Let's face it, little kids are terrifying.
Seriously, just raising a rugrat can be a daunting experience.
So imagine that your offspring has no sense of right from wrong?
Or worse yet, what if they knew and just didn't care?
That is the question of the day in Bloody Birthday. It's
an unlikely, yet well told tale about three children (Elizabeth
Hoy, Billy Jacoby and Andy Freeman) from the same town, born
at the same moment under a lunar eclipse. Somehow, moved by
the tide and the moon, they have no conscience (just run with
it guys) and turn out to be some screwed up tykes. Flash ahead
to their tenth birthday and these kids are planning a black
celebration that will take the town's population down a notch
or two. Enter Joyce Russel (Lori Lethin), a teenager obsessed
with astrology and her ten year old brother Timmy (K.C. Martel)
who soon becomes aware of the bratty evil doings and attempt
to stop them before its too late!
It's a shame that this film didn't make much of an impact during
its initial release, since Bloody Birthday is a fun little
popcorn movie that threw a few curveballs into the slasher pool.
Child killers were (and still are) a reasonably taboo subject,
with a few exceptions (The Bad Seed and Village of
the Damned come to mind). Filmmakers generally steered clear
of the dark side of children. It's a great topic for horror
and director Ed Hunt (The Brain) explores it in all of
its exploitable glory. These kids are cold-blooded. Watch as
pretty Hoy lures her father out of the house where he unknowingly
trips over a precariously placed skateboard. In the tensest
scene, the trio of killers lock Timmy in an abandoned freezer.
Bloody Birthday also has some high caliber nudity thanks
to the beautiful MTV star, (Just Say) Julie Brown, twisted
murders and, believe it or not, good actors. Some prestigious
names appear in glorified cameos like Joe Penny, Susan Strasberg
and Jose Ferrer, but Lori Lethin who was a staple of low-budget
horror in the 80s (The Prey, Return to Horror High)
is the real star and makes for a likeable heroine. The three
murderous kids chillingly reflect the hearts of malicious killers,
but even more disturbing is the fact that K.C. Martel would
go to play Boner on Growing Pains! Blink and you'll miss
Michael Dudikoff in a thankless role too.
A testament of a time when all the audience wanted was some
of the red stuff splashed across the screen, no matter what
age the killer, Blood Birthday deserves a second shot.
I recommend double-billing this with the ludicrous but equally
enjoyable The Children.