My Bloody Valentine: Collector’s Edition (4K UHD Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Dec 21, 2023
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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My Bloody Valentine: Collector’s Edition (4K UHD Review)


George Mihalka

Release Date(s)

1981 (September 26, 2023)


Paramount Pictures (Shout! Studios/Scream Factory)
  • Film/Program Grade: B
  • Video Grade: A+
  • Audio Grade: A-
  • Extras Grade: B-

My Bloody Valentine (4K UHD)



One of the more popular slasher films to come out of the 1980s that was never attached to a franchise is My Bloody Valentine. The Canadian-born horror film about a group of miners who decide to have a Valentine’s Day party that ends in murder didn’t light the box office on fire upon its inaugural release in the US through Paramount Pictures, but it has since gone on to be considered one of the better films of its ilk—even missing a few minutes of gory footage initially. 

In the town of Valentine Bluffs, a tragedy occurred years before when a group of miners were accidentally trapped underground after a methane explosion during the annual Valentine’s Day dance. One of them, Harry Warden, went insane, killing his coworkers and resorting to cannibalism. Harry later vowed to kill anyone in the town if they ever held another dance. Many years later, a group of young miners decide to have a Valentine’s Day party in secret against the orders of the mayor and the local sheriff, considering the gruesome events of the past to be nothing more than a fairy tale. Even though Harry Warden is supposed to be locked away in an asylum, it isn’t long before a mysterious miner in full gear shows up with a pick axe to kill them all, though leaving some doubt as to whether or not it’s actually Harry Warden behind the mask. 

Unlike its Friday the 13th counterparts, My Bloody Valentine tends to focus on characters just as much as the horror, giving us just enough to where we actually care without going overboard. The love triangle between the characters of T.J., Sarah, and Axel actually serves a higher purpose in the story, and isn’t just window dressing. The story also cranks up the tension fairly well. Anytime it feels like the sheriff is going to save the day, he’s inadvertently called away on other matters, leaving the partygoers to their deadly fates. The extra gore footage that was trimmed out at the insistence of the MPAA adds a whole new dimension to the film, giving it a new set of teeth, but also clearing up what seemed like nonsensical deaths. Though it was remade fairly successfully in 2009, the original My Bloody Valentine holds up as one of the more unique holiday-themed slashers of its era, leaving wiggle room for a sequel that sadly never happened.

My Bloody Valentine was shot by cinematographer Rodney Gibbons on 35 mm film using Panavison Panaflex cameras and spherical lenses, finished photochemically, and presented in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Scream Factory debuts the film on Ultra HD with a new 4K restoration, graded for High Dynamic Range (HDR10 and Dolby Vision options are included), and presented on a BD-100 disc. Scream Factory specifically states that this is a new restoration, not a new scan, meaning that it’s likely taken from the same 4K scan of the original camera negative used for their 2019 Blu-ray release, but in an obviously higher quality container. Only the Unrated Cut is included in 4K, but the Theatrical Cut is included in the same package on Blu-ray in SDR, which I’m certain the majority of fans would prefer anyway.

Shout’s 2019 4K scan breathed new life into the film, giving it a much more precise and detailed look, but the added disc space allows for high bitrates—sitting primarily in the 80 to 90Mbps range—and more refined levels of grain. It’s worth noting that the film’s softer qualities haven’t been tampered with as it appears natural and faithful to the stock it was shot on. The color palette offers a nice variety above ground, including many bold reds, greens, and blues, but the new HDR grades push things off the cliff with increased detail. Below ground, black levels are extremely deep with terrific shadow detail and contrast, giving Harry Warden and his surroundings clearer definition. It’s also stable and clean from start to finish, with nary a speck of dirt or debris to be found. Best of all, scenes and moments reinserted into the Unrated Cut are now pristine. Truly, this is the definitive video presentation of the film.

The main audio option for both versions is an English 2.0 mono DTS-HD Master Audio track with optional subtitles in English SDH, and not only are there are clear differences between the two, but also from previous Blu-ray releases. For this release, the Unrated Cut’s audio is much louder and much more pronounced than any track that’s come before it. By comparison, the Theatrical Cut’s audio is quieter with a little less punch to it. Both tracks exhibit very mild hiss, but it’s not a distraction at all. Even the extra gore footage in the Unrated Cut is blended much better. On Scream Factory’s previous Blu-ray releases, the Theatrical Cut’s audio was wider with clear dialogue exchanges and more pronounced score and sound effects. The Unrated Cut’s audio was more narrow, flatter, and lower in volume with less impact for sound effects and score. I personally found the new dual mono track on the Unrated Cut to be the more preferable option of them all, but after flipping back and forth between the various releases, it’s clear that Shout must’ve had access to better materials. Also included is a new alternate English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio option, which may very well be the same track included on the 2009 Lionsgate Blu-ray release. Unfortunately, I don’t own that release and it’s long out of print, so I can’t really compare. However, there’s something here for everyone and should leave no room for complaint.

