Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Bloody Birthday" (1981) d/ Ed Hunt

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Anybody know if there was an eclipse on October 5th, 1969? The vein of earlier killer kiddie classics like Village of the Damned is well tapped in tonight's review,  from the director who sent Christopher Lee into the far reaches of outer space long before George Lucas did, with 1977's Starship Invasions. Watching this movie is like hitching a ride in Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine for somebody like me who's somehow matured into a reasonable adult after a similar childhood to the demonic little scapegraces on the screen. If you happen to be from my old neighborhood during this era: Eff you, I cop to nothing. If deviously remorseless ten year old's ( portrayed by Billy Jacoby/Jayne (who's older bro Scott was Bad Ronald), Elizabeth Hoy, and Andrew Freeman, respectively) hunting down the likes of Susan Strasberg and Julie Brown like game animals in eighties gear doesn't appeal to you, then you're probably on the wrong website.

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Remember MTV's two Julie Brown's? I always dug this one's wubba wubba wubba's over "Downtown" Julie's.
In 1970, three babies are born synchronous to a solar eclipse in California, with Saturn's astrological blockage leaving each child void of any real emotions or remorse. After nearly a decade has passed, we revisit the children as their tenth birthdays approach only to find that they've added insidious homicide to their play habits, as a young couple trying to enjoy cemetery sex soon find. Voyeurism is also a favorite, as we see Debbie earning pocket change by allowing Curtis and Steven (Wait, one's even named Steven? Spoooky.) to peep on her older sister, Beverly (Brown), as she mirror-dances with her buhhuhbas out. Timmy, a young peer, figures out the trio's propensity for wrongdoing after they lure him into a nearby junkyard and lock him in a discarded refrigerator. Debbie's father, the sheriff, is marked for a fatal accident on the steps, but when he steps over the strategically placed skateboard, Steven brains him with a baseball bat, instead. Their teacher, Ms. Davis (Strasberg) begins to catch on to their destructive vibe, but Curtis puts a slug in the woman's back in an empty classroom, for her interference.

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"No, I don't know what a skull fracture feels like, honey, why do you ask?"
Timmy's older sister Joyce (Lori Lethin) suspects the kids, but at their collective birthday bash, they fool her into thinking they've laced the party cakes with ant poison(!!), thus, making her seem like the unhinged one to the whole neighborhood. When Beverly stumbles upon her little sister's scrapbook of newspaper clippings concerning their growing list of crimes(!!!), she eats ocular arrow-driven death for her nosiness. Finally, Debbie asks Joyce and Timmy to babysit her, an elaborate trap that fails, getting Curtis and Steven subdued for the police while the devious little girl manages to escape. At home, Debbie tearfully implicates her partners-in-crime to her mother. At the crime scene, we see Curtis shoot a disturbed look at his failed last victims from the back of a police cruiser as it pulls away. Elsewhere, we see Debbie's mother rehearsing her daughter's new alias with her, unaware that she's already dropped a car on a local auto mechanic nearby, killing him...

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Take it from a former little bastard: These are little bastards.
You may remember Lethin from her genre work in fare like The Prey (1984) and 1987's Return to Horror High.When Julie Brown wasn't shaking her nude melons for ten year old boys, she was making funny music videos like "The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun".At least, it seemed a lot funnier before antisocial water heads started shooting up schools on a regular basis. Still, there's always Earth Girls Are Easy (1988), right? If you're plum tuckered out by the vast number of by-the-numbers 80's slasher flicks out there, this one might just provide the spark to enliven your appreciation of the sub-genre, all over again. Three wops, and a recommendation, say I.

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"C'mon, Julio, this is no time to fall asleep under the rear axle with preserves on your face..."
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