Valentine’s Day Special: Red Ales & My Bloody Valentine (1981 & 2009)

Hey there, drinkers!

I’ve got a special BAAM for you today in anticipation of the lovely holiday  ofValentine’s Day (get it?). I’ve teamed up with my friend Anne from We Recycle Movies to bring you our first ever crossover review. For those unfamiliar with WRM, Anne reviews and compares films that have notable sequels or have been remade throughout the course of Hollywood history. And with her insane knowledge of film history, it’s always cool to see what she has to say. For this review, Anne picked the movies and I picked the beers. She chose both versions of My Bloody Valentine (1981 and 2009) while I chose Porterhouse Red Ale (aka Slaughterhouse Red Ale) and Hop Head Red (aka Chopped Head Red). She educated me on horror tropes and I educated her on the delights of beer. We both provided the (much needed) comic relief. Really, it was a wonderful evening. While my review of both the beers and the movies can be found below, please check out WRM’s review for another perspective on these terrible movies. But without further ado, let’s get killin’.

Brief set up for both these films: My Bloody Valentine is a slasher film about a murderous miner (yes, a miner. It’s weird.) that terrorizes a small, coal mining town around Valentine’s Day because he was once trapped in a mine explosion on Valentine’s Day. Aside from the killer’s signature pickaxe, he has a proclivity for putting his victim’s hearts in heart-shaped chocolate boxes. So if you get  a box of chocolates this Valentine’s Day, make sure it’s not bleeding before you open it. Okay, let’s get started on the original.

The 1981 version of My Bloody Valentine is considered to be a classic, underrated slasher flick by about six people. For the rest of us, it’s just bad. It’s generally unclear who our protagonists are and no character is likable or sympathetic in any way. In the case of a horror movie, it’s not a good sign when you really just don’t care when people die. Anne and I agreed that our favorite character was a supporting character with a sweet mustache and maybe five lines.

Best part of this movie? His 'stache.

And though this film was made in the 80’s, when horror films weren’t too wild, it’s still quite tame. Most deaths are implied and what is shown is minimally gruesome (though the old woman put in the drier was kind of gross). More importantly, this film lacked boobs. No self-respecting horror movie should be devoid of boobs. Ask Anne. She agrees. And the all-male shower scene did not make up for this failing. Really, who wants to watch ugly miners lather up? I could keep on going with my frustrations in this movie (our assumed protagonist is a dick. The murderer kills randomly. Everyone has an odd Canadian accent…), but I don’t want to bore you. Feel free to bore yourself by watching this movie, but I have to imagine you have better things to do.

Like watching the 2009 version of My Bloody Valentine…in 3-D! Actually, we didn’t watch this movie in 3-D, but this film was marketed as the first 3-D horror movie for its theatrical release. And though we watched this film in only 2 dimensions, the 3-D moments were painfully obvious. Pickaxes being thrown at the screen. Tree limbs through windshields. Pickaxes going through beds. Pickaxes going through glasses. Pickaxes going through faces. It was amusing and no doubt severely disappointing in theaters. Anyway, though this film breaks pretty radically with the original (we have a protagonist now…sort of), it did pay homage to some of the memorable moments from the original, which I appreciated. Another dead body was stuffed into a drier, none of the male characters were likable, people get pickaxe’d to the brain, the female lead is named Sarah…you get the idea. Overall, they modernized the film without alienating all six fans of the original film. They did, however, update the killer. Yes, he is still a miner but he is not the same character as the original. And now our killer apparently suffers from schizophrenia and takes medication that in no way curbs his murderous tendencies. Maybe he just had high blood pressure…Again, I don’t want to bore you with talking about this film much more but as you have probably figured, it wasn’t a very good movie. And I’m not even sure if it took place during Valentine’s Day. So let’s talk about beer.

I hate Valentine's Day...in 3-D.

So in honor of watching two movies, and with the more practical reason of having two drinkers, Anne and I shared two different red ales. First beer we tried was the Irish beer Porterhouse Red. This beer’s rich red color belied its low ABV (4.4%) and its mediocre flavor. Now, it’s entirely possible that my bottle had spoiled as I found it to taste a bit stale and flat. Checking my experience against those on Beer Advocate, it seems like I either completely missed the boat on this one or the bottle I had was no good. Either way, it didn’t do much for me and I have surprisingly little to say about it. Though it did have a sweet pull tab cap that was very fun to open.

But moving on to a beer that I actually enjoyed: the Hop Head Red IPA out of Green Flash Brewing. As some readers may know, I’ve been on an IPA kick recently and trying a red seemed a natural next step on this expedition. Pouring a deep, red color, this beer smelled distinctly of IPA. That unmistakeable hoppiness comes right out in the aroma. When you taste it, you’ll know it’s an IPA but there’s something else going on too. There is a richness and a depth in it that I attribute to the redness in it. My exposure to reds is fairly minimal but I have to say that I really enjoyed this beer. I don’t think it’s much of a “beginner” beer but Anne would be in a better position to answer that question.

So that’s it, drinkers. Our first BAAM date night with WRM. Anne and I hope to do more crossovers in the future, assuming there is no public outcry. I had a lot of fun drinking these beers and watching these terrible movies. While I really enjoy doing these reviews, having a friend to share it with really makes the experience all the better, as is the case with most things in life.  And while I would recommend watching some better films,  there really is no substitute for grabbing a beer and sitting down for a movie with good friends.

Keep drinking, friends! And check out We Recycle Movies.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Porterhouse Red Ale: 
Lovely red color
Disappointingly stale in flavor
Possibly had a bad bottle

Hop Head Red
Distinctly IPA with something more
Robust, complex flavor profile
Not a beer for the uninitiated

My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Disappointing lack of boobs
Unconvincing, unlikable & unclear protagonists
Sweet, mustachioed supporting character named Hollis.

My Bloody Valentine (2009)
Some boobs.
Pays appropriate homage to its predecessor
It has three dimensions.

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1 Comment

Filed under Review, Special

One response to “Valentine’s Day Special: Red Ales & My Bloody Valentine (1981 & 2009)

  1. Pingback: Valentine’s Day Special: Alesmith’s My Bloody Valentine Ale & Valentine | beer and a movie

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