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.