Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day (film) massacres

I’m proud to say that leading the list of online Slate magazine’s worst Valentine’s movies ever made is My Bloody Valentine (George Mihalka), the 1981 version (not the January 2009 release in 3-D) made in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I haven’t seen the remake, shot in Pennsylvania, but can’t believe it could be better, in pure awfulness, than the earlier picture. I lived in Cape Breton at the time. And the island was undergoing something of a movie-making boom. Filmmakers were drawn to the northern Nova Scotia island because of its picturesque landscape, old coal mines, and colourful traditionally Celtic people. Slate’s critic Mark Jordan Logan has a great laugh about the movie’s heavy handed murder scenes, indeed clichés in just about every frame. There’s a bar scene with a Moosehead beer logo in the background. Now that’s East Coast! Check out the review – better yet rent the film for some fantastic howls (real & unintentional) - at

Readings: Think we don’t have a rich indie or art house theatre tradition? Check out John Monaghan’s piece in today’s Detroit Free Press. It’s a good roundup of the variety of Motown theatres showing independent fare, from the DFT to Landmark’s two venues to the Burton. He quotes one new resident, who came from Atlanta, saying Detroit has a more vibrant art house culture than his former southern city, with a variety of films he wouldn’t expect “outside of New York City.” The piece is at

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