You give love a bad name
Valentine has four credited writers, and I'm guessing there were a few dozen others who didn't do enough to get credit. (And I'm sure they're crying about that now.) With that many people working on a movie, you'd think that at least one of them would have seen a slasher movie before, right? But this movie feels like it was written by people who have heard about movies like Halloween and Prom Night, but haven't actually seen them. Which is a pity, because Valentine actually would have been better if it had been more predictable. You can play with the rules of a slasher movie all you want, as Wes Craven loves to demonstrate, but those rules are there for a reason; they work. You don't have to take chances on originality when you've got four bimbos and a maniac who hates them. That's the beauty of the genre; that's why it's perfect when you're on a tight budget. But the people who wrote this one thought they could improve on an old standard, and they started throwing in extra characters and motivations and, believe it or not, I think there's an attempt at social commentary. Yuck. Behold the dangers of hubris. Oh, and by the way, yes, I will be revealing the plot of the movie. You've been warned. On the other hand, I'm basing this off the notes I took during the movie and my rapidly fading memories of it, so the spoilers might be completely inaccurate.
Before I get into that, though, since there were about ten trailers before the movie, I must share a few thoughts on them. First, is anyone out there silly enough to be misled by the Monkey Bones ads? When they say, "From the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas," they aren't talking about Tim Burton. And considering how well Burton's done at the box office lately, it's a really bad sign when the studio figures his name might sell more tickets than the real director's. However, I was delighted to see that Kerr "Jack" Smith appears to be taking the Jason Patric role in The Forsaken, which looks like someone mixed together pages from Lost Boys and The Addiction. The MPAA rating for American Outlaws indicates that the movie contains "western violence." I think that means no kung-fu. And apparently someone thinks that DMX will be able to trick people into seeing a Steven Seagal movie. I have my doubts. Okay, lets get to the main event.
In a tribute to The Fugitive, we get the backstory during the opening credits. At a junior high school Valentine's Day dance, a geeky kid named Jeremy Melton asks all the cute girls to dance with him. Their names are Kate, Paige, Lilly, and Shelly. They mock him. Then he asks a fat girl named Dorothy to dance. He and Dorothy end up kissing under the bleachers, and, no, that's not a metaphor for something else. They're spotted by a bunch of bullies. Dorothy says that Jeremy attacked her, hoping that the bullies will focus their stupidity on him. It works. Message: fat girls can't be trusted. Anyway, the bullies dump a bowl of punch on Jeremy, because they're all out of pig's blood. Somewhere in here, Jeremy gets a nosebleed. No, seriously, that's a plot point. I swear. The bullies strip him, for bonus humiliation points, and start beating him up. End credits.