Movie of the Week: Bloody Birthday

Its a dumb title, but give it a chance. When it distributed theatrically in Europe, some markets renamed it Children of the Eclipse, a more apt description. The whole premise is rooted in goofball trendy 70's astrology; three kids in a town are born simultaneously during during an eclipse in 1970. Saturn, which controls emotions, is blocked by the sun and moon. Ergo, anyone born during this eclipse lacks empathy, and a decade later on their tenth birthday they all turn homicidal.

The period details are excellent. Maybe its appeal for me is partially because I was also born around 1970, and by my tenth birthday I had a morbid-yet-gleeful obsession with horror movies. These youngsters are speaking my language. And it's very un-P.C, with the children getting into all sorts of pervy mischief (lots of gratuitous topless scenes) along with the atypical scenario of them killing their families for fun. It's like Phantasm, but with the protagonists and antagonists reversed.

Despite the grim theme, Bloody Birthday maintains an almost playful atmosphere. It doesn't hurt that the kid actors aren't at all convincing. Overall it's not well enough directed to be offensive or disturbing, so it plays out like a twisted episode of The Brady Bunch.

If you have Netflix, it's streaming over here.

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