Bluray Review – Happy Birthday to me (1981)

, , Leave a comment



Virginia Wainwright is a spirited young woman who has returned to a private school having survived a deadly accident and regenerative brain surgery. She is proud that she belongs to the Top Ten, the school’s inner circle with the best students, and attempts to resume a normal life. But her friends are falling prey to a gruelling series of murders, and soon there will be no one left to attend her 18th birthday party.

Happy Birthday to Me is an often neglected and seldom viewed 80’s cinema mint. The film skillfully manages to be gory and raw, without becoming revolting. There are 6 bizarre murders as the poster promises, with the notorious shish kebab scene remaining one that will always live in infamy. The only thing more delightful than these sadistic killings is, of course, the twist ending.

The twist is virtually unpredictable as it comes nearly entirely out of left field and let us not forget about the theme song that one hears shortly after. As an audience member, one barely has time to compose themselves after the twist when they are treated to one of the eeriest songs ever composed during the end credits. Not to say I don’t have my problems with the ending. It’s very convoluted and confusing like it’s too much too fast and it’s a character I didn’t even recognise.

If you’re a fan of the slasher, you should add this one to your bucket list. You gotta love early 80s horror!

A smaller selection of special features but still a great package. The excellent 1080p transfer is present and VERY correct, for a film from ’81 it looks incredible. The main feature is a Indicator exclusive audio commentary from Justin Kerswell and the guys from The Hysteria Continues podcast. It’s an extremely fun and informative commentary, they all have different views on the film, it’s like you’re talking about the film with a bunch of friends. Well worth a listen. It also shows includes an alternative soundtrack (different score and music) and a bunch of original tv spots.

Peter Fletcher

Horror, Thriller | USA, 1981 | 15 | Powerhouse Films | 12th December 2016 (UK) |Dir.J.Lee Thompson |Glenn Ford, Melissa Sue Anderson, Lawrence Dane, Sharon Ecker | Buy:Happy Birthday to Me [Dual Format] [Blu-ray]