Bloody Birthday (1981)

   

Directed by: Ed Hunt

Written by: Ed Hunt & Barry Pearson

Starring:

Lori Lethin .... Joyce Taylor
K.C. Martel .... Timmy Russel
Elizabeth Hoy .... Debbie Brody
Billy Jacoby .... Curtis Taylor
Andy Freeman .... Steven Seton
Melinda Cordell .... Mrs. Brody
Julie Brown .... Beverly Brody
Joe Penny .... Mr. Harding
Bert Kramer .... Sheriff James Brody

Special Appearances:


Susan Strassberg .... Miss Viola Davis
Michael Dudikoff .... Willard
Jose Ferrer .... Doctor
Ben Marley .... Duke Benson

Release Date: Theatrical: April 28, 1981

 

Rating:

 

In 1970, three children were born during a lunar eclipse in which is controlled the emotions on these children since this eclipse blocked Saturn with the moon and sun in the way. Ten years later these children were long time friends and are planning a birthday party but they have grown to be cold blooded killers as they murdered a teenage couple named Duke Benson (Ben Marley) and Annie Smith (Erica Hope) trying to have sex in an open burial ground.
One of the killers is a girl named Debbie Brody (Elizabeth Hoy) whom is the daughter of the head Sheriff named James (Bert Kramer) who was doing a lecture at her grade school and telling the news of the two murdered couple finding a broken jump rope near the graveyard which seemed to belong to one of the kids and was being questioned. Debbie and her triplet friends Curtis Taylor (Billy Jacoby) and Steven Seton (Andy Freeman) plan to kill him and while they do so Debbie tells her Mom (Melinda Cordell) that he tripped on a staircase and hit his head.
Next they go on a killing spree inclduing murdering their strict teacher Miss Viola Davis (Susan Strassberg) since she scolded them for not doing their homework as well as killing more people in the neighborhood and making a scrapbook out of the newspaper clips on these victims.
One of the kids' friend named Curtis Taylor (K.C. Martel) who experinced a nasty prank in a junkyard by one of them and his older sister Joyce (Lori Lethin) suddenly become aware that they are responsible for all of this and then become endangered by them while trying to struggle to stay alive.

 

There's a good beginning with two horny teenagers making out at a graveyard in an open grave. We spot a good shot on a shovel bashing the one of the teen's head as well as another one being strangled by a rope. Yet their reactions looked terribly phony.
There's a good shot on Timmy Russell climbing through a window with a knife on a kitchen table and then the knife falling to the ground.
We spot a cheesy scene with Sheriff James Brody at an elementary school doing a lecture and discussing about the deaths of two teenagers with shots onthe three children Debbie Brody, Curtis Taylor and Steven Seton looking at one another in their classroom.
There's a cheesily chastising moment with a teacher named Miss Viola Davis towards all these three children about not doing their homework on their Birthday which at the same time leaves a nice impression that she could be the next victim.
There's a good moment with Debbie talking to Curtis and Steven while peeping through her closet hole in the wall with a good shot on Beverly Brody dancing around and changing into her clothes giving it that nice 80's cheesy moment.
We also spot a suspenseful shot on James stepping down while a skateboard is placed on a step and him just missing it while Debbie is calling to him and then a good shot on Steven swinging his bat at him. However his blocking looked a wee bit lacking.
There's cheesy shots with people grieving at a funeral it wasn't at all believeable.
We have a good moment with Curtis daring Timmy to go in a fridge at a junkyard and then nice moves on Curt locking him in. There's good inside shots of Timmy struggling in the fridge at a junkyard and trying to get out.
There's a good shot on Curtis pointing a gun at Miss Davis while she's preparing some paintings for her class.
We have a good shot on Timmy sitting on top of a ledge of a treehouse and Debbie behind him about to push him off in which this moment looked perfectly well done.
We spot some good cheesy shots on Joyce Taylor running away in a junkyard with Curtis, Debbie and Steven driving a trashed vehicle towards her as you wonder if she will escape or not.
There's a good moment with Curtis putting icing on a cake with him looking at a bottle of ant poison giving it that creepy feel while there's shots on everyone eating some cake.
We spot a good moment on Beverly burning a scrapbook with Debbie picking up a sharp object from the fireplace and about to attack her with it.
There's a good shot with Debbie preparing to use an arrow in the peephole of her closet and then a nice shot on Beverly about to look into the hole and a good fast paced shot on Debbie herself shooting the arrow in her eye.
We spot a nice sibling discussion between Timmy and Joyce discussing the eclipse of the 1970 incident of the three kids. This moment looked very natural.
We spot a good camera shot looking up on Joyce while slowly going through a house hallway holding a trophy of some sort in the air for protection while acting scared checking on an open door for an intruder which looked suspenseful and reminds you of those other slasher film situations such as Halloween.
There's some good creepy still shots on both Timmy sleeping on a couch and Joyce reading while Curtis tries to aim a gun at them. There's good adventureous moments when these two try to escape from him and hide as well as struggling to get away from Debbie when she uses her bow and arrow. Alot of great shots on these moments with them trying to find any way on escaping in the house.
Ahh yes one of those early 80's retro cheesy cult slasher films since this one was released with the other one's like it. I'm meaning the slasher flick's that are so bad it's good. The slasher boom was really making great raves and it inspired alot of non mainstream one's after the one's released in 1980 like Friday the 13th or Prom Night. This happened to be an example too. It's very entertaining if you're in the right state of mind to watch a cheesy flick with a rough and dated performances.
It's very imaginative on ten year old kids who were born on the same day of a lunar eclipse since alot of stories make out that the eclipse can bring evil things and making out that these children are one of Lucifer's creations. It's interesting to find children killing people instead of adults or teenagers. It's kinda like watching a childhood life if Michael Myers wasn't put away after killing his sister Judith. It also reminds you of those bratty kids that weren't disciplined and watching this movie would scare you imagining if they would go that far to top it all off.
Sometimes it gets disappointing towards close to the end and you will see what I mean and a sequel never arose due to a lack of interest which is my guess. It was very popular at the video store rentals after it's theatrical release back in the 80's and sadly it's rare if you see it renting in a store as of today since we spot so many remakes in stores with other horror films during the millenium and very few retro one's.

