My Bloody Valentine 3D: Crappy Treatment of Women Flies Right off the Screen

My Bloody ValentineSlasher movies have always been about the spectacle of violence and, as a 3D film, My Bloody Valentine takes this to new levels.  The whole film is a series of shots designed to break the barrier between you and the screen: pickaxes, eyeballs, treestumps and bloody jaws fly off the screen right at you.  Most slasher films also include some female nudity, designed to titillate the audience and amp up the vulnerability of the film's victims.  And My Bloody Valentine takes this to a whole new level, too.  The film features nearly five full minutes of actress Betsy Rue completely naked, except for a pair of platform high heels.  There's no cheezy 3D gimmick here - it's just an extended scene of gratuitious nudity. But that's gimmick enough to render Rue the ultimate spectacle of the film as she runs in terror from the killer.  The scene borders on comical, and that's the real disservice done by the film: the nudity nearly undermines the sympathy we're supposed to have for Rue's victim.  It's only because Rue actually pulls off an unbelievably good performance in her scant moments on screen that we feel for her.  A lesser actress or a lower budget film would have rendered her a pathetic spectacle.  

And Rue's character is actually tougher and more interesting than the rest of the women in My Bloody Valentine! In fact, the film is categorically not interested in its female characters or the slasher formula that has made horror fans out of a lot of women. The film denies us a satsifying final girl moment, preferring instead to focus on a final fight between the film's two main male characters.  Adding insult to injury, the film's major female character returns to a crappy relationship with a deplorable man at end of the movie. 

In the end, My Bloody Valentine has lously gender politics for a slasher movie, and that's both disappointing and disconcerting because the film has probably made enough money to merit a sequel and inspire other 3D horror movies. 

by Tammy Oler
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Tammy Oler has been contributing to Bitch for over a decade. Her writing about pop culture and fandom has appeared in Slate, Ozy, Vulture, and Geek, among others.

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4 Comments Have Been Posted

I Blame Eli Roth, But That's Just Me

I confess that I haven't seen "My Bloody Valentine" and I'm not sure that I will. I used to love horror films, and I even counted 'Rue Morgue' magazine amongst my favorite mags to read, but the state of the horror film as a set piece for men to do degrading things to women and other men in the name of entertainment has pushed me into a place that I'm not comfortable even watching or reading horror anymore. I'm not squeamish in any sense of the word (trust me, if you've survived high school anatomy class and the infamous pig dissection, you are not a squeamish person), but I lost most of my respect for horror films sometime in the last two years when that errant douche Eli Roth spouted some nonsense to 'Radar' magazine that he intended 'Hostel 2' to be the most extreme unrated DVD ever. When asked by the interviewer if people might take offense to seeing women treated in the fashion that Roth was treating them in his film, he responded with this: "When you watch girls get tortured it's just awful." In the context, he's comparing his movie to 'Bambi' and lions in the wild. I think. I don't know. All I know is the man annoys the hell out of me. Here's the article -

Wait. Run that by me again. Yes, yes, he said that. The imbecile said that. I count Eli Roth amongst the most deplorable film makers on the planet and I do willfully admit that were I to meet the man in person, I might very well smack him. Or break his camera. It depends on my mood.

Personally , I blame Roth for popularizing 'torture porn' and the subsequent bloodbaths of the 'Saw' franchise, 'Captivity' and multiple other films where the victims are women and men, ripped into pieces in obscene set pieces meant to titilate and arouse, instead of horrify. Roth didn't begin 'torture porn' but he sure perfected it. That he hasn't made a film since 'Hostel 2' is a mixed blessing - because sooner or later he'll show up again, and he'll raise my ire once more. I can't stand this man. I'm not sure if I made that clear.

I suppose horror film and culture is difficult to justify being interested in, but I look at the number of films that hit the screen every year and if it isn't some stupid (I should spell it 'stoopid' shouldn't I?) romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson, or some obscenely testosterone fueled action flick with Jason Statham or a pretentious piece of crap filmmaking that earns too much money (*cough* Dark Knight *cough*) and it occurs to me that there are plenty of people willing to pay to see crap, so who's to say that good films can't be made?

The best 'horror' film I've seen in recent memory is a British independent film called 'Enduring Love' and it's more of an obsession film, complete with traumatic events, stalkers and bizarre public confrontations. That it also stars Daniel Craig fueled my interest, but that the movie treats its events as possible, and emphasizes the terror of being stalked and losing all you had because of it, well, to me that's horror. That is a scary movie.

Does 'My Bloody Valentine' emphasize the horror of being trapped in this situation or just present itself as an excuse for girls to traipse around naked and covered in Karo syrup and food coloring (aka fake blood)? I'm not sure. It's a Canadian film, kind of an underground cult classic (at least that's what the DVD copy I saw said), but I wonder why it's coming to the States now. The fact that there aren't many movies like it being made anymore makes me wonder if Americans have lost their taste for the whole concept of 'torture porn'. What do you think?

anyone that thinks that the

anyone that thinks that the dark knight is just a pretentious piece of crap film making that earns too much money is kinda retarded.

So explain it...

So explain to me why 'The Dark Knight' is so great. I'm waiting for someone to give me a decent, credible argument as to why.

Go on. I'll wait.

Um... she sucked too.

In fact, the only character who didn't suck was Jensen Ackles' Tom, who I wanted to see carve holes in Jamie King's loathsome Sarah Palmer and Kerr Smith's Axel Palmer... but especially her. In fact, after the last few (hundreds) slashers have given us all Final Girls, each one more hateable than the next (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003? The Ruins? Prom Night? THE HITCHER?), I say no more Final Girls! They're a relict of the past and survive only because they're either hot and female or just female. That's misandry personified.

What do you say?

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