Happy Birthday to Me (1981) Revisited – Horror Movie Review

The Real Slashers series digs into the 1981 slasher Happy Birthday to Me, directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Melissa Sue Anderson

It’s time for a new episode of the Real Slashers video series, and with this one we’re heading back into the glorious ’80s to look at a film that was released during the slasher boom of 1981: Happy Birthday to Me (watch it HERE)! This movie was directed by J. Lee Thompson, whose previous credits included the classics The Guns of Navarone and Cape Fear (not to mention Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes). To hear all about his contribution to the ’80s slasher era, check out the video embedded above.

From here, Thompson would go on to make several films with Charles Bronson, including 10 to Midnight and Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, as well as King Solomon’s Mines and the Chuck Norris adventure Firewalker.

Scripted by Timothy Bond, Peter Jobin, and John Saxton (plus an uncredited John Beaird, who also wrote 1981’s My Bloody Valentine), Happy Birthday to Me has the following synopsis: When pretty student at exclusive High School disappears mysteriously, a terrible chain of events begins…with one gruesome murder following another. As the death toll mounts it becomes obvious that a mentally unbalanced student holds the key. Everything will be revealed at a macabre birthday party where the guests have one thing in common… they are all corpses!

The film stars Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane, Sharon Acker, Frances Hyland, Tracey E. Bregman, Jack Blum, Matt Craven, Lenore Zann, David Eisner, Michel-René Labelle, Richard Rebiere, Lesleh Donaldson, Lisa Langlois, and Ron Lea.

Here’s what Real Slashers is all about: Ahhh the ’80s. A simpler time where the blood ran red, the boobies swung freely, and the weed was copiously smoked. A time where rampant killers were simply excuses for excessive sex and over the top murder. Yes, we’re looking at an era where the slasher movie ran wild over cinemas everywhere. Today, we’re looking at “Real Slashers.”

The show is Written, Narrated, and Edited by Tyler Nichols, Produced by John Fallon, and Executive Produced by Berge Garabedian.

What do you think of Happy Birthday to Me, and how did you like this episode of Real Slashers? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

A couple of the previous episodes of Real Slashers can be seen below. To see more, and to check out some of our other shows, head over to the JoBlo Horror Originals channel – and subscribe while you’re at it!

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.