Review by The Headless Critic
Happy Birthday to Me – 1981
Recovered from a deadly car accident that left Virginia Wainwright (Melissa Sue Anderson) in need of brain surgery, the teen girl has returned to high school in seemingly perfect health. She’s proud to be one of the elite members of her school in both popularity and academics. Virginia’s 18th birthday is coming up and ”You're invited to the bloodiest party of the year.” Just as she thinks life is returning to a normal, “Six of the most bizarre murders you will ever see” take place and her group of friends is the target. “Who's killing the school's snobbish top ten? At the rate they're going, there will be no one left for Virginia's birthday party... alive.” “R.S.V.P or die!”
Happy Birthday to Me is a somewhat overlooked 80’s slasher that’s a lot of fun. Before it was as popular to do so, J. Lee Thompson’s slasherpiece focuses on the kills. “Etienne (Michel-René Labelle) will never ride a motorcycle again.” “Greg (Richard Rebiere) will never lift weights again.” “Steven (Matt Craven) will never eat shish kebab again.” Maybe Bernadette (Lesleh Donaldson) will even learn that when escaping a potential killer, she should run more than five feet away before stopping to take a breath. These exciting kills may not live up to today’s SAW standards but they’re far more realistic and where else will you see someone deep throat a shish kebab? “It is up to you to determine whether you wish to subject yourself to fear, terror... and shock!”
Slashers from the 1980’s hold a special place in my heart as the bread and butter or blood and boobs if you will, of horror that I grew up on. Melissa Sue Anderson isn’t the best actress to lead a film and it may feel a bit like a made for tv movie but it still provides some excellent kills, a fun twist ending and holds its on with slashers of the era. Come on, “It’ll be a killer party”
3 out of 5 Headless Critics
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