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Bloody Birthday/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Bloody Birthday

During a solar eclipse in 1970, three children were born at the same hospital at exactly the same time. Debbie (Elizabeth Hoy), Curtis (Billy Jacoby), and Steven (Andy Freeman) were brought together that day and are still together now as childhood friends. They might look like ordinary kids, but come their 10th birthday, all hell will break loose.

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It starts off small, with little Debbie (sorry, had to go there) charging Curtis and Steven admission to watch her hot-ass sister (former MTV star "Just Say" Julie Brown) strip and dance around her bedroom while they look through a peephole. But this unholy trio quickly moves up to bigger things - like murder. The only one in town who suspects these "perfect" kids of anything is young Timmy (K.C. Martel) who gradually convinces his sister Joyce (Lori Lethin) that something is awry with his classmates. As the terrible tykes cut a gory swath through their unsuspecting neighborhood, it's up to Timmy and Joyce to put an end to it - even if the adults in town don't believe a word they say.

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Yes, the plot is simple. Yes, you've seen killer kid movies before. There's just something oddly charming and fun about Bloody Birthday that I just can't put my finger on. Maybe it's the fact that it's sun-baked Southern California locales make it look like an "Afterschool Special" from hell. Maybe it's the B-list star power that propels this film. Maybe it's Julie Brown's delectable dance around her room. Whatever it is, Bloody Birthday works. I've loved this movie ever since I saw it at the drive-in back in 1986 (it was a double feature with Poltergeist II: The Other Side). Even as a kid I remember thinking, "This can't be a new movie, nobody dresses like that!" That was the great thing about the early days of the video revolution - grindhouse movies played in re-release even when they were already on video. A movie released in 1981 was re-released in 1986 (I remember seeing ads in the local paper for it, as well) to try and find a new audience. Well, it worked back then and I think it works even better now. Bloody Birthday is a fun romp though SoCal with a lot of familiar faces and some inventive kills to boot. The "arrow-through-the-eye" scene is memorable as hell as is the poisonous birthday cake fiasco. It's not a particularly gory film, but it works with it's tone and casting. The kids (particularly Hoy and Jacoby) are great and sufficiently "off", Dudikoff shows off his "Ken doll" good looks, and Julie Brown...just watch the movie.

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Killer kid movies tend to fall in to two categories: shite (The Good Son, The Omen remake) and gold (Devil Times Five, The Children). I'm happy to report that Bloody Birthday falls in to the latter category. Decent acting, nudity, crappy 80's fashions, and an awesome ambiguous ending make this flick a winner. It's a shame Ed Hunt hasn't made much since his 1988 flick The Brain (another good one). While a sequel to this gem is probably never going to happen (though the ending leaves that door open), it would have been interesting to see what else he would have kicked out on a meager budget.

Reviewed by ECWaenigma

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