The 3-Disc 4K UHD release of My Bloody Valentine sits in a black amaray case alongside 2 1080p Blu-rays, one containing the Unrated Cut with extras and the other containing the Theatrical Cut with extras. The insert and slipcover features the original theatrical poster artwork. The following extras are included on each disc, all in HD:


  • Audio Commentary with George Mihalka


  • Audio Commentary with George Mihalka
  • Introduction by George Mihalka (:23)
  • My Bloody Valentine: 35th Anniversary Cast Reunion Panel (46:54)
  • The Ballad of Harry Warden Performance (5:03)


  • An Anemic Valentine: An Interview with Director George Mihalka (24:09)
  • From the Heart: An Interview with Actor Paul Kelman (14:15)
  • Axel, Be My Bloody Valentine: An Interview with Actor Neil Affleck (14:48)
  • Friends of Mine: An Interview with Actress Lori Hallier (19:20)
  • Becoming Sylvia: An Interview with Actress Helene Udy (17:17)
  • Broken Hearts and Broken Bones: An Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Designer Tom Burman (10:36)
  • The Secret Keeper: An Interview with Actor Rob Stein (27:25)
  • Holes in the Heart (12:29)
  • Theatrical Trailer (2:11)
  • TV Spots (3 in all – 1:32)
  • Radio Spots (2 in all – 1:01)
  • Still Gallery (139 in all – 11:41)

The audio commentary with director George Mihalka isn’t a very good one. He gives a lot of great information while watching the film, but he’s being pumped for information off-mic and no editing has been performed on the track, meaning that we can hear every swallow and every moment of silence. His introduction to the film on the Blu-ray plays automatically when you start the film, but isn’t listed as an option in the main menu. The 35th Anniversary Cast Reunion Panel from 2016, which has been pieced together from different elements, features George Mihalka, Lori Hallier, Helene Udy, Rob Stein, Peter Cowper, Thomas Kovacs, Jim Murchison, Alf Humphreys, and host Brian Singleton. In addition, Thomas Kovacs performs the film’s theme song The Ballad of Harry Warden at the same convention with Peter Cowper and Jim Murchison.

In An Anemic Valentine, George Mihalka discusses the genesis of the project, his feelings about the film today, and how the film was butchered by the MPAA. In From the Heart, actor Paul Kelman discusses the background on his character, shooting the film, and the boom of independent filmmaking in Canada at the time. In Axel, Be My Bloody Valentine, actor Neil Affleck speaks on the assumption that he played the miner throughout the film instead of Peter Cowper, the struggles making the film, and working with George Mihalka. In Friends of Mine, actress Lori Hallier talks about working on the film’s locations, being a first-time film actress, and working with the cast. In Becoming Sylvia, actress Helene Udy speaks about George Mihalka, the enjoyment of not knowing who the killer was meant to be, and her death scene. In Broken Hearts and Broken Bones, special make-up effects designer Tom Burman talks about his reluctance to work on gory films, working with inexperienced make-up effects technicians, and the pros and cons of low budget Canadian filmmaking. In The Secret Keeper, actor Rob Stein discusses using an alias for films shot in the US, shows off his copy of the script with the original title The Secret, and the film’s lasting appeal. Holes in the Heart shows a side-by-side comparison of the death scenes in the Theatrical and Unrated Cuts of the film. Last are three TV spots, 2 radio spots, and a Still Gallery featuring 139 images of production photos, publicity stills, and posters.

It should be noted that all of the extras from the 2009 Lionsgate Blu-ray release, aside from the trailer, haven’t been carried over, which include the following (all in SD):

  • Bloodlust: My Bloody Valentine and the Rise of the Slasher Film Featurette (20:36)
  • Deleted Scene: Opening Sequence – with Introduction by George Mihalka (8:07)
  • Deleted Scene: Mabel in the Dryer – with Introduction by Tom Burman and Ken Diaz (3:06)
  • Deleted Scene: Happy’s Surprise – with Introduction by Adam Rockoff, Tom Burman, and Ken Diaz (3:08)
  • Deleted Scene: Dave Gets Dunked – with Introduction by Carl Marote (1:49)
  • Deleted Scene: Sylvia in the Showers – with Introduction by Helene Udy, George Mihalka, Tom Burman, Ken Diaz, and Adam Rockoff (6:04)
  • Deleted Scene: Nail Gun – with Introduction by Ken Diaz (3:15)
  • Deleted Scene: Beheading – with Introduction by Tom Burman and Ken Diaz (4:50)
  • Deleted Scene: Pick Axe to the Torso – with Introduction by George Mihalka (2:04)
  • Deleted Scene: Axel’s Flashback – with Introduction by Ken Diaz (2:59)
  • Deleted Scene: End Sequence – with Introduction by Neil Affleck (3:30)
  • Bloodlines: An Interactive Horror Film History Text Feature (16 selections in all)

Obviously the deleted scenes are the extended gore moments presented separately, but the introductions, featurette, and text feature remain exclusives to that release. It’s also worth highlighting that a couple of additional gore moments shot for the film could never be located, meaning that they’re likely lost to time.

Scream Factory’s 4K UHD presentation of My Bloody Valentine is a major step up from its predecessor. Given that Paramount is a studio known for ditching cut footage from its films, we should be thankful that anything was saved at all. This 4K UHD Collector’s Edition release is major upgrade in the A/V department. Highly recommended.

- Tim Salmons

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