VALENTINE (2001)

valentine1

Directed By: Jamie Blanks
Written By: Tom Savage (Book) & Donna Powers & Wayne Powers & Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
Director Of Photography: Rick Bota
Edited By: Steve Mirkovich
Production Design by: Stephen Geagahn

Starring: Marley Shelton, David Boreanaz, Denise Richards, Jessica Capshaw, Johnny Whitworth, Katherine Hiegel, Jessica Cauffiel

It is the late 1980’s. At a high school dance, young nerdish-looking Jeremy Melton is spurned & insulted by every girl he asks to dance, except one named Dorothy. Later they start making out under the bleachers until a group of bullies discover them, and Dorothy says Jeremy attacked her. The boys further humiliate Jeremy by violently assaulting him & pulling off his clothes. About 12 years later, those same girls are in their twenties and enjoying the dating scene. But Jeremy has mysteriously disappeared. After one of the girls, Shelley has a date with an arrogant loser, she is savagely murdered in her medical school’s anatomy lab by a tall, sinister man dressed in a dark coat and wearing a cherub mask. Just before her death, Shelley received a threatening Valentine’s Day card. The other girls soon start receiving similar cards shortly after, and one at a time, they start dying violently. When police inform them that Jeremy Melton has not been seen or heard from for many years, Dorothy speculates that he may have had plastic surgery and worked out to change his appearance. Kate has recently found herself a new boyfriend but Dorothy suspects he may in fact be Jeremy, using his new look to get close to the girls who spurned him so many years before…and seeking revenge…

What to say about this film other then it is crap.

Is this film supposed to be a little empowering to women. due to the simple fact that almost all the male characters are reprehensible stereotypical creeps. was it supposed to be a reversal of how a lot of audience members wrongly think that female characters are portrayed in horror films. As either the angel or the whore. I wish I could say that but to tell you the truth I don’t think this film had the smarts to aim that far.

The acting is abysmal David Boreanez is supposed to play an alcoholic but his performance feels like a scene out of drama school exercise. The other actresses I wonder are they really that bad or are just embarrassed to be there. Sure there are some hilarious scenes but not in a good way. like Denise Richards with her perfect suitor who wants to take her to a private room for something romantic? no but to show her his penis and his award winning line when he asks “what are you staring at honey, wax it.” Now if there was ever a john waters scene that was in a less appropriate movie this is it. since this movie is this awful. I’m sorry I can’t give a long review for it but there is no style or substance so when you don’t have that what do you have. This storyline is stolen from many other horror films. The killer with a mask. The holiday theme.

The plot of this film is simple. Back in grade school there was a nerdy boy he asks all these girls to dance. All the girls turn him down but one is nice enough to spare his feelings and not to insult him. Then another girl who is hefty. Not only agrees but makes out with him but when she is caught she says he forced himself on her. and he is laughed at and beat up and disappears. Years later all these ladies who are miracously all still friends and living around each other. (ladies how many of you are still friends with all your friends from grade school and all live near by each other. if you do you should either be commeded or get some therapy.) but seriously years later as adults they are all unlucky in love and soon start being knocked off. hmmm you think it could be that kid? They try to figure out which asshole male it is or is it a female? Then they try to trick us in the end by setting up another character to be the killer. but it is really another one how do we know by the constant nose bleeds of the killer. just look at the cast and who was the most famous at the time. (Here’s a clue they had a tv show on the air as the star of it. not a guest star.)

The males in this film run the gambit from loser, threesome player to gigolo. but here is the problem. you never feel sorry or sad for any of the characters or victims enough that you would actually feel bad when they die. Again no inspiration did they want us to be happy when they die. if they did again this film is sending a anti-woman message and makes all the other horror films look bad. There are also no male murder victims in this film. then the killings are not all that spectacular or original.

This is another 1980’s inspired horror film that takes place in the 2000’s. Though story wise it’s supposed to feel more like a slasher film from that period. Though it does involve nudity it goes by very quickly and while there is sex it is more talked about then shown or performed. It also brings up all the embarrassing bad culture of that time.

In this film all men are revealed to be evil. So it is obviously pro-women. Even though the female characters are treated exploitive throughout and are the majority of the victims.

The characters are unlikeable for the most part and seem pretty much set up for the audience to root for their kills. As you never truly feel sympathy except for maybe the opening kill. Even though it’s played by a known actress that eventually became hated in the press.

All of the characters come across as cliches and everyone is either model beautiful or close enough. So that the film is filled with plenty of eye candy. the film constantly comes across as a production. It also feels like no one really wants to be in this film or making it, except for Denise Richards who seems like she is giving it her all. One only wishes she was in a film that deserved it.

The film and it’s Script just feel lazy. As it’s an adaptation of a novel, but in title only as the producers didn’t like the story from the novel and came up with their own. As in the end the film comes off as a macabre moral lesson (another inspiration from the 1980’s)

The film isn’t as smart as it seems to think it is, nor as audacious. In fact not even the killing scenes feel original or memorable.

The one thing other then Denise Richards that the film does Offer is great one liners. Especially in an scene with Richards and a suitor.

The film has a decent plot and has a style. Though both seem to fail the film or maybe it’s a case where. There was one problem and it seems to have affected all around it.

No thought no inspiration at least if this went to home video it would not be seen by too many people. and you only lose a fraction of money renting it but by releasing it to theaters those of us stupid enough to pay for it are gypped and pissed. which obviously I was and I didn’t even pay for it and I still wanted my money back. and most importantly my time. It was so unoriginal it ripped off the opening kill scene that was hip at that time in horror movies. now for all the money they spent on this film i’m sure there could have been a better more original or 2 that could have been made. and made an actual impact. But what do you expect form the director of Urban legend

P.S. Mr. blanks don’t think you are clever by killing the girls in the same order in which they were asked to dance. With there deaths tied into the responses they gave the killer when they were asked to dance

GRADE: F

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