6.1/10
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120 user 101 critic

Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

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.

Director:

J. Lee Thompson

Writers:

John C.W. Saxton (screenplay) (as John Saxton), Peter Jobin (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melissa Sue Anderson ... Virginia Wainwright
Glenn Ford ... Dr. David Faraday
Lawrence Dane ... Hal Wainwright
Sharon Acker ... Estelle Wainwright
Frances Hyland ... Mrs. Patterson
Tracey E. Bregman ... Ann Thomerson (as Tracey Bregman)
Jack Blum ... Alfred Morris
Matt Craven ... Steve Maxwell
Lenore Zann ... Maggie
David Eisner David Eisner ... Rudi
Lisa Langlois ... Amelia
Michel-René Labelle Michel-René Labelle ... Etienne Vercures (as Michel Rene Labelle)
Richard Rebiere Richard Rebiere ... Greg Hellman
Lesleh Donaldson ... Bernadette O'Hara
Earl Pennington Earl Pennington ... Lieutenant Tracy
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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:

Six of the most bizarre murders you will ever see. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ab in die Ewigkeit See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two slasher movies made by producers André Link and John Dunning in 1981. The other was My Bloody Valentine (1981). See more »

Goofs

During the surgery flashback, Ginny moans while under anesthesia. With an endotracheal tube, as was seen in Ginny's mouth, the patient's breath bypasses the vocal cords completely, so the patient effectively has no voice. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The 1986 RCA/Columbia VHS release features the original print. The 2004 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD (with the "birthday girl" cover) uses a print with library music tracks and some differences in sound editing (possibly a temp soundtrack from the original production), though the closing Syreeta song is intact. The 2009 Anchor Bay/Starz Home Entertainment DVD (with the "shish kebab guy" cover) has the theatrical soundtrack, as does the Blu-ray from Mill Creek. See more »

Connections

References Sisters (1972) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Happy birthday to slasher fans
24 July 2005 | by Nightman85See 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 ****


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