Bloody Birthday (1981) (Arrow Video) Blu-ray Review + Screenshots



Studio: Arrow Video

Release Date: April 28th, 1981 (theatrical) / December 18th, 2018 (blu-ray)

Run Time: 85 mins

Region Code: A (locked)

Picture: 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio)

Sound: English LPCM Mono

Subtitles: English SDH

Starring: Lori Lethin, Melinda Cordell, Julie Brown

Written by Ed Hunt and Barry Pearson

Directed by Ed Hunt

Rating: R (horror violence, nudity, and language)



THE FILM

In 1970, three children are born at the height of a total eclipse. Due to the sun and moon blocking Saturn, which controls emotions, they have become heartless killers ten years later, and are able to escape detection because of their youthful and innocent facades. A boy and his teenage sister become endangered when they stumble onto the bloody truth.

Bloody Birthday is a fun little slasher film. Released during the height of the slasher craze, Bloody Birthday features not one, but three slashers who take out their victims with surprising wit, including beating one of the killer kids’ parents with a mallet and then placing the body of the steps outside the house to make it look like the parent slipped on a skateboard. I found this very impressive given that these are kids doing the killing instead of some wronged madman. Even though it is a surprise to the parents and community members, it should come as no surprise to anyone that there is something wrong with these kids. Each of them has a lot of telltale signs that there is something up with them, but no one wants to admit anything. The film is well made and has some great actors in it, including the kid actors, who are usually annoying, but here are menacing and fairly scary. The film isn’t very gory especially given the title, but that is ok as the film is very engaging and fun. The ending to the film is also very fitting to the film while not feeling like a cheat. Bloody Birthday is a lot of fun and should be watched with friends to get the full effect of the film.



THE PICTURE AND THE SOUND

Presented in the film’s original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and featuring a brand new 2K scan of original film elements, Bloody Birthday looks pretty good. This was a very low budget film and this transfer keeps that look and feel alive. While the picture quality is HD, the picture never pops, which is something the film was never supposed to do. Detail is nice at times, but the film has a muddy, dirty look which doesn’t really lend itself to a very detailed oriented look. Still, everything looks good.

The sound, presented as an LPCM track is nice and should please fans of the film. There is an English SDH track that will make hard of hearing fans happy.



THE PACKAGING

I was sent a screener for Bloody Birthday, so I am not able to give a review of the packaging. I can say there will be a double sided cover with newly commissioned artwork on one side and there film’s theatrical poster on the other as well as a booklet with writing on the film.

The disc is REGION A (locked)





THE FEATURES

Bloody Babysitter (8m 13s, HD) Interview with actress Lori Lethin

Bad Seeds and Bodycounts (19m 58s, HD) A video appreciation of Bloody Birthday and the killer-kid subgenre by film journalist Chris Alexander.

Starships and Killer Brains (21m 15s, HD) Film producer Ken Gord on the cinematic career of his friend and collaborator, Bloody Birthday writer-director Ed Hunt.

Interview with producer Max Rosenberg (17m 26s, SD, 4x3) An archival interview with the Bloody Birthday executive producer.

Trailers 

-Theatrical Trailer (1m 59s, HD)
-Promo Trailer (1m 7s, HD, 1.33:1)



Audio Commentaries 

-Writer/director Ed Hunt
-The Hysteria Continues



OVERALL

Bloody Birthday is a lot more fun than I thought it would be. The concept sounds like something that would be played out twenty minutes but here it works. There aren’t very many gory kills, but the film doesn’t need them. The blu-ray, from Arrow Video, is very nice. The picture and the sound are what you would expect from a low budget film like this and the special features are worth the time to take them in. I would recommend this to slasher fans and those who like under the radar films.

MORE SCREENSHOTS