Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Bloody Birthday (1981)

Bloody Birthday is bloody brilliant. Directed by Ed Hunt, who co-wrote the script with Barry Pearson (is it just me or do those two sound like typical used car salesmen?), the movie is a hugely entertaining slasher that delivers the goods and keeps you smirking in all the right ways. The premise is preposterous but it's all played out in such an enjoyably cheeky way that it gets away with everything.

Horror fans will rub their hands with glee when they realise that this is a movie all about killer kids. Three children were born during an eclipse and this means, of course, that they are born with something missing. It's all to do with the moon and the sun blocking Saturn. The kids are psychopaths ot sociopaths or something-paths. Basically, they're little shits who spend as much time as possible killing people and often making the deaths look like freak accidents.

A few of the leads are just fine in their roles (Lori Lethin is the older girl who starts to put the pieces together and K. C. Martel is her younger brother, also suspicious of the killer kids) but the most fun is had while watching Elizabeth Hoy, Billy Jayne and Andy Freeman be so obviously evil in almost every scene. Melinda Cordell and Bert Kramer play a very unfortunate mother and father, Julie Brown is the older sister of one of the evil kids and spends a lot of time dancing in front of her mirror while getting dressed, oblivious to the fact that her little sister is charging small boys a fee to peep through from her room to see what an '80s woman looks like in the altogether. Jose Ferrer plays a doctor and Susan Strasberg is a strict teacher who puts the little killers in a bad mood.

It starts off as pretty far-fetched and gets more and more implausible as it continues but Bloody Birthday just wouldn't be half as much fun if it tried to make itself a serious look at children with murderous thoughts. The fact that I haven't heard much praise for the film before now is quite shocking, considering just how deliriously entertaining it is from start to finish.

Deaths range from strangulation with skipping rope to someone shot with a bow and arrow, there's fun with a birthday cake and a big bottle marked "Ant Poison" and the very last scene is as twisted and funny as anything else in the film. I recommend this as essential viewing for anyone with a love of '80s horror.



No comments:

Post a Comment