Thursday, April 6, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

Before I give this film a yay or a nay, let me comment on the music throughout. Ooooh it's so bad it's magically delicious. The first song made me feel like I was watching Flashdance, but the rest of the music in the movie sounded like the old Scooby-Doo cartoons, mixed in with disco. It made me giggle a little too much, probably at all the wrong moments. Even though the music seemed horrible, I still enjoyed it and even found myself dancing a lil' bit. (Sidenote: How awkward would it have been if my roommate walked in and there I was, dancing on the bed to Scooby-Doo music while a bloody murder scene played?!)

Yah, he would probably join in and we'd have ourselves a lil' dance party...cuz he's better than you! Anyways, the music was entertaining as was the rest of the movie.

The story: Virginia belongs to the clique of the elite 10 at Crawford Academy. She begins to have flashbacks of a horrible accident that led to her needing brain surgery. These flashbacks lead to long blackouts, where she can't remember anything that's happened. Meanwhile, her friends from the elite 10 are disappearing one by one. Virginia sees a few of her friends who have been murdered, and begins to think she is responsible for their deaths. Yet when she tries to show the bodies to someone else, the murder scene is cleaned up with no trace of murder. Has she lost her marbles?? Is she really killing off all her friends or is someone else responsible??

I think I liked this movie because it had a nice back story that went deeper than most typical slashers. Virginia came from a very wealthy but dysfunctional family. Her father was rarely home and her mother was a bitter alcoholic. Yet, her parents did love her. Her mother threw her a birthday party and invited all the richest kids from Virginia's school - the same kids who she is bestest friends with now! At the time, Virginia was very unpopular so none of the kids showed up, opting instead to go to one of their own parties. Mother freaked out and drove Virginia to the other party. Well, of course the snooty snoots wouldn't let her in, no matter how much hollerin' and crying Mother did. Mother got back in the car with Virginia (driving drunk...tsk tsk) and promptly misjudged a pull-up bridge. Mother died, and after taking a dip in the drink, Virginia got her head cut up pretty bad by a passing boat. She needed brain surgery, which is shown pretty explicitly in this movie. This surgery leads to headaches, black outs and possibly loopy behavior, so daddy dearest keeps a close eye on her. At least she's popular now, even if she is acting a lil' homicidal (and possibly killing off her only friends)!

I liked this movie, even with the implausible twist ending. I realize I gotta suspend my judgment cuz it's "just a movie" but accuracy and realism are pretty important in a movie. The twist ending here is just not realistic, but it sure is fun to think "what if..." Also, the rest of the 10 weren't really fleshed-out characters. I couldn't even tell them apart sometimes! Even though I had problems with the twist (hmmm...I wonder if Scream stole their ending from this flick), some of the character development and the music, I would still recommend this movie. It had substance, a back story that worked, good killings (killer kabobs, right off the barbie!), and mystery.

Check it out on Amazon!

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