Happy Birthday To Me
Run Time: 108 minutes
Production Company: Columbia Pictures
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Starring: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Tracy Bregman
T & A: Hell Yes
Shit on the Flag: Blood on the rainbow
With the teaser line "Six Of The Most Bizarre Murders You Will Ever See" and a cover that featured a guy getting his head impaled with a shishkabob laden with steak and bell peppers- it shouldn't surprise you that the old-school video nugget "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME" fell into our evil clutches during our last sortie to QUALITY VIDEO. Now over the years we've seen countless thousands murdered in some decidedly fucked up ways (you forget we went to public school)... so when this movie essentially issued a DOUBLE DARE to us from its nesting place on the video shelf (sandwiched between "CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS" & "ALL BLACK GANGBANGERS VOLUME IV") we were powerless to resist. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME" was destined to be viewed, have its kills intently scrutinized, and basically be purged from the collective bowels of the NOTC Staff in a violent rectal airburst that would flatten trees for 4 miles, shatter window glass, and give your grandma herpes. So, with all of this in mind- we sat down to watch this loathsome bottom feeder with the plan to pass judgement on each individual kill. That's exactly what we did. Listed below are each of the kills featured in "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME", along with their individual star ratings and brief descriptions.
But before we can get down to the titty gritty and review this heaving host of kills we've got to take a look at the element that completely gets in the way of ANY good flesh feast: THE PLOT. And whoa shit... "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME" has a plot that's about as snarled as the slate grey tuft of wiry hair that pokes out of a mountain man's asshole. So, although it would be easier to explain ZEN & THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE to a trailer full of crippled third grade retards, I shall try my best to convey this shit to each and every one of you bastards out there on WEB TV.
Although high school academy prep queen Virginia enjoys her membership in the elitist asshole popularity club known as "THE TOP TEN", life was not always shits and giggles for her. As a matter of fact, she's a fucking psychopath. As a little girl, she was not invited to a birthday party held by one of her schoolmates. After crying about it like a spoiled little brat for a while, her equally psychopathic alcoholic mom decided that she was going to crash the birthday party and get her daughter in one way or another. Well, while mommy dearest is driving 150 mph dow nthe road, hellbent on party crashin', she and her daughter get in a horrible accident. Mommy croaks, and Virginia gets such severe brain damage that the doctors have to use some freak form of experimental surgery (that just so happens to erase memories) to save her life. Flash forward 10 years- Virginia is enrolled in a prestigous high school academy and is beginning to have violently disturbing flashbacks of her mom's death and her unhappy childhood. About the same time she begins to consult the friendly neighborhood psychiatrist, Dr. Faraday- the members of THE TOP TEN club start getting murdered. so who is behind all of these murders? Virginia? Her dead mother? Or mayber her EVIL TWIN? It's a mystery that will keep you nauseated until the very last "suprise twist" ending. Gripping drama it definitely AIN'T.
But who gives a flying chinchilla shit about PLOT in this kind of movie anyway, right? What we all come to see (besides the occassional flopping titty) is good old fashioned KILLING. This is where we break the review down into SHAOLIN ATTACK MODE. Listed below are "SIX OF THE MOST BIZARRE MURDERS YOU WILL EVER SEE"... at least, in theory. Here's what we thought:
KILL ONE: Straight Razor to The Throat
What the fuck? How bizarre is this? I mean, slashing someone's throat with a frying pan or a billy goat would be pretty damn bizarre. This kill, although well executed for what it is, it doesn't live up to the hype. Boo!
BONUS "KILL" ONE: Trans Am Eagle Slam
Although not exactly what we'd call a "kill" in the industry (seeing as nobody got killed during this) the scene where the powder blue TRANS AM with the Eagle on the hood jumps the drawbridge and complete fucks its front end up had us punching rewind 20 times. I have never seen a front bumper disappear so quickly from the face of the earth. A goddamned highlight if I've ever seen one.
KILL TWO: Motorcycle to Face
This is where the French exchange student gets his long "TOP TEN" scarf caught up in the axle of his dirt bike. Needless to say, when his face and the grinding wheel of the motorcyle finally meet- there will be enough hamburger meat for everyone. Pretty damn funny... and admittedly creative... not too bad.
KILL THREE: Barbell to Nutsack / 500 Pound Bench Press Decapitation
Holy Shit! If all the kills were this funny- we'd crown a new King of the Ring. This kill is absolutely hysterical. It has ait all: tension, drama, nutsack getting squished, and a musclebound jock getting his head popped off his fucking body by his own weight bar. SIMPLY AWESOME!!!!
KILL FOUR: Hedgeclippers to Abdomen
Ho hum shit, really. Resident nerd Alfred makes the mistake of disturbing the killer when she's pruning weeds in the cemetary. suprise! You're dead! Not shocking. About as bizarre as the Warp Zone in Super Mario Borthers.
KILL FIVE: Shish Kabob to Brain
Another classic kill served up fresh from your mortician's freezer! During a romantic fireside dinner engagement, our hapless victim tries to act all suave and have his partner feed him 10" shish kabobs laden with beef, peppers, and spice. Guess who the killer is? DOH! A memorable moment in cinema history. Classic!
KILL SIX: Fire Poker to the Head
When the psychiatrist pays a house call... he gets a bit more than he bargained for: in the form of a 3 foot metal bar busting his brainpan. I honestly never new so much brain and blood could be crammed into a human skull. I guess the psychiatrist was just really smart. Quick & Dirty... but nice.
BONUS KILL TWO: KILL DADDY
Wow. how quaint! Daddy decided to come home just in time for the birthday party! Too bad the killer slits his fucking throat and he gets his blood all over the cake. Make a wish! Sike.
BONUS KILL THREE: KILL THE EVIL TWIN
What's the most bizarre way someone could kill the person responsible for all of this carnage? Why not with a standard STAB TO THE CHEST. Yes, that's right... in the time honored method that was used THREE MILLION FUCKING YEARS AGO when THAK stole GROG's brontosaurus burger- we are treated to a simple stab wound. Fuck that.
BONUS KILL FOUR: KILL ME
Jesus. I don't know what was more painful... watching the movie at 1:00AM... or writing this epic shithouse review for it. All in all, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME" had some really excellent moments... but they seem very spread out over the course of 108 minutes. Definitely didn't live up its claims of being full of crazy kills.... but it did deliver with two (or 3) of them (barbell to nutsack, shish kabob to face... and that damn Trans Am crash). Decidedly old world flavor abounds in this film... but I think its expiration date was June 13th, 1987. By all means, give it a shot at your next fest... but don't come crying to us if it gives you the shits!
Our Rating System
Z-Man: "This is definitely the kind of movie that gets much better when you talk up the kills with people... but can be about as much fun as a having a pirate's treasure map tattooed on your dickhead if you sit through and watch the whole thing. Keep that FAST FORWARD button handy... you'll need it!"
Eagle Te: " Not too terribly bad although the murders are not nearly as good as the box advertises. There are several scenes which are truly hysterical but it's the down time in between that gets to you! I must also note that it was particularly painful for me to watch a fellow eagle and treasured American cultural icon crash into the cold concrete so ingloriously. What are we coming to......."