Movie Review – Bloody Birthday (1981)

Bloody Birthday
Directed by Ed Hunt
Courtesy of Severin Films
Original Release Date: 1981
Blu-ray Release Date: July 8, 2014

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BLOODY BIRTHDAY is one of those obscure horror flicks that I have seen in movie stores at various times over the years, but just never picked up for some reason. I really wish I had because it’s a top-notch horror flick that satisfies on several levels. The fine folks at Severin Films have remastered this 80s classic in HD and are giving it a Blu-ray launch next week. If you have never had the pleasure of seeing this film, now is the time to snag a copy for your collection.

If you are not familiar with BLOODY BIRTHDAY, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Severin Films:

Get ready for the rarely seen slasher classic from the ’80s that may also be the most disturbing ‘killer kids’ movies in grindhouse history: Three babies are simultaneously born in the same hospital at the peak of a full solar eclipse. Ten years later, these adorable youngsters suddenly begin a kiddie killing spree of stranglings, shootings, stabbings, beatings and beyond. Can the town’s grown-ups stop these pint-sized serial killers before their blood-soaked birthday bash? K.C. Martel (E.T., Growing Pains), Joe Penny (Jake And The Fat Man), Michael Dudikoff (American Ninja), screen legends Susan Strasberg and Jose Ferrer, and MTV vixen Julie Brown – whose nude bedroom dance remains a landmark of celebrity skin – star in this still-controversial shocker from director Ed Hunt (The Brain, Diary Of A Sinner), now featuring an all-new HD transfer from the original vault elements.

I have to confess up front: I love everything about this movie. Sure, it’s from the early 80s so it looks a little dated…but that’s part of what makes it so much fun. It’s got dark humor, some great acting, and a solid storyline. You can’t ask for much more in a horror flick.

BLOODY BIRTHDAY has the typical early 80s feel and is sure to bring back a few memories for older folks like me. (Ok, 40 is not THAT old, but still…) It is shot well and looks good as a whole, especially given the HD restoration. The upgrade looks great onscreen, although the sound quality is lacking a bit. It fluctuated for me in several places, which forced me to turn the volume up for the dialogue but then crank it back down when the music started blaring. I understand that not everything can be restored, but I feel like this is worth noting.

The cast is excellent and includes a list of recognizable names (as noted in the synopsis). I love the children who play the killers. Each one brings a notable yet chilling performance to the screen which will make you think twice before yelling at kids to get off of your lawn.

BLOODY BIRTHDAY also gives viewers a special treat in the Extras section: a 15 minute documentary titled “A Brief History of Slasher Films”. This is a quick chronicle of slasher flicks from their origins to present day, utilizing movie posters and scenes from the trailers of several well-known and obscure titles. This featurette is a very nice addition to this great movie.

BLOODY BIRTHDAY is a definite win for me, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a blood-soaked trip down memory lane. The film hits store shelves next week, so make a note.

MSB

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