#234 -- Bloody Birthday (1981)

Rating: 3 / 5
Director: Ed Hunt

You can pretty much tell the basic idea of the movie by looking at the poster. It's got something to do with kids, and a birthday. If you read the synopsis given to you by Netflix or IMDB, you'll know that these children enjoy killing people. Don't be mistaken by thinking that they mean "kids" as in teenagers; no, these are little kids. Like, ten years old. They're Debbie, Curtis, and Steven, and they were all born on the same day in  1970. The first murder happens when a couple is having sex in a grave. The boy is beaten in the head with a shovel, and the girl is strangled by a jump rope. They don't show us, at that point, who the murderer is, but from then on we know exactly what's going on.

The story mostly follows another ten year old boy, Timmy, and his older sister Joyce. Their parents are away on vacation, which leaves Joyce in charge of her little brother. When people all over town start dying, they get pretty nervous. Joyce knows that the kids have something to do with it, but the kids are way too smart for her. A well-placed prank makes all the townspeople believe she's crazy, so there's no way the kids can get caught. At least, not right away. After killing the two teens in the graveyard, they kill the town sheriff, who happens to be Debbie's father, followed by a group of other people. Later on, Curtis acquires the sheriff's gun, so he becomes even more dangerous. I think the kids just like killing people; it doesn't seem like they care who it is, as long as they get some blood on their hands. If something stops them from killing one person, they'll just move on to the next. But the ones they really want are Timmy and Joyce, because they're the ones who can expose them.

It seems that Debbie is the brains behind the operation, Curtis is the muscle, and Steven is just kind of there. They all play their own parts in the murders, though, so don't think there's only one to blame. They even keep a scrapbook of all the people they kill. Creepy, huh? It seems, throughout the majority of the movie, that they're killing people for no reason. But it's all got to do with horoscopes and astrology, which Joyce discovers through a project she's doing. The day the kids were born, there was an eclipse that blocked Saturn. Joyce said that Saturn controls emotions, so the kids should have something missing from their personalities. It could be their conscience, their morality, or their sanity. Maybe their compassion. Or, perhaps, maybe they're all just incapable of feeling anything. Who knows.

Call me a nerd one more time!
So, are the kids any good? I think the little actors actually did a pretty good job. Steven looked crazy, Curtis looked like he didn't belong with them at all (even though he ended up being the worst of the bunch), and Debbie looked exactly like I would expect a killer child to look. She was perfect on the outside; she was sweet and polite and a perfect little "angel face." But on the inside? Cuckoo for cocoa puffs. To me, she was the creepiest one of them all. Would I put them in my top five creepiest kids? No. But I can 't deny that they were creepy, and those actors did a great job.

Bloody Birthday was an okay movie. There wasn't very much suspense, though, since we know all along who the killers are. I think it would have been better if we hadn't known, so we could have that shock value of realizing, "Oh, shit! It's little kids!" I also think that someone would have heard the gunshots as Curtis was shooting his victims down, and that a ten year-old boy with a gun would have been suspicious. So that seemed a little unrealistic to me. But overall, it was a pretty good movie with some creepy little kids taking people out just for shits and giggles.

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