Feature: My Bloody Valentine 3-D
Wed, 14 Jan 2009 11:59:01
Discussing her role in the 3-D remake of 1981's My Bloody Valentine,
former model Jaime King says she didn't want to be "that girl in the scary movie with my boobs all over the place, and spend the whole third act running around with no clothes on."
Those fears were raised by the prospect of shooting a scene in which the killer's pickaxe takes a dramatic plunge inside her character's neckline. King's reaction was, "Nice try, guys. Not happening. Because I thought they were going to use it as an excuse to rip my blouse open, and then I was going to have my tits hanging out," she says. "But they were like, 'No, it's just going to be one button, it's going to be fine.'"
In fact, neither blond beauty King nor her brunette babe costar Megan Boone—who plays the secret lover of King's unfaithful husband—ended up having to show anything naked on camera except terror. Only Betsy Rue, as a loudly carnal motel guest destined for a very bad end, has any "Celebrity Skin"-worthy exposure.
"Betsy is awesome," says director Patrick Lussier, a longtime collaborator of horror-movie legend Wes Craven. "She does an amazing thing in the movie: she goes from being the 'naked girl' to having a performance that is so intense you forget she's naked, because you are literally hooked into the terror that she is experiencing."
King remembers being encouraged by her director husband Kyle Newman and his writing partners to do the remake. When she got a copy of the script, "they flipped out, because they were obsessed with the original one," King says. "They were like, 'Oh my God, you have to this movie, it's a cult classic, it's amazing.' And I was like, 'Okay, guys, chill out, I'm going to read it.'
"So I read it, and thought that it was really fun," she continues. "For the past couple of years, I've been getting all these horror scripts…but I never really found one that I thought was that interesting. Because a lot of it was like torture porn that I would never go see, so I would never want to be in the movie. I just find it kind of disgusting. But what I loved about this script is that it was really scary but really fun, and it was more character-driven."
Many of the movie's scenes take place in a Pennsylvania coal mine. Shooting digital 3-D footage on location in an actual mine presented numerous technical challenges, including the need for what Lussier refers to as an "unbelievable" amount of artificial light. On the positive side, the big lights also gave off a lot of heat, "which is great shooting underground," Lussier notes, "where it's constantly 55 degrees."
"We had a pet bat, a little baby bat that just hung out for three weeks straight," remembers Kerr Smith, who plays King's small town-sheriff husband. "I don't think it moved. It was hanging on the ceiling. People were feeding it. Feeding it what, I don't know. I didn't want to know. That was a little weird."
“Says Megan Boone, "I got [the original] and watched it after I shot the film, and ours is way frickin' better."”
Smith says he saw the 1981 My Bloody Valentine when it was released, but didn't watch it again before appearing in the new version. Boone says that she and Edi Gathegi, who plays a deputy, decided not to watch the original beforehand—even though neither of their characters appeared in it. "I actually got the movie and watched it after I shot the film," Boone says, "and ours is way frickin' better."
Gathegi remembers being approached at the movie's premiere by a cameraman, the movie's cinematographer, and one of the writers. "[They] said, 'So sorry.' And I said, 'What are you sorry for?' And they said, 'We cut a lot of your stuff.' I was like, 'I didn't even notice, man, I was having fun!'"
There also was some pain and punishment involved. "A lot of times when you're running and jumping and falling and all that stuff, you don't really feel what's happening to you," King says. "It's not until you go home and take a shower that you realize you look like you fell down 20 stories of stairs, because you have bruises and cuts and all this stuff. But you just don't realize it when you're doing it." She adds that shooting in 3-D was so time-consuming that "it added 30 percent more to our days," but that the finished product looks better than she ever could have imagined.
If the original My Bloody Valentine seems like the only horror flick of the late 20th century that didn't spawn a sequel, the creators of the new version hope to make up for that shortcoming. Lussier says there already is talk of doing a follow-up that would include the same cast members.
The ones who survive, that is.