Happy Birthday to Me Reviews
I believe the version I saw was edited, or the movie was cut and there is no uncut version, but whatever the case a lot of blood was obviously missing. It may have enhanced the experience because I was sort of put off by the fast cuts away.
The ending is way too complicated and convoluted. The entire plot is a bit of a mess and has several different things going on just to have that twist ending. Every slasher movie was always trying to have a twist ending and this one is no different. The funny thing is, so many of these slasher movies run together that they end up having similar endings. There is actually another slasher movie called The Initiation that has the same basic twist ending. Though, that movie came out a few years later, so you can't make the argument that Happy Birthday to Me ripped it off. Maybe there was another horror movie with the same twist though, because I have felt like I've seen it before.
Either way, it's not the worst slasher out there, just way too long. The makeup looks great on the dead bodies, but the edits really took away from it for me. Maybe worth a watch for big slasher fans out there, but otherwise this can be passed.
Also, the poster is way too goofy for this movie. It's actually a pretty straightforward slasher flick with little to no comedic relief. In fact, it kind of takes itself a bit too serious and you would never think that based on the poster/cover art for the movie. It's definitely one of the more memorable 80s horror movie posters though.
[originally posted 19Jul2001]
J. Lee Thompson may have directed films in Hollywood for almost four decades, but somehow they never got any better (his final film was the Charles Bronson howler Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects, eight years after this mess). Melissa Sue Anderson, seemingly desperate to shake the good-girl image that came with the success of Little House on the Prairie, plays the coed whose friends are getting killed one by one as her birthday approaches. She always seems to be in the area, but just can't seem to remember actually killing anyone. (Oh, come on, you can figure it out.) Unfortunately, the only thing this movie actually killed was Anderson's burgeoning career as a serious non-typecast actress. Special effects, direction, etc., are about what you'd expect from a bargain-basement Halloween clone. There are some good lines, though, and one character has a pet rat. So the movie is saved from complete destruction, but not by much. * 1/2