Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  15 May 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 5,204 users  
Reviews: 117 user | 108 critic

At the snobby Crawford Academy, Virginia's group of friends start to go missing years after horrible events that happened to her as a child around her birthday.



(screenplay) (as John Saxton) , (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sharon Acker ...
Frances Hyland ...
Ann Thomerson (as Tracey Bregman)
Jack Blum ...
David Eisner ...
Michel-René Labelle ...
Etienne Vercures (as Michel Rene Labelle)
Richard Rebiere ...
Earl Pennington ...


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


From the producers of "My Bloody Valentine" comes the bloodiest party of the year! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 May 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ab in die Ewigkeit  »

Box Office


CAD 3,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When certain cast members were stuck in their gore make-up for numerous hours, they decided to walk around the neighborhood scaring the wits out of people. See more »


When the car flies over the drawbridge it sustains immense damage. The damage vanishes later. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in When a Stranger Calls (2006) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Happy birthday to slasher fans
24 July 2005 | by (Brentwood, USA) – See all my reviews

Happy Birthday to Me is simply one of the best "body count" movies to pop up after the massive success of Halloween (1978).

Is lovely young Virginia Wainwright the shadowy murderer who is "offing" her elite group of college friends?

Happy Birthday to Me stands head and shoulders above the average slasher film on a number of levels. What starts out as the standard slasher fare builds into to a surprisingly twisted thriller with strong tension! The conclusion of the film may just be one of the most "off-the-wall" endings in horror history! It's an effectively mind-blowing ending to one warped murder mystery. Also worth mentioning are the truly inventive murders in this movie. The gory killings are oddly clever, even to the point of being darkly humorous, yet really shocking. The cast is pretty solid. Beautiful Melissa Sue Anderson makes for a fetching and sympathetic lead. Her co-stars deliver some believable performances. Director Thompson gives this film a wonderfully dark and atmospheric feel. Kudos also go to the composer for a splendidly moody music score (it's a shame the score is completely replaced on the Columbia DVD!!!).

No matter what some critics have said about this film, see it for yourself. Not many slasher films live up to this amusing and off-beat bloody entry.

*** out of ****

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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