You know what rented better than horror movies in the 80’s? Nothing! You know why? The cover, plain and simple. If the cover looked great you rented it. I can’t tell you how many horror titles I just rented because the cover caught my eye. Sure some of them stunk, but that art work was great. I really miss it. One of the better covers was Happy Birthday to Me. It’s got a guy on it with his mouth wide opened and a terrified look on his face as a skewer of some type of kabob is going into his mouth to no doubt kill him. The tagline reads “Six of the most Bizzar Murders You Will Ever See!” I mean who wouldn’t want to watch that.
Happy Birthday to Me is the tale of Ginny Wainwright. She’s a member of an elite group at his school known as “The Top Ten” it consists of the rich and popular kids. The kind who have enemies. Ginny was involved in a horrible accident and had reconstructive brain tissue restoration. It left her with all kinds of mental issues. Now to make things worse there is a killer targeting her Top Ten clique.
It seems as though Ginny is responsible for these murders. In fact she herself even believes she is blacking out and killing her friends, but what would a horror movie be without a twist ending. And in case you’re wondering, yes, this does take place on and around Ginny’s birthday.
The murders are well done. Featuring the use of practical effects most of them still look good today. Kabob kills, stabbings, even a fireplace poker. The film does pack enough punch to make it a really well done slasher film. Some of the acting is bad, but in all honesty that only adds to the charm of this 80’s horror cult classic.
The film was well received at the box office and on home video when it was released. It’s often compared to Friday the 13th, but I’ve never seen the similarity other than it’s a slasher film. Happy Birthday to Me has enough weird and goofy elements to make it stand out. I mean the plot twists are to the point of comedy as they are so over the top.
As I stated the cover art of the film helped to make it a cult classic and now Mill Creek is giving it the Retro VHS treatment it deserves. Using the now iconic cover pic, and made to look all wrinkled and worn out this one really stands out in there collection. Featuring a horror rental sticker, and in this release case tape markings and a side number sticker this really looks like a worn out vhs tape from the rental heydays of the 80’s and 90’s.
I still enjoy the film and consider it a must see slasher film just for the ending twist alone. You add in the awesome cover art, and of course the flawless Blu-ray transfer and you have a winner. It’s probably the best cover of their set of VHS covers so far. The film still holds up, and is a must by for horror fans, collectors, and people just looking for a good little horror film.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!