MY BLOODY VALENTINE
Halifax podcaster celebrating former mining town’s role as fictional setting for ‘My Bloody Valentine’
Podcaster recalls film shot in Sydney Mines.
Almost four decades after Sydney Mines was briefly known as Valentine Bluff, a Cape Breton-raised podcaster is celebrating the former mining town’s role in a classic horror movie.
Today, Jordan Bonaparte, a Sydney native who now resides in Halifax, will upload the second part of a two-episode series about “My Bloody Valentine,”a 1981 Canadianproduced film, on his increasingly popular online audio broadcast The Night Time Podcast.
“What attracted me to this story was that it was filmed in Sydney Mines and that it was a great movie, but that so many Nova Scotians don’t know that a world-class-horror film was shot right here in Cape Breton,” said Bonaparte, a 35-year married father of one who also has a full-time day job in the insurance industry.
“I was looking for a relevant holiday topics and when I saw the movie again a couple of months back I knew it was a suitable Valentine’s Day episode.
To learn more about the cult classic, Bonaparte, who is fast gaining a reputation as a diligent and relentless researcher, reached out to director George Mihalka and lead actor Paul Kelman. And during the first episode, Bonaparte and his guests chat about how the film came to be shot in Sydney Mines.
“The script called for a mining town and it needed to be in a town that had seen better days and Sydney Mines, at that time, was going through tough times,” he said.
“There were mine closures, the economy was poor and people were losing their jobs — it had a drab vibe, so it was perfect for what they were looking for and they loved how rundown, rough and dangerous it was.”
The first episode also delves into some of the stories surrounding the production leading up to its Feb. 13, 1981 release date. Bonaparte learned that after the local population learned of the plans to film in their town they decided to spruce up a mine that was no longer active.
“So, they went down and cleaned it all up and when the production team returned they were horrified to find that their rough and rugged mine had been turned into a clean and colourful Disneyland-like set,” laughed Bonaparte. “They had to paint it dark to make it look as ominous as it was when they first found it.”
Municipal councillor Clarence Prince was first elected to represent Sydney Mines constituents just a few months after “My Bloody Valentine” was released.
“I remember that it was filmed here, but that’s a long time ago and I’m not that old,” said Prince. “But, now 36 years later, it looks like it was a good thing that the extras they hired locally kept their day jobs.”
According to Bonaparte, it’s understandable that people who are not attracted to the horror genre might be unaware of the movie’s connection to the area.
“I wanted to make it interesting and to tell the story to people who are not interested in horror because I think a lot of people from Sydney Mines, and from Cape Breton, would be curious to know about a movie filmed here that had so much of an impact on the horror genre,” said the podcaster, whose second episode on the horror flick was made available on Monday. That show discusses more of the movie’s plot and features Nic and Captain, the hosts of popular True Crime Garage podcast.
As for his personal horror favourites, Bonaparte ranks “My Bloody Valentine,” that had more than nine minutes of scenes pulled by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) due to excessive violence and gore, as the third best in its genre behind only “Friday the 13th” and “Nightmare on Elm Street.”
Both parts of Bonaparte’s “My Bloody Valentine,” and his other 31 podcasts, are available by visiting www.nighttimepodcast.com. Along with his true crime retrospectives, the energetic and curious storyteller has also produced and hosted episodes on topics such as suspicious disappearances, unexplained mysteries, and paranormal activities.
These pictures show the comparison between the Sydney Mines that was dressed up as Valentine Bluff for the 1981 horror movie My Bloody Valentine and the same view of Main Street today.
Sydney native Jordan Bonaparte produces and uploads The Night Time Podcast from his basement studio in Halifax. Bonaparte’s childhood fascination with all things mysterious has culminated in the twice-monthly Internet podcast he has produced since October, 2015.