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.
There are likely many out there for whom the phrase "My Bloody Valentine" has been completely co-opted by the English band that in the interim adopted the title as its name. Yet anyone expecting even a nod to the group's swoony romanticism will be sorely disappointed.
"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 female nudity.
Director Patrick Lussier, working from a script credited to Todd Farmer and Zane Smith, has fashioned a film that manages to both acknowledge its predecessor -- a few original kills are nodded to, as are assorted shots and story points -- 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.
Wooden performances by forgettable, generic actors -- again, just like in the original -- don't aid in making things any less leaden. Perhaps this is the best one can hope for from something like "My Bloody Valentine 3-D," that it be just good enough to not be annoying. Or in this specific case, physically painful.