The acting is a bit stale and bland as lead actress Lori Lethin (Joyce Taylor) played the scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis type in the film but seemed very phony with her scared emotions or crying on set for that matter.Does a nice job getting demanding towards someone after catching them doing something that seems deadly as well as a good panicking attitude too. She still represented herself well enough and I can see her working in other low budget horror flicks like this one.
K.C. Martel
(Timmy Russel) seemed to bring on the charm to his part of the film as the younger brother as he shows good energy with his performance. He does well acting tough when he needed to be and shows nice aggressions too. He does some good heavy breathing while struggling inside a refridgerator. Also shows some good blocking by punching someone and pinning them at a school ground.
Elizabeth Hoy
(Debbie Brody) showed a nice evil bratty attitude on her part and trying to cover up acting innocent which seemed deadly about her in which she was perfect by doing. There's a scene that she does well acting innocently evil after she killed someone and trying to cover up. She really stood out very well by playing one of the child murderers. She kinda reminds you of those other little girl types of appeals that seems deadly towards others. Way to go.
We spot a very young Billy Jacoby (Curtis Taylor) before his semi-regular role in the 80's sitcom Silver Spoons and knew his part inside out pretty much. He showed a nice devilish expressions to his role in the film as you'd really wanna kill him for his murderous attitude. I was impressed.
Melinda Cordell
(Ms. Brody) sometimes overly does it as a basket case and newly widowed mother in the film but she really knew how to cry on set and act disturbed about stuff. Plus does a nice job making an announcement and breaking into a sob while bringing out a cake in which she looked believeably dysfunctional and sad.
Julie Brown
(Beverly Brody) had the right looks and appeal as a typical teenager in the film and strutted her stuff not too badly. She really had the right look for a low budget teenage slasher flick like this one. There's a good scene when she gets vulgar. This was also her very first co-starring role in a movie and later on became a household name in bigger projects.

We have an open blouse on bit part actress Erica Hope in an open burial ground
There's a good strip tease by Julie Brown while she's in her room and changing into her clothes with full breasts and butt shot revealed.
We have a breast shot on bit part actress Sylvia Wright in a van as well as a butt shot on John Avery making out in their van.

Nothing too bloody like you'd expect but the odd bloody gunshots and an arrow stabbed in an eye but it's not really graphic.

Arlon Ober composed some cheesy 80's horror sounds for this film with alot of screechy violin playing for when the murders are about to attack as well as the odd trumpet playing too. There's also some low violin music for the real suspenseful moments. He seemed like he was trying to borrow a bit from Harry Manfredini's music on the Friday the 13th flicks. Still it wasn't terrible.

Joyce Russel: This is Debbie's chart. It's really weird. Because there was an eclipse the day she was born, both the sun and the moon were blocking Saturn. There should be something missing from her personality.