Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (1981). Director: J. Lee Thompson.

Virginia Wainwright (Melissa Sue Anderson) belongs to a school clique called "The Top Ten" at the Crawford Academy. But as her 18th birthday approaches, someone starts wiping out her friends one by one in gruesome, startling ways [one poor guy is sort of shish ka bobbed to death]. In the way of Italian giallo director Dario Argento, the movie works up considerable suspense as to the identity of the killer and his or her motives, although director Thompson's style is nothing like Argento's. Glenn Ford is the biggest name in the cast and is fine as Virginia's psychiatrist, and there are good performances as well from Anderson, Tracy Bregman as one of her friends, and Lawrence Dane and Sharon Acker as her parents, among others. You may groan at certain aspects of the denouement but at least it's suitably macabre. 

Verdict: One of the better mad slasher-type movies that proliferated in the 80's. ***. 

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