I was always irked growing up that I was born thirty years too late for the creature-feature-centric golden age of 3D (between 1952 and 1955 – beginning with the very first colour stereoscopic feature ‘Bwana Devil’ – the best film ever made about lions: FACT – I missed out on such classics as ‘Robot Monster’, ‘Creature From The Black Lagoon’ and ‘Cat-Women Of The Moon’).
Still, the modern age’s renaissance of 3D cinema has provided me with a few thrills too – I enjoyed 2007’s built-for-IMAX ‘Beowulf’, 2008’s utterly rubbish Brendan Fraser vehicle ‘Journey To The Centre Of The Earth’ was half-saved by the utterly mega 3D dinosaurs, while George Lucas’ recent announcement that he might release his Star Wars films in the format made me yelp. Like this: neep!
Now there’s two more contemporary three-dimensional offerings vying to give me papercuts behind the ears by wearing cardboard glasses and pull me away from my repeated weekend viewing of ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ (Every episode. £50 in HMV. Long live the credit crunch!)
To kick off, ‘My Bloody Valentine 3D’ is a Lionsgate remake of the cult 1981 Canadian slasher movie of the same name. Directed by Patrick Lussier (who worked as a film editor on most of Wes Craven’s latter work) and staring Jamie King (from They Wait, a pretty-good-J-horror-influenced film I wrote about on this blog just last week) and Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester in Warner’s getting-better-all-the-time fantasy drama ‘Supernatural’), it’s also a throat slicin’, eyeball poppin’, pickaxe throwin’ demonstration disk for what 3D can do circa 2009.
Seriously, I defy anyone with an interest in horror cinema not to be impressed during the bit where the dude’s chin flies off screen and into the audience/the pickaxe in the windscreen bit/the blood dripping off the finger and onto the cinema seats moment. Far from just being an extraordinary good look (see Doctor Who in series 2 finale ‘Doomsday’ for visual proof), it’s impressive the visual wonders those red and green lenses can share! It’s enough to give you hope that this fifty plus year old invention might bring another level of fear to a genre which so often appears jaded and exhausted by its own history.
Yet if ‘My Bloody Valentine’ has a problem – aside from being a well below average teen slasher film with a nonsensical ending, career-worst bad acting and a script dryer than Shane McGowan’s throat in the morning – it’s that there’s just nowhere near enough of the 3D thrills mentioned above.
I did find myself watching the film whilst screaming at the screen to give me “less love, more 3D decapitations!”, which I imagine was unnerving for everyone else in the cinema. Still, doesn’t the thought of loads of shoegazing losers walking into your local Odeon thinking they were going to watch a Kevin Shields biopic, then fleeing in terror from a floating dislocated jaw fill you full of joy? Oh, just me then…
Much better is new DVD release ‘Scar 3D’), the first 3D film to be released in HD, and a genuinely unnerving watch whether you choose the 3D viewing option or pump for the meat-and-two-veg 2D. Like My Bloody Valentine, much of the 2007 films failings come from the fact that the script, the plot, the acting, and the SHEER IMPLAUSIBILITY THAT THE DOUCHEBAG WHO TURNS OUT TO BE THE KILLER COULD ACTUALLY KILL ALL THOSE PEOPLE GIVEN HIS… (snip! – Spoiler Ed) are all completely lame-o.
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But – hey! – I’m not reviewing ‘Raging Bull’ here. If you want to see blood flying towards your face, without getting a life prison sentence, then ‘Scar 3D’ delivers ably, and better than its more high profile horror peer, ‘My Bloody Valentine’.