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Drive-In Dust Offs: Happy Birthday To Me (1981)

  • DailyDead
Aging much better than a freezer burnt, half eaten cake, Happy Birthday to Me (1981) stands out as one of the better ones from the golden era of slashers, when the major studios weren’t afraid to throw some blood soaked (Canadian) coin at a B level concept, and in the process giving it some A list icing.

The Canadian ties? Filmed in Montreal when tax credits were still flying fast and furious, Happy was one of Columbia Pictures early ‘80s ventures into the horror world. (Graduation Day, released the same year, was the breadwinner of the two.) Recruiting the Canadian producing juggernaut of Andre Link and John Dunning (David Cronenberg’s cohorts on his mid ‘70s output, Shivers and Rabid), Columbia was guaranteed a good return on their investment. Of course, the Canuck connection doesn’t stop there – the cast includes such faces of Canadiana as Lawrence Dane (Scanners), Jack Blum
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Blu-ray Review: Bill Murray’s Deft Debut Can’t Salvage Dopey ‘Meatballs’

Chicago – Now that Wes Anderson’s marvelous “Moonrise Kingdom” has finally received a much-belated wide release, it’s an ideal time for audiences to revisit Bill Murray’s first cinematic excursion to summer camp. Ivan Reitman’s 1979 hit, “Meatballs,” is famous primary for giving the SNL vet his first starring role, which is appropriate considering Murray is the only reason worth watching it.

As far as “snobs vs. slobs” farces of the ’70s go, “Meatballs” is a passable but wholly unremarkable escapist lark. It assembles a series of misfit stereotypes—the clueless nerd, the fat kid, the guy who can’t help blowing stuff up—and has them go through the motions. There isn’t a single gag involving the hapless counselors-in-training at Camp North Star that is the least bit funny or surprising. Half of the film’s 99-minute running time is so tiresome that it will undoubtedly lead
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