On June 9th, 1970, two boys and one girl were delivered simultaneously at Meadowvale General Hospital. All three born to different families and during a total solar eclipse. 10 years later we see that these three kids have grown up in the same neighborhood and even attend the same school. They each also happen to be obnoxious sociopaths. The kids plan out and execute the murders of anyone, kids or adults, who they feel slight them or may be an obstacle in the way of their goals. While the community lives in fear thinking a serial killer is responsible for the recent cold-blooded murders, the three children continue their reign of terror undetected. Well, almost. Timmy Russel, a classmate and neighbor, along with his older sister, Joyce, have started to catch on. Unfortunately they do not catch on quick enough and are not aware of just how ruthless this trio can get. But they are about to find out.
As you saw in the trailer, this movie is ridiculous and in this post-Columbine world, a film showing children killing innocent people with a firearm would not see the light of day. So if you are not a fan of a little ’80s cheese in your horror – this killer kid flick will not be for you. But if you are a fan of either (bonus if you are a fan of both) read on. Let’s meet the terrible trio.
Name: Debbie Brody
Bio: A charming, blond-haired “angel” who looks so creepy in some scenes, if I’d lived in the neighborhood I would have steered clear. Or dated her. She seems to be the leader of the group at times, but her best work comes from her great manipulation skills. Her parents, teachers, neighbors all swallow her innocent act hook, line and sinker – unable to believe she could possibly choke a bitch with a rope. Her father happens to be the Sheriff, so that is convenient. Her older sister Beverly (Julie Brown) is best friends with Joyce. She is the most cold-blooded of the three and has no issue turning on her partners. Her gender makes her the most dangerous.
Hobbies: Scrapbooking, birthday parties, auto mechanics, funerals
Dislikes: Family, babysitters, homework
Favorite Weapons: Jump rope, bow and arrow
Name: Curtis Taylor
Bio: A little smarmy, glasses-wearing fucker. He is the oldest of the three and looks completely harmless. His glasses and nerdy love of electronics make him perfect bully bait. However, his knowledge of electronics are put to far more more sinister purposes than making radios and the boy LOVES a nice revolver in his hands. Curtis and Debbie seem to exchange roles as leader among the three, but the kid is a loose cannon, often deviating from plans if it means he can conveniently kill someone else. He’s a horn dog and the smirk he likes to flash when no one is looking but you is enough to make you want to slap the glasses off his face.
Hobbies: electronics, sex, guns, pest control
Dislikes: birthday cake, insects, teachers, Timmy’s fists
Favorite Weapon: Revolver, garden hose
Name: Steven Seton
Bio: Stephen is the youngest of the three terrors, not much is known about Stephen. He is less likely to try and blend in with other kids by acting like an angel the way his two co-horts do. He is the quiet one who doesn’t say much to others, including Debbie and Curtis. Stephen never takes on a leadership role or offer ideas, simply following whatever plan the other two have come up with. Mostly used as muscle, he has one hell of swing – especially if he has a shovel or bat in his hands. He is a terrible driver but does a pretty good impression of their teacher.
Hobbies: Driving, baseball, impersonations
Dislikes: Fish bowls, confined spaces
Favorite Weapon: Blunt weapons, knives
Directed by Ed Hunt, Bloody-Birthday is a ludicrous entry into the killer kid genre that sometimes finds a way of working. It continually skirts the line between an unwatchable, cheeseball cliche and a watchable, cheeseball cliche. Obviously filmed with no budget, it still offers a few scenes of actual suspense that work despite the improbable circumstances it displays. Helped along by surprisingly passable acting from key cast members, including two of the the three psychos. In particular, veteran child star Billy Jacoby (Silver Spoons) who plays Curtis to such a degree that you want to kick his ass yourself. Also fairing well, and instantly recognizable to anyone who grew up watching Growing Pains, is K.C. Martel as suspicious schoolmate Timmy Russel.
Even though the film doesn’t actually show a bloody birthday, aside from hearing the three being born, it does have a blood-free birthday party. But never fear, as it does contain a handful of scenes that should please fans of this type of film. A full-nude strip show performed by MTV’s Julie Brown (not the wubba-wubba-wubba one, the equally aggravating redhead,) an arrow to the eye, a couple of beatings, the shooting deaths of a naked young couple – post copulation – in the back of a van, and a showdown finale so damned funny that it has to be seen to be believed. Aside from the horror staples of sex and violence, the oddball score should also be noted. It is that late ’70s early ’80s horn section crap you can hear in most early television shows of the time like CHiPs. But when not using that, they simply rip off classic horror scores – everything from Psycho to Friday the 13th and in one scene the theme from Jaws is used.
While there is violence and a body count in Bloody Birthday, most of these deaths are not shown in a gory fashion and edited in such a way that you will have seen much, much worse in an episode of Forensic Files or CSI. This may explain why it never ended up on the list of “Video Nasties”, even though it contained a lot of the criteria to get on it, like a 10-year-old boy taking a firearm to school and shooting someone in the back. But that’s also where the biggest issues come up. With all of these killings, none being particularly well thought out or well planned, the absurdity of what you are witnessing never leaves your mind. The stupidity of Timmy and his sister is also a major stumbling block as well. On one hand they seem to know what is going on, but then on the other they put themselves in positions as if they have no clue.
But even so, Bloody Birthday still gets a pass from me because of the subject matter, gratuitous nudity, a couple tense scenes that work, and a capable cast that teeters on dropping the ball, but manage to get the job done despite the silly script. By no means a forgotten horror movie classic, it is still entertaining enough (sometimes for the wrong reasons) to give it a go. Especially if you have an hour or so to kill and in the mood for some stupid fun from a killer kid movie that will not render you bored to tears.
Rating:Tags: Crime, horror movie, killer kid, Serial Killer