Day 19: Free Space!
Bloody Birthday (1981)
Day 19 is another ‘Free Space!’ prompt and I decided to use this spot to watch a film I had originally planned to watch for ’31 Days Of Horror’ a couple of years ago and didn’t quite make it with the horror film Bloody Birthday (1981). This is an evil/killer children film, which is all I knew about it going in and it certainly delivers on that with some mixed results. There are some genuinely great films involving evil children and some that really do not work, Bloody Birthday kind of sits in the middle, with these kids putting a character like Isaac from Children Of The Corn (1984) to shame.
The film opens up with the birth of three babies at the same time, at the same hospital, during an eclipse. Ten years later the three children Debbie (Elizabeth Hoy), Curtis (Billy Jayne) and Steven (Andrew Freeman) are good friends and there are some murders beginning to happen to people in the own. These three children are the culprits but are able to escape any suspicion because of who they are and their evil tactics. Not everyone is immune though, as neighbours Joyce (Lori Lethin) and Timmy (K.C. Martel) begin to suspect there is something not right with the trio.
Bloody Birthday is an odd film, there are moments where the film is genuinely creepy and quite effective and then there are moments of pure cheese and silliness. It sort of battles with itself whether it wants to be a serious horror or a very silly over the top one, which does let it down. The concept of evil children here is a tad confusing as it implies because of their time of birth it caused them to be missing parts of their personality, you know because astrology. The performances are mostly solid, with the three children putting on creepy performances and Lori Lethin being quite a likeable character as well. There are times when the children attack someone that are very silly (Curtis with the huge gun being one of them) and other times it works really well (like an arrow through a peep hole). The film is more a mixed bag but it is a very watchable one with its own unique charm.
Day 20: Regional Horror!
Invasion Of The Blood Farmers (1972)
The ‘Regional Horror!’ prompt was a term I hadn’t not really heard of before, after doing some research it refers to horror films that take place in a regional setting and with the help of a good list on Letterboxd, I went with the pick of Invasion Of The Blood Farmers (1972). My thinking by picking this film was it fit the prompt, the title sounded cool and the poster is rather eye catching. Well the film does have ‘blood farmers’, it is in a regional setting, for some reason there are druids involved in the nonsensical plot and the poster is better than the actual film.
The plot (which I use loosely) revolves around a group of druids who plan to resurrect their Queen by draining the blood from victims, there are also two characters who are investigating the events happening with scientific methods and study the blood. That is pretty much all there is to it, other characters come and go because they are victims and not much else really happens. In a strange way the film reminded me of Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977) in that they are both regional horror films, extremely low budget independent films, questionable acting, poor editing and not exactly making sense.
Invasion Of The Blood Farmers isn’t a good film, it does have an entertainment factor in how ridiculous it is, the dialogue is very robotic and the performances are about as wooden as they come. It does contain a lot of blood and for such a low budget film, that aspect is quite well done and those scenes deserve credit for working as well as they do. The best aspect of the film is the random druid group, their dialogue is especially absurd and the way it’s delivered is something to behold. This is a film worthy of cult status, it is quite the bizarre piece of regional horror cinema.
Reviews written by Marcella Papandrea
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