Blu-ray/DVD Review: BLOODY BIRTHDAY (1981)

Apparently, I’m now gaining a love for the killer kids subgenre. I’ve always adored Village of the Damned (yes, even the John Carpenter remake) and would pretend I had their powers when I was little. Unfortunately, my Mexican genetics prevented me from looking like those alien beings, but that’s why we are allowed to have imaginations. I recently discovered Who Can Kill a Child and loved every minute. My parents were always concerned with my obsession with the Children of the Corn series as I watched part 3 a million times. Maybe I had some male generated power trip that these kids had and I craved, but I loved seeing kids my age being the monsters.

I put in BLOODY BIRTHDAY, one of the latest releases from Arrow Video, thinking it would be another fun 80s teen slasher based on the title alone. I was not prepared for the nonstop insanity BLOODY BIRTHDAY had to offer.

The story begins with three babies being born during a solar eclipse, which has some astrological effects on those born during that special event. Years later, a couple trying to have sex in a grave (that’s always the best idea) are attacked by offscreen assailants. BLOODY BIRTHDAY is quick to acknowledge that these assailants are the three kids from the beginning who are now malicious devil spawn. The kids are perfect at manipulating adults to go along with their stories and fall into their fatal traps. Someone begins to suspect what’s really going on, though it couldn’t be more obvious, and the kids do what they can to protect themselves from being outed and continue their rampage.

The most fun aspect about BLOODY BIRTHDAY is that their antic never stop. I legit was never bored watching this movie and it’s clear that everyone was having a good time creating set ups for some fun kills. The kids are eerily believable as there aren’t cheap cutaways when a kid tries to strangle her next victim or another chases people down with a gun. Yeah, I really don’t see this movie ever being made nowadays, but it makes it feel that much more taboo and I kind of love it for that.

The transfer in this newly restored blu-ray looks better than it has any right to be. While it utilizes a mono track, the film doesn’t really demand the ultimate surround sound experience. In terms of special features, we get interviews with some cast and crew. Lori Lethin turns out to not really be a fan of the genre as she’s easily scared and acknowledges the irony of her starring in BLOODY BIRTHDAY. Another feature focuses on the killer kids subgenre and helped me with creating a wishlist of movies to discover so I can pull onto my smug suspenders when discussing these movies with the friends I don’t have. There’s also interviews with a couple of the producers along with two completely different commentaries, including one with the director.

This is one of those Arrow releases that’s going to help generate new fans and possibly make BLOODY BIRTHDAY a slasher cult classic. This is one of those must see for fans of 80s horror and some badass kids doing what they do best. BLOODY BIRTHDAY is now available to own on Blu-ray from Arrow Video.

Jovy Skol
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