Saturday, September 10, 2011

Darn you crazy kids! :Bloody Birthday (1981)

Bloody Birthday (1981)
starring: Lori Lethin, Melinda Cordell and Julie Brown

I often had problems with kids. I dunno, but I was never truly fond of them, and they're more annoying in the streets than they are at home. I do have my exceptions, but most of the time, its their disrespect for other people's property that unnerves me, as well as the fact that they get away with almost everything. (You wouldn't believe how often do street children steal in my country these days and then let go because they're "minors". Ef that...)
Our killer Kiddies: Curtis, Debbie and Steven
So, when it comes to horror movies, I always find killer children an interesting subject. It works at times, and since they're young and all, the thrill is on how long they can avoid suspicion from their own murders and on how far can go with this taboo breaking. These reasons alone kept me going on watching movies like Bloody Birthday, an 80s attempt for psycho-kids, seven years after the quip-happy "Devil Times Five" (1974) and three years prior the religious cult horror Children of the Corn (1984).

wait, before iIsave you, are you being killed or being thrilled?
At 1970, three children was born under a lunar eclipse, a phenomenon that somewhat altered them into heartless killing machines as they grow up. Fast forward ten years, the three kids, Debbie Brody, Curtis Taylor and Steven Seton, are grown accustomed to their killing spree, hellbent on murdering anyone they see as easy targets or poses as a threat to their secret hobby. With these three kids having their tenth birthday around the corner, they decided to celebrate it with style by killing a few people, and framing their deeds to our heroine, an astrologist-in-the-making teenager named Joyce Russel, and her kid brother, Timmy. It wasn't too long before Joyce becomes well aware of the kids' evil intention, and its up to her to stop them before its all too late.

If Bloody Birthday is anything, it would be a clever throw at the slasher basics (for its time) by using a taboo subject of homicidal children. tapping into the darker side of every tykes there is with a malicious twist in it that I really find workable in the movie. Though, I will admit that the astrology element is, if not questionable, a little cheesy, but the movie itself was made in good hammy fun, splashed with some fair nudity (fair being there's only one, and its a funny scene at that), shocking kills (there's something about a nerdy-looking boy with glasses, holding a gun and shoots two teenagers to death, that appeals to me...) and, dare I say, decent actors. It also got some fairly intense moments, such as one involving our kid hero being tricked into going inside a abandoned freezer, while two of the kids locked him inside, and another where in Joyce is attacked by the kids with a functioning junkyard car in an attempt to murder her (They even "slasher-fied" that scene by having one of them mask-up his face with a bed sheet. Cheap, but looks gewd!).

Uh-oh. They see us! Quick, act natural!
The kids themselves also pose a rather charming threat. The fact that their innocent charisma had them get away with their evil deeds, as well as they're clever enough to cover their tracks, you really had to think twice before trusting any of them. Elizabeth Hoy, Billy Jayne and Andy freeman played the three killers, and they played their roles with much content and devilish glee. Other than them, I'm fine with the rest of the cast; they're not anything special, but they're good enough to root for at times.

A better attempt for the killer kiddie type of slasher, Bloody Birthday is a munchable little monster; a little underrated and overlooked, but otherwise good, fans of murderous tykes will surely get a kick out of this one.

1 male bludgeoned on the head with shovel
1 female strangled to death with jump rope
1 male beaten to death with baseball bat
1 female gunshot to the back
1 male shot to death
1 female shot to death
1 female arrow shot to her eye
1 male seen crushed underneath a car
total: 8

No comments:

Post a Comment