So that ever present time is looming again (or if you have read this at a later date, loomed past) of the classless hallmark card day of st.valantine, in honour of this auspicious occasion I thought it only appropriate that those not involved with all this over blown love nonsense need an irresistible list of anti-valentines day films which has been compiled by my good self. Hand picked to perfection and deliciously (and quite devilishly in some cases) different in most of the choices, they are sure to take that sour taste of cheap chocolates or roadside roses out of your mouth. So sit back relax and enjoy my top 5 anti-valentines day film picks, watch out for those ghoulish miners.
My Bloody Valentine / My Bloody Valentine 3-D
Now in hindsight neither the original nor the remake are, for lack of a better word not very good. In fact they contain ham fisted acting (more so for the remake, why does Jensen Ackles look constipated all the time?) and pretty substandard direction. But they are both good for a few things, one they are inadvertently funny and downright nasty in equal measures.
If a film about a psychotic miner who dispatches those that were witnessed to his first murderous rampage, is not anti-valentines enough start for the jaded singles to sink their teeth into, then quite frankly you would be probably better of with watching Bridget Jones. But I digress what is there to recommend this to those that wish to see an ant-valentines day film, well the original contains some interesting little ditties. Now although allegedly there has been around 8 to 9 minutes of cuts to the original George Mihalka feature, it still contains some interesting deaths and if a little less bloody then it should be, it is a hell of a lot of fun. For instance the original contains some interesting and inventive kills (some of which have been amped up for the remake) while both also have the final act plot twist which greatly differ from each other. So what better way to wash those valentines blues away, then to watch a film where the killer impales, gouges and uses a pick-axe to effectively dispatch victims. While the remake uses the 3-D gimmick to a gorily glorious effect.
Another great anti-valentines day film and one which is incredibly well made and filled with gut wrenching emotion and despair. Now granted this is probably not going to make you feel the most positive after viewing it, but the use of interconnected stories all based around love or its loss, is well crafted by director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. The lives of 3 Mexicans are all intertwined around a violent car crash, each tale depicting the darkness of the human rational. Well acted thought provoking with a great narrative structure allowing for each of the interconnected tales to be both engaging and hard hitting in their raw brutality. If any film is to show the extent to which people go to provide and / or go to extremes to protect the ones they love, this is more then capable. Love is well and truly a bitch.
Now if any film was to put you off relationships and make you glad to be single, this is ultimate film to do it. This is a classic example of a great performance by Glenn Close, truly the one and only unbeaten cinematic “Bunny Boiler” (and what a great cultural reference which is so ingrained within the public consciousness) this is without a doubt trashy and frightening (from either genders perspective) look at obsessive and destructive love affairs. Forever referenced by feminist film and media theorists, this is essential viewing for all males and will continue to make generation after generation paranoid of the fearful “Bunny Boiler” or even the odd line from men such as “Damn that bitch is crazy”. And don’t forget the final scare just when you thought it was all safe, Les Diaboliques female indeed.
If all the previous films dealt with love and loss or death, then this little controversial classic is love as perversion with an extreme form of fetishistic lust. Based on the novel by J G Ballard of the same name and focusing on what is known as symphorophilia a sexual fetish which has the individual get sexually aroused by disaster or car wrecks. The film is notorious within the United Kingdom due to its content depicting graphic sexual acts based around a vastly unpleasant subject matter, and is to this day still banned within Westminster due to the use of its location in the film. This is love at its most extreme most sexually charged and dangerously warped; David Cronenberg pushes the boundaries of what is considered the epitome of a fetishised sex act. Certainly the more visceral of my selection and not for the more easily offended, this is a brave and ballsy film by a bonkers yet poetic visionary. Not for every taste this is still an alternative to those overly elaborate and sickly sweet Richard Curtis films and it certainly an antidote to those, what with a character described as having a vulva like scar on her back . This is hunting and effective filmmaking from the master of warped life obsessions and dark morality, an honourable mention should go to Luis Brunels “Belle De Jour”. A film equally focusing on the obsession of a fetishistic life style (admittedly all within the mind of the protagonist), surrealistic romances are certainly the way forward.
And last but not least (but considering that this is in no particular order that does not really matter too much):
A surrealistic film noir which centres on the sexual relationship between a young college student and a club singing femme fatale, after the former finds a severed ear which leads into a web of mystery and a mentally unhinged criminal (the psychotically over the top Dennis Hopper) in the form of Frank Booth who inhales nitro oxide to perform sex acts. This film is known to hold many connotations and themes but its main focus seems to centre on voyeurism and the voyeuristic tendencies in society. There also seems to be two worlds which operate within the films reality, the suburban street shown as pure and unpolluted. Then you have the most extreme flip side of deranged criminals, smoky night clubs populating a dark and dank underbelly of suburbia. So much like Crash this is an extreme look at love and lust, with an abundance of voyeuristic elements to disturb and warp a love affair to a level of grim fairy tale. While it contains a happy ending but not one covered in cheese or anything too sickly sweet to swallow. Quite literally a Lynchian piece of perfect weirdness.
So that is a list of what I deem to be a great selection of anti-valentines day films to show that not all love is rosy and slapped with the “Romcom” label. I would like to hear any other suggestions on what you lot think are good anti-valentines day films.
- Y Tu Mamma Tambien
- Boxing Helena
- Rules of Attraction
- Irreversable (bit harder to stomach then the rest)
In the mean time check out some of the films within the list; there are some great films listed and if you are yet to see any of these yet check them out, give them a whirl (or if you prefer a sexy tilt backwards) as you lean in for the involving cinematic and immersive embrace.