Bloody Birthday is a 1981 American slasher film directed by Ed Hunt, produced by Gerald T. Olson, and starring Susan Strasberg, José Ferrer, and Lori Lethin. Its plot follows a group of children born on the same day who begin committing murders on their tenth birthdays.
|Directed by||Ed Hunt|
|Produced by||Gerald T. Olson|
|Music by||Arlon Ober|
|Cinematography||Stephen L. Posey|
|Edited by||Ann E. Mills|
|Distributed by||Rearguard Productions|
On June 9, 1970, at the Meadowvale General Hospital in Southern California, a doctor arrives to attend to three women in labor at the same time. Two boys and a girl are born during a solar eclipse.
Ten years later, a young couple is fooling around in the cemetery at night and get killed by a shovel and a jumping rope. The next day, Joyce arrives at the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School where Sheriff Brody is talking to Ms. Davis' class about the murder. He shows the children a handle of a skipping rope and asks if anyone was in the cemetery the night before. None of the children say anything and he leaves, saying goodbye to his daughter Debbie. After class, Debbie and her two friends, Curtis and Steven, invites Ms. Davis to their birthday party next week, but she turns them down.
Later, Debbie calls her father outside while skipping rope. Sheriff Brody narrowly evades a skateboard on the stairs, which is actually a trap set up by Curtis. Debbie drops her skipping rope on the ground, which is missing a handle. Suddenly, Steven beats the sheriff from behind with his wooden baseball bat as Debbie stands still and watches. While Steven and Curtis move the body, Debbie spots Timmy watching and quickly calls her mother.
After the sheriff's funeral, Curtis, Steven, Timmy and another boy play hide-and-seek in the junkyard. While Steven counts, Curtis tells Timmy to get inside a refrigerator and then locks him in. Timmy manages to escape and returns home before telling Joyce about the incident. Meanwhile, Debbie puts a picture of Ms. Davis in her scrapbook, which also contains an article about her father's death. That night, Debbie turns off the house security system and lets Curtis switch his replica gun with the sheriff's revolver.
A few days later, Curtis kills Ms. Davis in her kitchen with the revolver. Joyce discovers the body in a closet and upon returning home, she finds a note from Timmy, telling her he is in the junkyard. She goes looking for him there and the two boys attack her with a car. She avoids the car and it goes over a small cliff. A police officer arrives and Joyce tells him what happened.
That night, while discussing astrology with Timmy, Joyce says the solar eclipse that occurred during the births of Debbie, Curtis, and Steven has blocked Saturn, the planet controlling the way a person treats other people. Curtis waits outside with the revolver but instead kills a young couple in a van.
At Curtis, Steven, and Debbie's birthday party, Curtis tricks Joyce into believing that he poisoned the cake to make her look crazy. Soon enough, Debbie's sister, Beverly discovers Debbie's horrible secret with the newspaper clippings in the scrapbook as evidence and learns that she, Curtis and Steven were responsible for the murders, including their father's. She realizes that Joyce and Timmy were telling the truth all along and confronts Debbie for it. Debbie imputes the scrapbook to Curtis and Mrs. Brody forbids her from hanging out with him. Debbie tells Curtis and Steven to come to her house. Despite being told to wait for them, Debbie kills her older sister with an arrow and when the boys arrive, they hide the body.
The next day, Curtis, Steven, and Debbie attack a classmate, who had earlier picked on Curtis, and almost strangle him with a garden hose before Joyce stops them. Debbie once again blames Curtis and Steven and makes herself look innocent.
The next day, Debbie asks Joyce and Timmy to babysit her that night and Joyce agrees, unaware that it's a trap. When Joyce and Timmy get to Debbie's house, the kids attack them, but they fight back and finally capture Steven and Curtis. While Timmy calls the police from a neighbor's house, Debbie escapes through a window and gets in her mother's car. She lies to Mrs. Brody about Curtis and Steven, saying that they did bad things and blackmailed her into getting involved. Her mother believes her and runs away with her. Later, the police arrest Curtis and Steven, much to the shock and anger of the townsfolk. Before being taken away, Curtis gives Joyce and Timmy an evil smile, intending for revenge.
The last scene shows Debbie playing with a car jack outside a motel as her mother comes out looking for her. It turns out that they changed their names and moved to a different area. Her mother has Debbie recite her name again as Beth Simpson and she promises to be a good girl. After they leave, a driver is seen dead underneath a nearby truck.
- Susan Strasberg as Miss Viola Davis
- José Ferrer as Doctor
- Lori Lethin as Joyce Russell
- Melinda Cordell as Mrs. Brody
- Julie Brown as Beverly Brody
- Joe Penny as Mr. Harding
- Bert Kramer as Sheriff James Brody
- K.C. Martel as Timmy Russell
- Elizabeth Hoy as Debbie Brody
- Billy Jayne as Curtis Taylor
- Andy Freeman as Steven Seton
- Ben Marley as Duke Benson
- Erica Hope as Annie Smith
- Ellen Geer as Madge
- Michael Dudikoff as Willard
- Cyril O'Reilly as Paul
Bloody Birthday was given a belated limited release theatrically in the United States by Rearguard Productions in 1986. It was later released on VHS by Prism Entertainment in 1986 and Starmaker Entertainment in 1990.
The film was officially released on DVD by VCI Home Video in 2003.
It was released on Blu-ray by 88 Films in 2014. Arrow Video also released it on Blu-ray in 2018.
Allmovie called it "a bloody-fun time that's great for all of the wrong reasons."