Hal­i­fax pod­caster cel­e­brat­ing for­mer min­ing town’s role as fic­tional set­ting for ‘My Bloody Valen­tine’

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVID JALA david.jala@cb­

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.night­time­pod­ 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.

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