Saturday, February 12, 2011

Those darn evil kids!

BLOODY BIRTHDAY (1981)
Reviewed by Jerry Saravia
I don't mind cheesy slasher pictures and I certainly get a kick out of anything resembling "The Bad Seed" or the demonic children from the Village of the Damned. "Bloody Birthday" is no exception in the cheese department of bad kids, but even cheese needs a little more processing than this film provides.

The story goes that three children were born on the day of a total eclipse. Since the moon and sun block Saturn (the planet that controls emotions) during the eclipse, the newborns eventually mature into raging, smiling psychopathic children. They grin but their singular emotion is a mask for pure evil. They shoot adults without provocation, pretend to place rat poison in birthday cakes, lock a kid in a refrigerator at a junkyard, and have a thing for looking through a peeping hole at a woman undressing! The girl of the trio even keeps newspaper clippings of people they killed in alleged freak accidents!

"Bloody Birthday" is not likely to gain much favor from anyone except slasher film completists. The movie shows one murder after another in succession, so much so that it becomes monotonous. Nice to see future comedienne Julie Brown as the dancing girl who undresses unwittingly for the murderous tykes, and there is a throwaway appearance by Jose Ferrer as the doctor who oversaw the birth of these kids (his scenes must have been shot in one afternoon). Susan Strasberg is criminally wasted as a stern schoolteacher, who might have shot her scenes in an hour. Several gratuitous female breast shots later (which may have been shot through endless takes), the movie has nothing but a creepiness that settles in from the sight of psychotic children with guns and bows and arrows (more alarming now than back then, especially in light of the post-Colombine massacre). Still, aside from the day the children were born, there is no depth to their evil doings. Eerie picture but mediocre as far as slashers go.