Happy Birthday To Me (1981) Review

Happy Birthday to Me Posterby Jesse Miller, MoreHorror.com

 The film centres on Virginia (Melissa Sue Anderson) who is struggling with stress following the recent death of her mother and recent brain surgery following a horrific accident.

As she struggles to come to terms with it all, someone or something is picking off her friends around her one by one in bizarre and slightly comical ways.
Is Virginia mentally unstable or does someone else have a dark agenda?

Happy Birthday To Me uses the traditional whodunit angle and closely examines Virginia’s friends, setting up possible candidates for the psychotic killer and giving motivations for each of the characters.
To further complicate the guessing game, the killer is shown to wear black gloves while committing the murders and in following scenes, a character will arrive late to the bar taking their black gloves off.

The characters here are your standard 80’s slasher film characters – one dimensional and uninteresting but the cast turn in serviceable performances regardless, with Melissa Sue Anderson being a highlight as the hapless, helpless Virginia.

However, I found I couldn’t make any sort of connection with these rich kid stereotypes.

I was captivated, not by who these characters are but rather, what cheesy dialogue they were going to say next or how hilariously demented the next death scene was going to be.

Happy Birthday To Me may be derivative and it may be silly, but it’s actually quite inventive and most of all, it can be great fun.
For me, this is one slasher film that stands out from the rest of the bunch, not only for its bizarre kill scenes but that bloodily brilliant shocker of an ending that was a wonderfully twisted, gruesome and inspired finale that I never saw coming.

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