St. Valentine’s Day is typically portrayed as a holiday to celebrate love, lust, and sexual companionship. In the realm of horror though it’s a day to look at its darker side. Spooky flicks have sometimes snapped the lock between love and the evil. Take a closer look at some of the movies that explore this mostly unexplored territory. Here’s a list to make your Valentine’s Day a little more…… shadowy.
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
In this 80s cult classic, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and the teenagers in a small mining town are putting a party together. They’re young, horny and excited just as any group of kids in a B-movie slasher should be.
Years before, a devastating explosion placed six miners trapped in an underground shaft. Only one makes it through the ordeal. He becomes lost in a mental state of disorder and perpetual mania. The character is sent to an institution but escapes years later to torture and torment those at fault for the mining accident.
It’s evident what will ensue. The reckless teenagers, and the classic idea of a vengeful killer are the ingredients of the soup a slasher flick makes. Set during Valentine’s Day, these kids get they’re asses handed to them in old school 1980’s slasher film fashion!
This isn’t the only vision of this camped-up classic available. In 2009, a sequel of sorts was brought into light. My Bloody Valentine 3D told the story of Tom, a character from the original. He returns to his hometown for the 10th Anniversary of the Valentine’s night killings that took 22 lives. Unfortunately, Tom is the prime suspect in the 1981 murders and can’t seem to shake the incrimination.
Mind you, this is the glorious era of the new-fangled 3D trend with Hollywood movie studios. Watching it is fun at times, but mostly the new dimension is wasted on a slasher that doesn’t necessarily need it.
Roses are red, violets are blue, blood is definitely red too!
Pontypool is a movie that begins on Valentine’s Day. It’s a zombie flick with a very unusual angle. There’s a radio disc jockey named Grant Mazzy who hysterically reports on his show live of an upcoming living dead occupation. It’s a low budget War of the Worlds, with a ton of comedy to boot.
Actor Stephen McHattie is excellent in the central role. He plays a washed-up man but an extremely interesting protagonist. If you love zombie exploitation, you’ll dig this flick.
Bram Stocker’s Dracula (1992)
This Francis Ford Coppola helmed epic is the epitome of a horror movie monster love story. When it was released in 1992, it was beyond its time. It was also a weirdly timeless love letter to devotion like no other before it.
The 1000 plus year old Count Dracula played perfectly by Oscar winner Gary Oldman is on the hunt for his bride. The love of his life. This was the early ’90s and Winona Ryder was the IT go to girl to portray beautiful, unusual ingenues. The Count travels the globe to find his princess, causing panic and death in his every step along the way.
This is an elaborate costume drama packed with a list of the biggest Hollywood superstars of the time. Plus, it was the recipient of three Academy Awards the year it was released. These were for Best Costume Design, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Make-up. This is a dark, lustful story that will endure for ages. Hopefully gaining younger audiences as time passes. Much like the Count himself.
This is the brainchild of then up-and-coming horror auteur Lucky Mckee. Genre darling Angela Bettis (The Toolbox Murders, and The Woman) plays a sweet, quiet, but ultimately disturbed young woman obsessed with creating the perfect man. A young Jeremy Sisto portrays the nice guy pulled into her bizarre vision of love.
The movie is a Valentine to sweet guys scorned. And Anna Faris makes a crazy appearance as Bettis’s lesbian co-worker at a veterinarian office. She’s wacky and propels the central character to more outrageous lengths.
May is an obsessive love story about a girl that can’t control her murderous impulses. It’s a black comedy and Angela Bettis gives a wonderfully nuanced performance as a student adamant at finding the beauty in individual parts of a person, instead of dealing with the whole. She desires perfection. She rejects the entirety.
I remember when this romp came out in theaters winter ’01. It stars a very young Katherine Heigl as a med student dealing with cadavers and her own crazy past. It flashbacks to a Middle School dance where a young man is scorned for even asking the pretty girls for a dance.
Valentine is a pseudo-slasher obsessed with ideas that classic horror films have already addressed. The mask is original though. The cute, chubby cheeked cherub disguise the serial killer sports could have eventually gone through Chucky like distortions, burns and all, had the film actually made enough money to garner a sequel.
Unfortunately, it was a flop. Some would say a Razzie. That’s the equivalent to an Oscar for a movie so bad it deserves the opposite.
The Honeymoon Killers (1970)
An overweight, flighty nurse meets the man of her dreams! In her eyes, he’s handsome and successful. In reality, he wears a toupee and is a serial killer. She doesn’t seem to care though just as long as she gets to go along for the ride.
This is the true story based on the crimes of Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, also known as “The Lonely-Hearts Killers.” Martin Scorsese, one of the most popular American directors of all time, was fired from the production just days after shooting began. It was still completed, becoming a critical and financial success. To this day, it is considered a certified cult classic.
This is a love story stretched out to a bizarre length. The murders were real, the people were real, and the unconventional love affair was as well. It proves that no one really knows what the human heart is capable of.
The Love Witch (2016)
Elaine wants to fall in love. That’s a universal feeling, right?! She goes about finding it a different way from the rest of us though. She hangs out in her apartment creating potions and mixing spells to help her pick up eligible bachelors.
The concoctions work and she finds herself looking at a handful of men seduced into making her the happiest woman in the world. The number of suitors multiplies, and she finds herself inundated with a dispensable wealth of men.
This is a campy horror comedy that’s gross to its limits. True love may be right around the corner. But can Elaine handle it?? Can you?
The most romantic thing should be a lover rediscovering their other. After years of longing, finally a reunion! This is not exactly the case in Clive Barker’s legendary horror classic. This is the darkest Valentine’s Day will get. But it’s brilliant.
Julia and her husband Larry move into a home once occupied by his half-brother, and her secret former lover Frank. And there’s something or someone in an upstairs room. It’s Frank. But he was reduced to literally nothing after a hap hazard encounter with a group of S and M demons from hell. These are the Cenobites. He is rejuvanated slightly with just a drop of Larry’s blood. His unearthly existence begins to rise.
The love story in this movie is more a passion play than anything else. When Julia discovers the quarter version of the man she fell in lust with years before, it stirs the proverbial pot. She is seduced all over again by his charms, albeit skinless this time around. He convinces her to seek out lonely men at bars in the middle of the day, bring them back to the house, and murder them. All for the sake of his own burgeoning flesh and blood.
Single, or philandering, men beware. Be cautious of the attractive woman alone at Happy Hour.
Bride of Chucky (1998)
Chucky finally finds his romantic match! Tiffany, in life, was a leather clad trailer park murderess. In spirit life, she was Chucky’s ultimate counterpart. She was the lovable yet homicidal doll that got his rocks hard.
Their relationship is undeniably deviant but undeniably beautiful at the same time. These two misfit toys will go down in history as the perfect couple with less than perfect aspirations. And it’s just fun to watch these two maniacs make out and fawn over their mutual love for murder. Me thinks someone may get pregnant before the film is finished……