For 364 days out of every year, I am happy being single. I tell my friends, “I love my independence.” I ask them, “Who wants the hassle?” I convince them that I really believe all of this and I convince myself, almost. Then the dreaded day arrives. Valentine’s Day. This is the one holiday that reminds me that being alone makes for a miserable existence. Flowers show up at my neighbors doorstep, chocolate candies pleasure the taste buds of my coworkers, and every mailbox in town is delivered a little red Hallmark card with Charlie Brown on the cover professing his love to Lucy. It’s sickening.
For those of us who fate has repeatedly chosen to exclude from all these charming little experiences, we spend the day hating everyone who has what we have not. We listen to sappy love songs, check the mailbox just in case, and end up watching some lame parade where a life size Charlie Brown reinforces our pain.
This year, I will be a sucker no more! I won’t give in to the Madison Avenue hype that wastes almost a billion dollars on gifts that would be better spent obliterating poverty from a small third world country in Asia. I’m going to do something different.
On February 14th, I will be consoled by the movies that were made specifically to comfort people like me in this time of lonely mourning. You might say that horror movies set on Valentine’s Day are just made by bitter people like me. You can have your opinions. I think you’re just worried that there might be more like me out there and that one of these films might come true…to you.
This year, I have devised the perfect itinerary to get rid of those Valentine blues. Begin the 14th by going to the matinee of Warner Bros’ Valentine. The dark “Angel” himself, David Boreanaz, will show us what might happen to you if you snub those who aren’t first on someone’s Valentine card mailing list. It may be painful to watch Boreanaz on television, but this new film keeps with Hollywood’s morbid tradition of suggesting that Cupid’s arrow might hurt more than you think.
As the story goes, four friends (Capshaw, Richards, Shelton, and Cauffiel) play a mercilessly practical joke on a nerdy kid (Boreanaz). Ten years later, that nerd is cute, successful, and still angry at what they did to him. Every year on Valentine’s Day, he picks one of the four girls to essentially woo to death. He uses his potent Valentine charm and some sappy Hallmark cards to reel them in and then kill them. It’s revenge at its best.
Valentine may sound like “I know What You Did Last Summer” meets Stockard Channing’s 1973 revenge flick “The Girl Most Likely to…”, but they weren’t set on this miserable little holiday nor did they shed light on what it does to some of us. The suicide rate goes up every February 14th, so why shouldn’t the murder rate?
After you sympathize with Boreanaz’s character, it’s time to go home and rent the movie that is considered by horror buffs to be the Bible of bloody Valentine’s. “My Bloody Valentine” again takes underdog side of the poor victim/killer who had no choice but to take revenge on this holiday.
As this story goes, the only survivor of a disaster in a mine shaft in the town of Valentine’s Bluff comes back to get revenge on the people responsible. The miner kills off those responsible and warns the town never to have another Valentine party again. Just don’t celebrate. That was his only demand. Of course, the sappy idealists go ahead and have a party anyway. The party begins and so does the killing. They should have known better.
“My Bloody Valentine” will always own the top spot on the pedestal because it was the first of its kind to speak to people like me. It gave a viable reason for going ballistic on those Cupid lovers who shove their happiness in your face every year. Could there have possibly been an alternative method of revenge for this poor miner? It seems the killing was just a logical way to appease the deaths of the other miners.
After you shed a tear for the miner, it’s time to rent the film with the title that says it all. “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.”
As the story goes, when Capone (Jason Robards) is finally fed up with the rival north side Chicago gang led by George “Bugs” Moran (Ralph Meeker) he decides to make an unprecedented attack on its members. Capone enlists the help of a gangster from Detroit set up a deal with Moran to buy some liquor. The transaction is to take place at one of Moran’s garages. Capone acquires a police paddy wagon and disguises his guys in police uniforms and plain clothes detective outfits.
The imposters show up at the garage and bust in on the deal making it all look like a police raid. Then, Capone’s henchmen line up the seven members of the north side gang and plug them full of rounds from a Thompson machine gun. The ingenious part of this whole plan is the exit. The men in police uniforms handcuff their own men in plain clothes and throw them in the paddy wagon to make it look like a successful raid and arrest. The whole thing happened on the morning of February 14, 1929.
Don’t be frightened by the word “massacre.” Afterall, if you can kill one, why not kill them all. It’s efficiency at it’s best.
Now it time to lighten up a little bit. I don’t want you to get any massacre ideas of your own for old lovers who wronged you in the past. Let the movies handle that. Move into the “B” arena and rent “Be My Valentine,” or else… (aka Hospital Massacre).
Watch this movie last. It was unintentionally made to make you laugh. Playboy playmate Barbi Benton makes her not-so-quality screen debut as she’s stalked down hospital corridors by a pissed off Valentine wearing a surgical mask. It reeks of a bad “Halloween: Part II,” but again, it’s the day we are most concerned with in this article, not the critic reviews. I will admit, Benton is no Jamie Lee Curtis, but this film is still another representation of the dark side of the Valentine that most wish to ignore.
There are a couple reasons this Valentine itinerary should give you much needed peace. All those suckers out there who do find love on this holiday are destined to lose that love in a nasty divorce settlement. That’s always comforting to a single guy like myself. Peace also comes from the fact that you now have another 364 days ahead of you of a loveless life, but without the cruel and unusual heart-shaped reminders.
It’s simply a blessing to know that love-scorned filmmakers are still able to make their bitter feelings known to the masses through Valentine horror flicks.