Bloody Birthday
Slasher films are by far my favorite horror films available to watch. I blame my father for introducing me to Halloween when I was a wee young lad. However, as such, and thanks to Shudder.TV, I've been revisiting a lot of classic and cult slasher films such as Sleepaway CampManiac Cop, and others such as that. However, I did come across one that I never actually watched before: Bloody Birthday

Directed by Ed Hunt whose most recent outing as director was with the poorly received satirical horror film Halloween HellBlood Birthday released back in 1981 during what I consider the golden age of B-movie horror films. It didn't really blow over so well with fans back then nor now. If you find yourself saying that you enjoyed this film then I am seriously judging your tastes in movies. 

The film revolves around three little kids going on a massacre around their town on their tenth birthday. As they do so, Joyce (Lori Lethin) and her kid brother Timmy (K.C. Martel) become increasingly suspicious of the children's acts and soon begin to uncover them. To me this film had some potential; a lot of slashers don't really focus on children massacring townsfolk in broad daylight while escaping accusations left and right. However, the film really, really underplays it all.

Before I get into the bad, I would like to point out the only good thing about the movie: The poster. Bloody Birthday's poster is what really made me want to watch the film in the first place; it's suggesting, gory, and looks like it belongs to one hell of a bloody good time. But, that poster lies through its delicious icing. 

The first thing that makes a great slasher film is tension. Whether it's Friday the 13th or even 2006's Hatchet, each movie utilizes tension and some back story before getting into the thick of things. Well, Hatchet does begin off a little bloody, but it cuts straight to its character and another death is not seen until history is revealed and characters are developed. Bloody Birthday doesn't do that in any sense of the word. 

Basically, ten years prior to the current events in the film, three woman are giving birth during a solar eclipse. That's all the build up we get and it lasts maybe two minutes. Combined with some of Joyce's knowledge on astronomy and a really lame explanation as to why these children are so evil, the plot and the twist - if I can even call it that - could have used a lot of work. Not even five minutes after that, the first murders happen on screen. They weren't anything special in particular. Then again, none of the murders really were. 

That's yet another aspect of the film that really let me down: the killings. Any horror fan goes to watch a film for awesome twists but equally - and sometimes more - important are the brutal murder scenes. They are meant to be extravagant and twisted. This movie kind of sticks to a tried and true formula, and even then I hesitate to call this a slasher considering some of the murders in the film are not done with power tools or knives or weapons, but a fucking gun. 

The last point that I would like to slam about this movie would have to be that Bloody Birthday holds one of the anticlimatic endings in cinema history. I won't spoil it, but I will just say that after all the murders and snobbery the three little demonic tykes put the other characters in the film through, none of them are killed themselves and they barely get scratched. When you watch a horror film like this, if the main antagonists are to be taken out, you want to see them go out in a terrible, terrible fashion. Not in a childlike manner, so to speak. 

If you are like myself - that is still discovering horror films every now and again from the past - then this is one film that you should be sure to avoid. Blood Birthday may have an awesome poster, but that's all you can really take away with enthusiasm from this lackluster slasher film. 
2
Brutal Resonance

Bloody Birthday

3.0
"Terrible"
Genre: Horror, Slasher
Director: Ed Hunt
Writer: Ed Hunt, Barry Pearson
Star actors: Susan Strasberg, Jose Ferrer, Lori Lethen, Melinda Cordell, Julie Brown
Slasher films are by far my favorite horror films available to watch. I blame my father for introducing me to Halloween when I was a wee young lad. However, as such, and thanks to Shudder.TV, I've been revisiting a lot of classic and cult slasher films such as Sleepaway CampManiac Cop, and others such as that. However, I did come across one that I never actually watched before: Bloody Birthday

Directed by Ed Hunt whose most recent outing as director was with the poorly received satirical horror film Halloween HellBlood Birthday released back in 1981 during what I consider the golden age of B-movie horror films. It didn't really blow over so well with fans back then nor now. If you find yourself saying that you enjoyed this film then I am seriously judging your tastes in movies. 

The film revolves around three little kids going on a massacre around their town on their tenth birthday. As they do so, Joyce (Lori Lethin) and her kid brother Timmy (K.C. Martel) become increasingly suspicious of the children's acts and soon begin to uncover them. To me this film had some potential; a lot of slashers don't really focus on children massacring townsfolk in broad daylight while escaping accusations left and right. However, the film really, really underplays it all.

Before I get into the bad, I would like to point out the only good thing about the movie: The poster. Bloody Birthday's poster is what really made me want to watch the film in the first place; it's suggesting, gory, and looks like it belongs to one hell of a bloody good time. But, that poster lies through its delicious icing. 

The first thing that makes a great slasher film is tension. Whether it's Friday the 13th or even 2006's Hatchet, each movie utilizes tension and some back story before getting into the thick of things. Well, Hatchet does begin off a little bloody, but it cuts straight to its character and another death is not seen until history is revealed and characters are developed. Bloody Birthday doesn't do that in any sense of the word. 

Basically, ten years prior to the current events in the film, three woman are giving birth during a solar eclipse. That's all the build up we get and it lasts maybe two minutes. Combined with some of Joyce's knowledge on astronomy and a really lame explanation as to why these children are so evil, the plot and the twist - if I can even call it that - could have used a lot of work. Not even five minutes after that, the first murders happen on screen. They weren't anything special in particular. Then again, none of the murders really were. 

That's yet another aspect of the film that really let me down: the killings. Any horror fan goes to watch a film for awesome twists but equally - and sometimes more - important are the brutal murder scenes. They are meant to be extravagant and twisted. This movie kind of sticks to a tried and true formula, and even then I hesitate to call this a slasher considering some of the murders in the film are not done with power tools or knives or weapons, but a fucking gun. 

The last point that I would like to slam about this movie would have to be that Bloody Birthday holds one of the anticlimatic endings in cinema history. I won't spoil it, but I will just say that after all the murders and snobbery the three little demonic tykes put the other characters in the film through, none of them are killed themselves and they barely get scratched. When you watch a horror film like this, if the main antagonists are to be taken out, you want to see them go out in a terrible, terrible fashion. Not in a childlike manner, so to speak. 

If you are like myself - that is still discovering horror films every now and again from the past - then this is one film that you should be sure to avoid. Blood Birthday may have an awesome poster, but that's all you can really take away with enthusiasm from this lackluster slasher film. 
Feb 05 2016

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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