Bloody Birthday (1981)

Article 4503 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 4-13-2014
Directed by Ed Hunt
Featuring Lori Lethin, Melinda Cordell, Julie Brown
Country: USA
What it is: THE BAD SEED as a slasher

Three children, all born during a total eclipse, grow up without consciences. As their tenth birthday approaches, they engage on a murder spree.

I’ve seen several sources describe this movie as THE BAD SEED conceived as a slasher film, and that’s about as good a description as any. Of course, being a slasher film, it has none of the literary or psychological ambitions of its model, but I didn’t expect that it would. Considered as a slasher film, at least the concept is a bit novel in comparison to the usual masked killing machine. The movie itself is flatly directed, and not particularly good, and it seems more interested in nudity than bloodletting for some reason. It is interesting to consider in light of the unspoken taboo against killing children in a movie; the only people that are killed by the evil children are adults and older teenagers, and though one of their targets is a fellow child, they can never actually get around to doing so. Furthermore, the perpetrators themselves cannot be killed without breaking that taboo. Given this situation, it becomes obvious that neither good nor evil can be totally triumphant in this movie. It’s no surprise that the ending has to be a compromise of some sort. And, despite the fact that it sets itself up for one, no sequel was forthcoming.


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