Happy Birthday to Me [Import]
Get ready for a taut mystery-shocker that will keep you at your wit's end and at the edge of your seat. Popular high school senior Virginia Wainwright (Melissa Sue Anderson) survives a freak accident, but suffers from memory loss and traumatic blackouts. As she attempts to resume a normal life, something terrible is happening - her friends are ruthlessly murdered one-by-one. Will she be the next victim or is she the killer? The terrifying truth is finally uncovered at Virginia's 18th birthday party and you're invited.
Happy Birthday to Me typifies the horror genre prior to the self-reflection and irony that saturated the genre in the late '80s and '90s. A solid cast, decent acting, a well-written script, and relatively high production values result in a solid movie that is engaging on its own in addition to offering a glimpse into the history of '80s horror. The plot follows the rules of the genre (later parodied in such films as the Scream and Scary Movie series). A number of teenagers (played by actors who appear visibly older than their characters) from an elite prep school get into mischievous sexual situations fueled by alcohol and pot smoking. As teens start to disappear, murdered in a variety of violent ways, the film suggests a number of suspects. Is the killer the troubled star played by Melissa Sue Anderson who lost her overbearing, social-climbing mother in a car accident that she survived? Or is it the stern school mistress, the wacky, cool social clown, the social misfit, or none of the above? The film keeps you guessing until the final scene. Happy Birthday is a must-see for serious fans of the horror genre and this release is a solid digital mastering of the movie. Hardcore fans should note that the DVD release was not able to secure the rights to the original soundtrack so this version features an alternate soundtrack of largely nondescript '80s electronic music. --Brian Saltzman
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Top Customer Reviews
Ginny's friends are systematically being knocked off in bizarre and brutal ways. Is she going off her rocker (she suffers from blackouts, due to her traumatic car accident which claimed the life of her mother), or is someone close to her committing the evil deeds? Her psychiatrist, David Faraday, attempts to assist her in unraveling her nightmare.
It's a pity that Glenn Ford was unable to find a better project to lure him back to his native Canadian soil. As he is usually a much better judge of scripts, it's a safe assumption that he was most likely in dire financial straits. The poor guy just looks lost - and who can find fault with him for that - although to his credit he tries to rise above the material, despite the atrocious dialogue he is often saddled with, and his character is sympathetic. But he never succeeds in looking comfortable, and in some scenes you can almost see that he's trying his mightiest not to fluster with embarrassment. And if you don't mind Miss Little House On The Praire seeming as if she's had a lobotomy in some sequences, you'll manage just fine. Melissa Sue Anderson's incandescent but sometimes vacant blue eyes make her ideal as the confused, helpless young heroine.Read more ›
I dislike the cover and title as it tends to be a plot spoiler for that person who hasn't sen the film. Although the twist was a bit weird and sets up other horror films with a similar twist. If you could show this to a horror lover without them seeing the DVD cover or title, I am sure they would appreciate it.
Ignore the US "R" rating, it should be PG-13.
Most recent customer reviews
The film is far from perfect, the story especially is a complicated head scratcher by the end of the film. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Shaun Leaman
5 out 5 stars when it comes to slashers! Clever plot twists, inventive murder scenes, and a great build up to the ending. Read morePublished on March 9 2004 by Phillip Lupo Jr
Thanks to horror classics like Halloween, The Howling, and The Exorcist, the genre saw a resurgence in the 70's and 80's, not even matched by today's standards. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2003 by T. Lobascio