director Ed Hunt
Taken as a “straight” slasher, it’s easy to see how Bloody Birthday, from 1981, could prove a disappointment. For one, it’s not particularly bloody. For two, there is no mystery about the killer. And it has that After School Special vibe and aesthetic.
And yet, that is why it’s so freaking hilarious.
Delivered during a solar eclipse, three suburban California kids are just plain born bad. The bad juju comes to roost right before their collective 10th birthdays. Though they start off murdering a young couple copulating in a cemetery from an unseen vantage, the rest of the trios crimes are done in plain, banal sight. When his daughter first lures the sheriff to get baseball batted to the head, the contrast of these oddball preteens and their inexplicable violence hits home.
And for me, it hit home pretty funny.
What makes the shenanigans humorous is the flat, dull, world and the way it’s depicted. This is a transitional 1970’s to 1980’s suburbia, and while it’s not at all terrifying, it is absurd and quite amusing.
Throw in scene of MTV’s Julie Brown being peeped upon whilst topless, and you’ve got a crumb of movie trivia to throw out at your next cocktail party as well.
All points scored for weirdness and unintentional humor.