Reviewed by Scott A. Johnson
Starring Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane, Tracey E. Bregman, Jack Blum, Matt Craven, Lenore Zann, David Eisner, Lisa Langlois
Directed by J. Lee Thompson
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
I was thrilled to find out this was coming out. After the 25th Anniversary debacle that included cover art that looked nothing like anyone in the movie and a ramped-up disco soundtrack, I was pretty jazzed to see that fans were going to get their beloved movie back. Well, we did. Sort of. Gee, thanks, Anchor Bay…
For those who don’t know, Happy Birthday to Me is 80’s slasher goodness in the form of Melissa Sue Anderson and a cast of twenty-somethings playing high-schoolers running about and getting murdered in gruesome ways. It features big hair, cheesy lines, and (surprisingly) no nude scenes. It does, however, feature a twist ending that I doubt anyone at the time saw coming, especially since it was written at the last second.
Virginia (Anderson) is a popular kid, accepted by the other rich kids in her ritzy private school. But she has a strange habit of blacking out with bizarre nightmarish images. When she wakes up, another member of her clique, the “top ten,” is missing.
While the movie itself is pure 80’s goodness, the DVD leaves a whole lot to be desired. Where are the special features? Where are the “Where are they now” segments? Where are the documentaries about the cast members who went on to bigger and better things? The DVD features only the original trailer. That’s it.
This print of the movie also features the original soundtrack, which is a plus, and the cover art is from the original movie poster instead of the insane cartoonish DVD art from the previous release. But still, there’s nothing else on this DVD. While some would insist that the inclusion of the original soundtrack should count for something, I cry shenanigans. If horror fans are going to shell out their hard-earned money for a movie that was just re-released a couple of years ago, there needs to be more than just a prettier picture on the DVD case.
3 1/2 out of 5
1/2 out of 5
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