a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…
Happy Birthday to Me
It'll be a killer party!
Virginia is proud that she belongs to a clique. The best students at a private school. But before her 18th birthday, a grueling set of murders take place and her friends are the ones who are falling prey. Could it be her? She suffers from blackouts due to a freak accident one year earlier. We soon learn the truth behind her accident and what is going on...
You're slowly going crazy and it's all in your head, right? A theme explored in movies such as: Repulsion, Belle de Jour and Triangle. In all honesty, not one of my favorite plot devices. My scores for movies such as these, tend to be a star or so lower than the average. Happy Birthday to Me is a movie that falls into this category. Good news, I still enjoyed it!
I find it hilarious J Lee Thompson directed. The same director of The Guns of Navarone and Cape Fear, directed an early 80s low-budget Canadian slasher starring Melissa Sue Anderson from Little House on the Prairie, and featuring Glenn Ford from 3:10 to Yuma as a concerned doctor. Notice the…
When revisiting Happy Birthday to Me yesterday, neither my husband nor I had seen it in years. Somehow we both managed to remember different things but there was a lot of trying to recall twists&kills on both our parts. That's usually a pretty annoying disadvantage to re-watching a movie you've only seen once or twice, you spend more time trying to remember things instead of just watching what is going on and enjoying it.
The greatest slasher films came out around this time. From mid-to late 70s right up until the mid-1980s, slasher films were at their best. Mostly in thanks to having a budget (thanks to supply&demand from depraved gore-forefathers), decent scripts and professional actors. I can't help but…
It's my birthday today (yay), so this seemed like the obvious choice. It definitely has that lived in feel that I love, with the characters bantering constantly. I love when they're talking about High Noon and Zinneman. Or I love the kind of in-movie hamming that Rudy does in the church chapel, speaking in this Lugosi-like voice.
These early Canadian slashers also seem to show a bit more of their giallo heritage than their American siblings. There's a bit more emphasis on mystery. More a vaguely 'art house' feel at times. And of those I've watched for Hoop-Tober so far, I think they have all featured the classic black gloves. This one definitely falls on the…
Hoop-tober Film #14: Canada, 1980s, Psychotic Women
There aren’t a ton of advantages to having a terrible memory, but one notable perk is being able to re-experience the nutty ending of this movie without knowing the details.
In my review for Bloody Birthday I wrote a little bit about my history with Happy Birthday to Me, a movie I have been curious about for my whole life. The poster with the barbecue stick have been lingering in my mind since I was a little boy. Now that I have finally seen it, I feel happy and sad at the same time. I am satisfied because I loved almost the whole movie. The death scenes are great, it doesn't look dated as I expected, the killer is awesome* and Melissa Sue Anderson is absolutely PERFECT!
Unfortunately, I hated the ending! I was having a blast watching Happy Birthday to Me, even considering it to figure among my top 5 slasher movies, but the twist at the end, which I won't spoil, was a HUGE let down. In fact, it was one of the most negatively impactating ends I can remember seeing.
this film really goes off the deep end at the finish but you can't deny its original, i hate HATE it when people are like "wow thats unbelievable" like you're not watching a fictional made up story anyway but this really goes nuts but that's what elevated it for me i guess, because its memorable.
too long for my tastes but its definitely got an atmosphere to keep you watching.
It's a shame this thing was an hour and fifty minutes long because other than the endless runtime, it has all of the hallmarks of a great early 80's slasher film.
Day 21 of "31 Days of Harruhh!"
Melissa Sue Anderson gives a strong, nuanced performance as a high school student whose new friends are being mysteriously picked off one by one. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME starts fairly standard, and even a little slow—yet it's completely redeemed when it gets to the final act and everything comes to a head. It's got some delightfully bonkers revelations that make this all worthwhile.
The only time I saw this was during a busy evening and on my muddy looking Region 2 import, so seeing it with all my concentration focused this time and on blu-ray made it feel like a first time watch. And throughout I was trying to recall the ending and not remembering a damned thing about it which added to the fun. It's not often anymore that we get slashers with such a grand visual style and the money to back it, along with a real sense of scheming to the kills and setups. It feels a little long in the tooth but as a whole it's a highlight of the early slasher cycle,…
I have no problem liking, enjoying and recommending this film. It has Glenn Ford, my first crush Melissa Sue Anderson (who was the only reason I ever bothered watching 'Little House on the Prairie' when I was a kid) and it's cheesy 80's horror to the max.
A group of college students known as "the top 10", including newbie Virginia, are being dispatched by a killer wearing leather black gloves, clearly paying homage to giallo films which had about run their course by this point.
It's revealed early on that Virginia was the subject of experimental brain surgery following an accident that's now causing blackouts and memories to resurface. Cue classic actor Glenn Ford as her doctor.
It's makes the plot more layered and Happy Birthday To Me is in some respects better than a lot of other slashers of the 80's, but even they knew not to outstay their welcome. At 2 hours in length, the film is definitely overlong by a good 20-30 minutes.
This slasher truly is like a meaty shish kebab. It doesn't matter in what order the pieces of story are jumbled along its metal rod, you still know the sharp end's eventually gonna jab someone in the head, and that's what truly matters in a slasher film. There's some illogical flaws here and there so it feels like everyone (the writers, actors, filmmakers) were challenging each other to be as convoluted as possible and to also do it on the fly. In fact the story could almost be a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book that they had to adapt for film somehow. Perhaps this explains the surreal sequence where Ginny's father has to get past 3 stages of swirling shrubs to get to the finale? It basically has 3 conclusions that over write each other as easily as changing pieces on a shish kebab stick. Duffman recommends playing as a double feature with "My Bloody Valentine".
J. Lee Thompson crafts one heck of a stylish Canadian style Giallo that completely deflates in its last hour which gets bogged down in endless flashbacks.
HORROR FILM A DAY OCTOBER 2016
WATCHED AS PART OF MY UNSEEN 80S PROJECT
Strange, slightly overlong but not entirely unenjoyable slasher movie from the director of Cape Fear, Ice Cold in Alex, The Guns of Navarone ..... and numerous Charles Bronson flicks. While the kills are perfectly fine, the stuff in between is uneven, slightly confusing and not even remotely scary. The ending is batshit insane and almost redeems the entire thing simply because of how ridiculous it is. Slightly odd to see Glenn Ford in a film like this, I assume they were trying for the Donald Pleasence/Halloween gravitas thing but he does practically nothing.
And yes, I watched this on my birthday because I'm a dork.
Happy Birthday to Me could be a very fun horror movie. There are some unique and entertaining kills throughout the movie, and the ending is a real shock, mainly because it's just too crazy to believe - so it's unfortunate that long stretches of the movie are just so boring. There are something like 15 named characters in the movie, so why are the murders so spread out? It's not as if we like the kids enough to want any of them to survive; they are all assholes. The absurd violence and conclusion could have made for a nutso experience, instead, it makes for a ho-hum experience punctuated with nutso moments.
Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Step Two: Pick a Number.
Step Three: GET WEIRD!
The 2016 (2nd) edition of the list. You can see the original and more info here.
With a list of…