The best place to find nubile nymphets with healthy vocal chords is a horror
movie. In this case 'Valentine' fits the bill.
This revenge saga begins at the Junior High Dance, which has a super-geek Jeremy
and a plump Dorothy making out because nobody else wants them around. Afraid of
being branded 'uncool' by her friends, Dorothy accuses Jeremy of attacking her.
Therefore he gets packed off to a reform and subsequently to a mental hospital.
13 years later, a young med student is bumped off in a rather conveniently ill-lit morgue while she's busy poking around a cadaver. This is after she gets a creepy over-enthusiastic looking Valentine Day card. The card comes with a rhyme that could only have been written by a retarded psycho: the omnipresent "Roses are red, violets are blue" and something creepy to finish it up. As expected, she launches wholeheartedly into the 'shriek and flee' routine, only to be hacked to death by a masked killer.
We are then subject to a group of bimbettes who form the aforementioned med student's group of friends. We have 'sexy' Paige (Denise Richards), 'smart' Shelly (Katherine Hegel), 'fun' Lily (Jessica Cauffiel), 'sweet' Kate (Marley Shelton) and the once-plump-now-svelte Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw).
Soon after the funeral they begin getting the weird Valentines too, which have morbidly funny rhymes like "Roses are red, violets are blue, they'll need dental records to identify you" and "Love is an arduous trek, blood looks better creeping down your neck" (whoever wrote those needs to be inducted into the Rhymes' Hall Of Fame). This freaks the girls completely.
The valentines are signed "JM", and the girls intelligently figure it might be Jeremy Melton, the skinny kid they all spurned in Junior High. Jeremy has disappeared, and there are no recent photographs, so no one knows what he looks like now. (His parents died "in a fire", the root cause of all movie orphans). With the help of a lecherous detective, they realize that any of their current boyfriends or acquaintances could actually be Jeremy, cleaned up and bulked out.
Valentine also stars David Boreanaz (Buffy's boyfriend Angel... remember him?), whose main duty in the film is to follow the girls around like a dutiful sniffer dog, as they date potential suspects and receive stuff from you-know-who.
This is about all that happens in the movie. The whole of the next half of the film has you taken through a maze of lascivious lecherous guys who form the decorative peripheral subplot of the movie. The girls get bumped off, in due time, by the same cherub masked killer who, incidentally, has a nosebleed.
The movie chugs along, blissfully unaware of its mediocre script (which was incidentally written by four guys). The audience meanwhile is busy snickering at the imaginative murder of Denise Richards. It's only in slashers that you find the heroines highly adventurous and going for midnight dips in full knowledge of a killer lurking around somewhere in the bushes. Her part, that of a vixen, begins to grate on your nerves, and you are sort of thrilled when she gets sucked into the jaws of death.
The acting? Oh please!
It's kind of kooky that even after getting spooky Valentines, and, in one case, maggot filled chocolates, one can be so nonchalant about impending doom. The actors have a very stoic 'it's-okay-if-I'm-killed-tomorrow' look about them. They don't seem concerned about the dangers that haunt their fictional lives.
This movie is Scream's country cousin. Director Jamie Blanks (of Urban
) seems to have taken a mask out of Wes Craven's collection and handed
it over to this movie's antagonist. It is that of a cherub, and no self-respecting
psycho nowadays would wear a mask. The movie lacks Scream's irony, and is just
a series of drillings, stabbing and gouging all wrapped up with a 'twist' at the
end. You can figure that out the end of the movie provided your brain circuits
haven't already melted after the first 20 minutes.
The script seems to have been written by someone who had a Sunday afternoon to spare and whose hobbies include finger painting. It also serves as an example of how 95 minutes of blank dark film looks. Even after it ended, a section of the audience was still glued to its seats, waiting for the real movie to begin. The escapism that a horror film provides is sadly lacking, and you feel your eyes get that glassy look after a very short time.
Valentine doesn't contain a single imaginative or scary moment. It actually makes
Friday the 13th seem friendly. Try not to be in the same street as the theater
that's playing it.