Blu-ray Review: Bloody Birthday (1981)

January 4, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

In 1970, three children were born during an eclipse (presented in the cheapest way imaginable, and a real treat for those of you that dig on still photos of a solar eclipse and V.O. exposition…). Flash forward ten years, and these hellions (played by Elizabeth Hoy, Billy Jayne, and Andrew Freeman respectively) are making 1980 a real shitty year for their suburban neighborhood. Engaging in everything from spying on Julie Brown (Earth Girls Are Easy variety, not ‘Downtown’…) dancing around naked, to locking other kids in abandoned refrigerators, to straight up murder (victims include, but are not limited to: their parents, teachers, and rando horny teens). Soon it’s up to Timmy (K.C. Martel) and his sister Joyce (Lori Lethin) to try and put an end to these tiny terrors armed only with astrology (?!!) and their wits…my money’s on the killer kids…
The first thing that will doubtless pop into your fevered lil’ brains as you watch Bloody Birthday is that there is no way in unholy hell this picture could be made today! For starters, not only do these kids straight up murder tons of people and ogle naked tiddies…they also pack pistols and use them at every opportunity (no to mention the butcher knife, ant poison, and bow and arrows…). The second thing that you will notice is that this Devil Times Five/Halloween pastiche is one hell of a ghoulish good time in the ol’ horror biz! The chilling children delight in their evil doings, the adults are clueless af, and Julie Brown was a work of art on two legs…perfection served up with a delicious heaping helpin’ of pure cinematic cheese!
Along with the outrageous feature, Arrow Video have included some fangtastic bonus material on this Blu-ray release as well! First up we get two audio commentaries; on featuring Co-Writer/Director Ed Hunt and the other with members of The Hysteria Continues podcast. Both are absolutely packed with information about the film’s production and cast, with the former providing plenty of first hand stories of the production and the latter filled with fun facts and personal anecdotes…and both are lively listens for sure! Following that we get an interview with Lethin, an excellent video appreciation of the film (and killer kid subgenre) by Writer/Filmmaker Chris Alexander, an interview with Film Producer Ken Gord in which he examines Hunt’s career, a screamingly hilarious archival interview with Producer Max Rosenberg (aka the most brutally honest man ever to walk the Earth), and a duo of trailers for the film.
A lesser known stalk n’ slay effort (though some argue the film doesn’t fit that category), and a real gem of the killer kids sub-genre of our beloved horror biz; Bloody Birthday is a must see for horror hounds, especially those that dig on the pure cinema comfort food that is the ’80’s slasher film. Seek this one out boils n’ ghouls!
 

 


 

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