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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Thriller > Slasher > Happy Birthday To Me (1980/Anchor Bay DVD)

Happy Birthday To Me (1980/Anchor Bay DVD)


Picture: C-     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Film: C+



Back in the 1970s and 1980s, there was a trend within the horror genre – and the slasher subgenre in particular – to theme films around a specific date or holiday.  Recently a lot of these have been getting the remake treatment (My Bloody Valentine, Prom Night, Black Christmas, Friday the 13th) and the next on the way is Happy Birthday to Me.  Regardless of your opinions concerning the recent rash of remakes, they have at least brought renewed interest to the originals, hence this re-release of Happy Birthday to Me.


A classic of the 1980s slasher trend, Happy Birthday to Me is about Ginny Wainwright, the new girl in her circle of friends, until that circle starts getting smaller as its members begin to disappear.  Ginny starts to suspect herself as her repressed past begins to force its way back to the surface.


Happy Birthday to Me is unique amongst its contemporaries as it turns the traditional “final girl” slasher plot structure on its head.  In addition, this film features some of the most original kills you’re likely to see in a horror movie of the period, including the infamous shish-kebob kill featured on the cover.


The picture, in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, definitely has the look of cheap film from the 1980s, but the sound quality is better, in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.  The only special feature is a trailer.


With one of the best endings of any slasher flick of any era, the remake will have some pretty big shoes to fill.  Much of the movie is fairly standard 1980s horror fare, but it does have moments of brilliance.  This is one original you’ll want to see before the remake comes out.



-   Matthew Carrick


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