MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 363 this week

Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

 -  Horror | Mystery | Thriller  -  15 May 1981 (USA)
6.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.0/10 from 4,590 users  
Reviews: 113 user | 101 critic

Virginia Wainwright is a spirited young woman who has returned to a private school having survived a deadly accident and regenerative brain surgery. She is proud that she belongs to the Top... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 16 Jan 2011
 
a list of 41 titles
created 10 Jul 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 24 Oct 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 06 Dec 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 29 Dec 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

Happy Birthday to Me (1981) on IMDb 6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Happy Birthday to Me.
3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Prowler (1981)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A masked killer, wearing World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35-year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.

Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A decades old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day, turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.

Director: George Mihalka
Stars: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck
Terror Train (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A masked killer targets six college kids responsible for a prank gone wrong three years earlier and who are currently throwing a large New Year's Eve costume party aboard a moving train.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner
Prom Night (1980)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A masked killer stalks four teenagers, responsible for the accidental death of a little girl six years earlier, at their high school's senior prom.

Director: Paul Lynch
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

An eighteen-year-old high school girl is left at home by her parents and she decides to have a slumber party. There is friction between some of the invited guests and the new girl, who is ... See full summary »

Director: Amy Holden Jones
Stars: Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella
The Burning (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

Director: Tony Maylam
Stars: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A group of nine college students staying at a friend's remote island mansion begin to fall victim to an unseen murderer over the April Fool's day weekend.

Director: Fred Walton
Stars: Deborah Foreman, Griffin O'Neal, Clayton Rohner
Hell Night (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Four college pledges are forced to spend the night in a deserted old mansion where they get killed off one by one by the monstrous surviving members of a family massacre years earlier for trespassing on their living grounds.

Director: Tom DeSimone
Stars: Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten, Peter Barton
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After a seemingly innocent prank goes horribly wrong, a group of sorority sisters are stalked and murdered one by one in their sorority house while throwing a party to celebrate their graduation.

Director: Mark Rosman
Stars: Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Ward
Madman (1982)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

At a summer camp for youths, cockey pre-teen calls out the name of mass serial killer "Madman Marz". Suddenly, counselors are being maimed and slaughtered in various ways by the ... See full summary »

Director: Joe Giannone
Stars: Gaylen Ross, Tony Fish, Harriet Bass
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.

Director: Fred Walton
Stars: Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Rutanya Alda
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Slightly traumatized and painfully shy Angela Baker is sent away to summer camp with her cousin. Not long after Angela's arrival, things start to go horribly wrong for anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions.

Director: Robert Hiltzik
Stars: Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Karen Fields
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Sharon Acker ...
Frances Hyland ...
...
Ann Thomerson (as Tracy Bregman)
Jack Blum ...
...
...
David Eisner ...
...
Michel-René Labelle ...
Etienne Vercures (as Michel Rene Labelle)
Richard Rebiere ...
...
Earl Pennington ...
Edit

Storyline

Virginia Wainwright is a spirited young woman who has returned to a private school having survived a deadly accident and regenerative brain surgery. She is proud that she belongs to the Top Ten - the school's inner circle with the best students - and attempts to resume a normal life. But her friends are falling prey to a grueling series of murders, and soon there will be no one left to attend her 18th birthday party. Could it be her? Striving to rekindle the memory of her nightmarish accident, Virginia suffers from memory loss and traumatic blackouts. We soon learn the horrible truth behind her accident and what is going on before her birthday party... Written by Joseph Henson <gzr@cdc.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Greg will never lift weights again. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 May 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ab in die Ewigkeit  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Tracey E. Bregman (as Tracy Bregman) received an "introducing" credit. See more »

Goofs

When the car with Anne and her Mother in falls off the bridge, they show the fall repeated from several angles, in all but the last part of the scene before the car sinks, it hits the water on its roof, but when they show the car fall for the last time, and show it sinking, it hits the water the right way up. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mrs. Patterson: [to her attacking dog] Winston! Winston! Winston, just stop it, bad boy. Sit down. Sit!
Bernadette O'Hara: Oh, Mrs. Patterson.
Mrs. Patterson: Bernadette O'Hara, do you have any idea what time it is? Where are you going?
Bernadette O'Hara: Well, I, I was just going up to the village to meet some of the kids at the inn.
Mrs. Patterson: You mean the second home for the Crawford top 10, don't you?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to Me
Music by Lance Rubin
Lyrics by Molly-Ann Leikin
Performed by Syreeta
Courtesy of Motown Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Reasonable slasher with a silly finalé that takes the cake!
4 December 2008 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

With seasoned pro J. Lee Thompson behind the camera, well known TV actress Melissa Sue Anderson in the lead role (hoping to make the transition from the small screen star to movie star), and veteran actor Glenn Ford giving able support, Canadian slasher Happy Birthday To Me is a far more competently made film than many of its contemporaries: the direction, cinematography, editing, lighting and acting are all top notch.

Unfortunately, it is this very slickness, along with the rather convoluted plot, lack of gore, and very silly finalé, that prevented this from being as enjoyable as I had hoped; I guess I just prefer my 80s slashers to be simpler, cheaper, nastier, and just a little more willing to shock!

Anderson plays Virginia Wainwright, newest member of the 'Top Ten', a clique of rich kids at exclusive private school, The Crawford Academy. After a game of chicken almost results in a terrible accident, Virginia begins to have flashbacks to a similar incident which claimed the life of her mother and left her with terrible injuries to her brain. When a gloved killer starts to stalk and kill the 'Top Ten', Virginia begins to wonder if she is the person responsible for the grisly murders...

Thompson, the director of highly regarded classic Cape Fear, puts his obvious skills to use, making the most of the silly script and delivering some well executed scenes of mayhem: the road race at the beginning wouldn't have looked out of place in a modern action movie, whilst the first death is worthy of an Argento giallo. However, the plot is so silly that even a skilled director like Thompson, with over thirty years experience, struggles to hold things together. The film eventually becomes a mess of disappointing gore-less deaths (the MPAA apparently cut some of the bloodier moments before its original release) and silly red herrings, and at times it also feels rather restrained (there is no nudity, despite there being the obligatory shower scene).

Thankfully, there is a sufficiently twisted ending, with the manky murder victims assembled around a table to take part in a macabre birthday party, although the final revelation is so daft that any suspense or terror is quickly dissipated.

After Happy Birthday To Me, Anderson returned to TV, Ford was given flack from critics for his appearance, and Thompson's career went downhill (King Solomon's Mines, anyone?); despite all this, the film isn't THAT awful, and should be of some interest to fans of the genre, if only for the infamous shish-kebab scene that featured on the excellent poster.

5.5 out of 10, rounded up to 6 for IMDb.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Question about the twist ending... emiller89
Scooby Doo-style ending jeffeastwood2000
Huge Happy Birthday to Me retrospective justin_kerswell
AnchorBay release of Happy Birthday To Me briangray30
anybody else mad..... moviefan72000
SIMILAR 80'S HORROR MOVIES AS THIS? nutopian-1
Discuss Happy Birthday to Me (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page