothes with gear goes around killing people as the town has a Valentine’s sweethearts dance which looks about as dull and boring as possible. I mean, there’s less than 10 people there. I know they have budget issues but this is just terrible. Some low-budget movies use crew members as extras, just FYI.
Anyway, the killer goes around killing people including one who we thought was going to be a more important character. This Psycho-esque twist is the only really good part about this movie.A lot of the characters just pop up on screen to be killed in the next scene. And there must have been something wrong with the audio because a lot of the dialogue isn’t audible much.
T.J. and Sheriff John (Mike Sutton) begin to suspect that Axel Palmer is back following as he went missing years earler. But it’s pretty obvious who the killer really is so that it doesn’t come as much of a twist. The 1981 original and 2009 remake both had a nice ambiguity on who the killer could be. There also was an eerie tone over the movie. None of that is here.
It looks cheap and attempts to make it a comedy fell flat. I’m pretty sure everyone had a good time making the movie. But I’m also sure a lot of Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison movies are fun to make behind the scenes. It doesn’t really mean they’re good. I heard about its production through online post by Kristy Adams, co-owner of Nightmare Toys in Las Vegas, who appears briefly and her business is seen in an advertisement. But just because you love a movie doesn’t mean it deserves a sequel.
Quentin Tarantino has said that the 1981 original is one of his favorite horror movies. I’m sure he would made a better sequel than what we have, which was the subject of a crowd-funding campaign. I get the feeling that certain people who donated so much would get to appear on screen, hence the bar scene and the dance. But Smith is the director and the buck stops here. There’s no real focus on a main character so we don’t know who really to care about.
To paraphrase a line from Jurassic Park, just because the filmmakers and fianciers were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.
The entire movie can be seen on YouTube here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIIOv49awUU