80ies cult movies: “Bloody Birthday”

Children in slasher movies are a touchy subject, and when the kids in the neighborhood aren’t aright and start a killing spree, Ed Hunt’s Bloody Birthday shows how far you can go.

Bloody Birthday
(USA 1981, director: Ed Hunt)

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When three children are born under a foreboding total eclipse, years later a series of murders start happening.

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Unlike Stephen King’s Children of the Corn, the setting is urban, while the uneasiness of isolation is replaced by scary mundane life, surrounded by many people becoming potential victims. Despite the hinted supernatural element at the beginning, the motivation behind the killings remains mysterious, which makes it even more unnerving to watch these children kill and hide their evil deeds.

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Generally, the murder sequences aren’t that shocking nowadays, but some are surprisingly brutal, even without much blood being spilled. At times they’re just as gruesome as the nudity scenes are gratuitous. And maybe that’s the problem of the movie: the material is controversial, the execution is routinely done, but the characters themselves are pretty uninteresting, while suspense is often only present because of the anticipation of the next murder (something so many slasher movies have done before and after) and less because of genuine fear for the characters. This has more to do with no real heroes or heroines being seen for most of its running time, and when they do finally show up, it’s too late to make them memorable.

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However, Bloody Birthday has an undeniably twisted charm to it, while the children are at times genuinely scary. This might have to do with often amateurish performances (also of the adult actors), but one nevertheless can’t shake the feeling that despite some illogical scenes (where the children seem to have supernatural strength, or their victims are too stupid to react), this feels just as unsettling as it did back in the 80ies, making it a recommendable horror flick.

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The 88 Films BD release is another great HD remaster with often very good picture quality and despite the mono track satisfying sound. What’s of course also interesting is the bunch of special features, including trailers, interviews, audio commentary and the A Brief History of Slasher Movies featurette. The alternative cover art with a booklet is also worth mentioning, making this a strong package.

Score: 7/10

Buy the BD on
Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Buy the DVD on
Amazon UK
Amazon USA

88 Films Website
Severin Films Website

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About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
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2 Responses to 80ies cult movies: “Bloody Birthday”

  1. Pingback: Blogging 2015 overview | Emotional Multimedia Ride

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