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Ghost Canyon

'Bloody Birthday: Special Edition'
(Lori Lethin, KC Martell, Elizabeth Hoy, Julie Brown, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1981) 2018 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: Three children are born at the height of an eclipse of the sun. Ten years later, they begin to murder the people around them - even their family members.

Blu-ray Verdict: The Bad Seed meets Halloween in this deliciously twisted early 80s slasher offering directed by Ed Hunt (The Brain) and starring the always loveable Lori Lethin (Return to Horror High, The Prey).

'Bloody Birthday' is one of those movies that surprisingly ages well enough to remain watchable nowadays. Not a masterpiece for sure, but still entertaining and surprisingly enough, it doesn't really have a lot of unintentionally funny scenes.

I know it's a shocker if we keep in mind that this is a low budget flick from the early '80s about a group of evil children who kill people. But trust me, the movie manages to remain respectable and watchable for the most part.

The story revolves around three children who are born during a a total eclipse. According to astrology, during eclipses, the sun and the moon block Saturn, which controls emotions. As a consequence, the three children who are born that day, eventually become uncaring and evil.

Since they don't experience any feelings of remorse whatsoever, these 10-year-old kids gang up against basically everyone who stands in their way, including their own parents and siblings... and kill them!

The body count increases day after day and the police authorities believe that there's a psychopath lurking around the place. In the meantime, Debbie, Curtis and Steven, don't hesitate to keep butchering people.

I was expecting some hilariously bad scenes, but the movie proved me wrong. True, it's not exactly what most people would consider a 'serious' horror movie, but if I have to be fair, I'd say that the story is decently executed.

One of the most important reasons why one would normally expect laughable situations (like I did), it's because in these kind of movies in which the main villains are children, the young actors tend to be plain awful and they make the whole thing laughable.

Let's face it: kids tend to be horrible actors, which is understandable and we can't blame them for that. But to my surprise, the three young actors who played the merciless killers in this film, looked very disturbing and not at all funny.

The rest of the actors are also good and if you're a George Clooney fan, you can see his uncle playing a doctor in this movie. Yeah, I know right?... who cares?. Also, Julie Brown, the great actress, singer, comedienne and gay icon, gives a solid performance as the naughty older sister and in case anyone is interested in nudity: she also strips in one of the scenes and she looks great naked.

Too bad she didn't have more time on the screen though! Julie is 'absolutely fabulous' as is this movie, if you allow it to be what it is, of course!

So basically, this movie is fine if you're in the mood for some modest horror from the '80s. My only objection regarding 'Bloody Birthday' would be the way to justify the children's motives.

This is perhaps one of the lowest points of the film. Let's see: if children who were born during an eclipse end up being heartless killers, then how come these three were the only ones who actually murdered people?

I'm sure there were other children who had been born the same day... and during other days of total eclipse too, oh well!. Overall, no big deal, it's just a simple observation, that's all. I've seen worse, trust me. Take 'The Children' (1980) for example, in which the precocious killer get their evilness after being turned into zombies by toxic cloud.

No, believe me, 'Bloody Birthday' is far more decent and if you enjoy simple slashers, you're going to enjoy this one very much. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original Uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with director Ed Hunt
Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
Brand new interview with actress Lori Lethin
Bad Seeds and Body Counts a brand new video appreciation of Bloody Birthday and the killer kid sub-genre by film journalist Chris Alexander
Archival interview with producer Max Rosenberg
Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Timothy Pittides
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing by Lee Gambin

www.ArrowFilms.com





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