Monday, October 26, 2009


Another horror re-post for the Halloween season. For my friend Tony's birthday a few months back, we got together with him and a bunch of his painfully cute friends to eat pasta and watch BLOODY BIRTHDAY, a little-known 1981 horror film directed by Ed Hunt. (The director of such gems as UFOs ARE REAL, STARSHIP INVASION and one episode of NBC's GREATEST HEROES OF THE BIBLE). The story begins in 1970, as three babies are born during a total eclipse. Apparently when the sun and moon team up to block Saturn - any infants that a born instantly become "demon seeds" - without a conscience. Good to know.Fast forward to 1980 and the three babies have now blossomed into the brattiest kids in town. As preparations begin for their big 10th birthday party, strange things begin to happen in the town of Meadowdale or Fernwood or whatever. Think VILAGE OF THE DAMNED on a smaller scale.

First a teen-age couple are brutally killed while having poorly-lit sex in a cemetery plot, setting off a string of ghastly random and Rube Goldberg-esque deaths. Then we meet our unsavory trio : Curtis, a young Stephen Colbert lookalike; Debbie, a dead ringer for a child beauty pageant loser; and some quiet, bowl-cut blond kid who takes orders from the other two. These three madcap mini-MacGyvers manage to turn any found object (jump ropes, skateboards, shovels, baseball bats, etc.) into a murder weapon and soon the deaths begin to add up. Debbie is quite the young entrepreneur, as she charges the neighborhood boys a quarter to watch her sister Beverly (Julie Brown - who goes full T & A) dress and undress through a peep hole. Debbie's dad is the local sheriff, but not for long - as he becomes victim number two. Two constant targets of the trio's shenanigans are camel-toe sporting amateur astrologist (and sometimes school teacher) Joyce and her misunderstood little brother Timmy. The whippersnappers try to run Joyce over in a junkyard with a remote-controlled car (thanks to the bespectacled young inventor Curtis), and then try to make her seem crazy and paranoid when four-eyed Curtis makes her believe that he poisoned the birthday cake frosting with ant killer. It looks just like the Skinny & Sweet!

Daughter of acting legend Lee - Susan Strasberg of MANITOU fame- makes a brief appearance as a schoolteacher - who looks just like Andrea Thomas from ISIS, but sadly, she never gets the chance to transform into the Egyptian goddess before she's shot to death by Curtis- with the gun he stole from Debbie's dead dad. He's very clever, cause he wears glasses.There's a few other deaths, including Julie Brown's encounter with the wrong end of a bow & arrow - and another teen sex scene in bad lighting.

Overall, a pretty creepy and somewhat fun example of early 80s low-budget horror. It definitely helps to watch it with a gaggle of attractive young men. On my old scale of 10 "Huhs" - I'd give BLOODY BIRTHDAY a solid 8, just for have the moxie to show 10 year olds killing people with reckless abandon. The child acting is pretty believable, making me wonder about the trio of ten-year olds sitting at the table next to me at the Whole Foods cafe while I write this.

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