Bloody Birthday (1981)

bloody-birthday

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 5 out of 10

4-Word Review: Sociopathic children become murderers.

Three children (Billy Jacoby, Elizabeth Hoy, Andrew Freeman) who were born during a solar eclipse become cold-blooded killers ten years later. The reason is because during their births the sun and moon blocked Saturn, which is the planet for emotions, so they’re devoid of any feelings and kill for the pure enjoyment of it and even proudly keep a scrapbook filled with newspaper articles of their dirty deeds. Because they’re just children nobody believes that they’re the actual culprits to the rash of murders that are happening. Only Timmy (K.C. Martel) and his older sister Joyce (Lori Lethin) are on to them, but can they get the rest of the town to believe them before it’s too late?

Minor, but still watchable horror outing requires the viewer to buy into the astrology nonsense in order to enjoy it, but manages to be paced well enough to remain mildly entertaining. The murders aren’t too gruesome and if it weren’t for an abundance of nudity, which includes actress Julie Brown fully in the buff, this could’ve been a TV-Movie where it might’ve fared better.

The kids are fun as the killers. Both Hoy and Jacoby have a good menacing quality to their facial expressions, which helps. Jacoby, who now goes by the last name of Jayne, has an older brother Scott who already played a similar psycho kid in Rivals.

The murders are okay, but cannot hold up to even minor scrutiny.  The kids kill the sheriff (Bert Kramer) by bashing him over the head with a baseball bat and then try to make it look like it was an accidental fall, which would’ve only caused one blow, but an autopsy would’ve confirmed several blows and the freak accident theory would’ve immediately crumbled. The idea that such a small girl would be able to effectively use a bow-and-arrow is not believable and the opening sequence features a young couple who decide to go into a hole in the ground to make-out, but how many real-life couples would consider jumping into a dirt hole to be sexy or romantic?

I found the Joyce character to be annoyingly goody-goody, but was still impressed with her resourcefulness. The entire scenario though goes on too long and becomes derivative with a twist ending that’s only marginally acceptable. The film also offers familiar faces in small, pointless bits including Jose Ferrer, Susan Strasberg, and Joe Penny.

My Rating: 5 out of 10

Released: April 28, 1981

Runtime: 1Hour 24Minutes

Rated R

Director: Ed Hunt

Studio: Judica Productions

Available: DVD, Blu-ray, Amazon Instant Video

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s