Bloody Birthday (1981)
A fun but poorly-made horror film starring kids as the killers, "Bloody Birthday" has the production values of a TV movie, very few actual scares, and villains will all the menace of a cloudy day.
Debbie, Steven and Curtis are all born on the same day, during a solar eclipse. On the eve of their 10th birthday, the tykes embark on a killing spree. Their neighbors — the mousy teen amateur astrologist Joyce and her little brother Timmy — are the only ones who suspect anything.
But murder is not the only vice the kids have. Debbie charges her compatriots to peep on her big sister (through a hole in the wall) as she undresses and dances to hearty ’70s rock, leading to the film's best line, when one of the kids fears she'll catch them: “Don’t worry. All her brains are in her bra."
There's plenty of other sex as well: a young couple makes out in an open grave; two teens get nasty in the back of a van. As you can guess, they don't come to good ends.
The film is largely filmed with a one-camera style with little movement on bland, poorly-conceived sets.
The trio victimizes Debbie’s father, their teacher and random other teens and kids with a rope, a shovel, a baseball bat, an arrow to the eye, a junkyard refrigerator and a car.
"Birthday" is full of discotastic developments: Joyce discovers the kids are killers while reading their astrology charts; the rather industrious and creative Debbie keeps a scrapbook of the murders; in one scene as Steven stands outside preparing to shoot someone, headlights from across the street shine on him. The drivers either ignore or don’t notice him pointing a gun at a house, as they drive off without incident. In one sequence, a newspaper headline reads “Psycho murders teacher.”
The film's climax finds the three killers against a girl roughly twice their age who can't seem to overpower any of them, and a little boy who finally tires of being brutalized.
There is also a variety of people who would go on to some level of fame. Freeman continues to act today, mostly in commercials. Michael Dudikoff, who appears briefly, had a long b-movie career highlighted by the "American Ninja" films of the 1980s, and Joe Penny went on to TV stardom in the 1980s, starring in, among other shows, "Jake and the Fatman."
There's plenty to love (to hate) about "Bloody Birthday," from its lousy blocking to its corny effects and lack of any real scares.