Friday, July 29, 2011

Fear Friday Presents... Happy Birthday To Me

Come on in all you Hep Dolls and Ghoulish Girls for another Fear Friday. Every Friday The Lounge will offer up a movie for your enjoyment. The movies will be a wide variety from the horror genre. From vintage to classic to slasher to thriller to the just plain cheesy. So get the popcorn popped, kill the lights and get ready for a little fright. This weeks selection...

Happy Birthday To Me

Directed by J. Lee Thompson and released on May 15, 1981 by Columbia Pictures. Virginia (Melissa Sue Anderson) belongs to the most popular clique at her private school. She's happy, doing well in her classes and having fun. One problem though is that chunk of her memory she lost after that nasty little car accident last year. Oh yeah, and the fact that all of her friends are being killed off one by one!
I thought this was an appropriate choice for this week's selection since the "Happy Birthday To Me" giveaway in underway. I remember when this movie came out in the theater but I was a little too young to have seen it then. But I do remember lots of kids talking about it and the famous shish kebab scene that was used on the posters and cover of the VHS box (I used the strange 2004 DVD version for my picture up top). I just watched it for the first time last week and if you grew up during the slasher era of the 80's, or are just a fan of the genre, this is a fun little movie. No great acting or writing here but isn't that half the fun? If you're old enough to remember watching "Little House on the Prairie" then you will recognize our main character as Mary Ingles. Wow, what a departure!

If you haven't seen it, or it's been a long while, give it a play. It's good cheesy fun with a nice twisty twist ending.
A little trivia...
1. Most ads and posters for film carried a photo of a young man about to be orally impaled with a skewer of meat and vegetables, with the slogan "John Will Never Eat Shish Kebab Again." However, there is no character in the movie with this name.
2. Many fans were upset with the 2004 DVD release from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment because, not only did it have a completely different cover to that of the infamous original poster and VHS cover, it featured a disco score in place of the atmospheric piano piece that originally played over the opening credits in theaters and VHS releases. In 2009, Anchor Bay/Starz Home Entertainment re-released the DVD using the original poster as the cover and restoring the original music over the opening sequence.

3. The press reported that in order to keep the "twist" ending a secret several endings were shot. This is untrue but helped hide the fact that while shooting, the film had no ending. The script was written with one ending that made sense to the story, but did not have a twist. So producers proceeded to film while tinkering with a twist. This explains why there is no build up to the ending. 

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