Bloody Birthday

You know who loves a killer kids movie? Me, that’s who. So, you take a movie like Bloody Birthday that is awesome for all the wrong reasons and I’m pretty much in heaven. Kids that are cute to the point of creepy? Check. A score that manages to rip-off both Psycho and Jaws? Check. A character named Sheriff Brody? Double check! Roger Daltry’s Ride a Rock Horse? Super check! I promise, that will become relevant soon.
First, let’s look at the poster.

The only thing that I don’t love about this poster is that there isn’t a scene with finger candles on a cake.
The movie starts in 1970. Three women are giving birth at the same time. A doctor (José Ferrer, aka the inspector from Zoltan Hound of Dracula) comments that they can forget about watching the eclipse. Doesn’t he have doctor stuff to do? And shouldn’t he have a piece of cardboard with a hole poked in it? Anyway, the story picks up ten years later. Teenagers making out in a cemetery, then in a grave, are killed with a jump-rope and a shovel. Sheriff Brody (Bert Kramer)–not THAT Sheriff Brody–comes to the elementary school and tells them to close the beaches asks the kids if they know anything about the dead teenagers. Because ten-year-olds go to cemetery make-out spots all the time.
Debbie (Elizabeth Hoy), Curtis (Billy Jayne), and Steven (Andy Freeman) seem like the perfect children but they’re really big old jerks. Murderous jerks. They were the kids born during the eclipse and their childish mischief has escalated to murder. It turns out that the eclipse made them be born without a conscience. At first, Debbie was just selling chances to peep on her sister, Beverly (Julie Brown, not THAT Julie Brown) but soon she’s killing her with a bow and arrow.

The kids start killing people left and right and the only people who suspect them are Timmy (K.C. Martel) and his big sister, Joyce (Lori Lethin), after Curtis locks Timmy in a refrigerator. I guess the movie happened before that Punky Brewster episode.
It’s up to Timmy and Joyce to expose the evil kids for what they really are! But who would believe that such cute kids could be murderers?
Ok, this movie has a lot of flaws. It’s only an hour and twenty minutes but it feels much longer. There’s the fact that it pretty shamelessly rips off both the Psycho and Jaws scores. There’s the fact that some of their victims are so unlikable that you find yourself rooting for the kids. I’m looking at Miss Davis (Susan Strasberg), their elementary school teacher that’s like every stereotype of the buttoned-up prim teacher rolled into one. But I still loved this movie. It’s just too hilarious. Like when a kid asks if Debbie is worried about being caught peeping on her sister and she says, “No Way! All her brains are in her bra!” They brought in Noel Coward to spice up the dialogue.
The movie is like a time-capsule of eighties goofiness that I just can’t hate. I mean, Beverly has posters of Blondie, Eric Estrada, and Roger Daltry on her wall. This is somehow perfect.

I watched the trailer for this movie since I streamed it on Netflix and was trying to cheat at getting screenshots. I discovered that the trailer has this amazing scene that doesn’t happen in the movie, involving cake and a tiny hand.
This movie isn’t a serious movie, or a deep movie, or even a perfect movie, but it’s a fun movie. Let’s face it, it’s just fun watching little kids be evil.

About scarina

I like scary movies a little too much. I thought I'd share my obsession with you.
This entry was posted in 1980's, killer kids, slasher and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Bloody Birthday

  1. Thomas Duke says:

    Oh shit, I don’t think I’ve seen the trailer. That’s rad.

    I love that Strasberg reprimands Jacoby by saying something like “if I see you with that gun again, I’m gonna confiscate it!” My how things have changed, but maybe they were never really like that.

    • scarina says:

      It was pretty awesome.
      Well, she did think it was a replica. I was in elementary school in the 80s and early 90s & we got away with so much more than kids today. I remember the really popular thing when I was little were these balls that would crack when you hit them together and sometimes spark. I think they were made of the stuff that cap gun ammo was made of. I can’t believe we could bring those to school, they smelled just like when you struck a match.

  2. Crypticpsych says:

    And now, two alternate posters for Bloody Birthday:

    From Italy (The only way to make a hand sticking out of a cake better is to shove a knife into it and add a giant screaming ghostly face):

    And an alternate poster (aka, well there wasn’t a finger candle cake in the movie…neither was this scene):

    I love this movie on every level. It’s so gloriously 80s and so gloriously cheesy. The kids are so deliciously evil you can’t help but love them. I used to have VCI’s old version of the movie but I got rid of it when Severin put out a new DVD of it. I only hope that the continued increased exposure it’s getting (your review, Rue Morgue including it in their 200 Alternative Horror films supplement) will get more people to see it.

    • scarina says:

      The first poster was awesome but the second one wouldn’t show up. :( IMDB has a really funny one, with candles on a teenager’s chest. Hilarious!
      Seriously, it’s a fun little movie. I love the astrology scene when Joyce is all “You know nations have horoscopes?” and her creepy teacher is all “You should put that in your article.” Did you know that blogs have horoscopes?

      • Crypticpsych says:

        The one with the candles on the teenager’s chest was what the second one was. lol

        Everything has a horoscope. Eveerythiiiiiiing.

  3. Pingback: My Bloody Birthday Vacation | Scarina's Scary Vault of Scariness

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