Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Saturday, October 03, 2009

October Scary Movie Fest: Day 2

My wife and I skipped Friday in our October nightly film fest (as I mentioned before, we've been watching a James Bond movie every Friday) but Saturday's Scary Movie was another DVD that I'd been sent for review, the 1981 bodycount flick Happy Birthday To Me.

Again, I'll be writing a full review for my DVD Late Show column, but I have to say that I liked it better than I expected. Competently helmed by journeyman director J. Lee Thomspson, whose credits include everything from the original Cape Fear and The Guns of Navarone to Battle For The Planet of the Apes and Death Wish 4, and starring Little House on the Prairie's Melissa Sue Anderson (in an ill-fated bid for feature film stardom), HBTM is a fairly effective little thriller that may not have much splattering of blood, but does have a moderately clever script that managed to keep me guessing until the end.

The "kills" are imaginative, though clearly trimmed to minimize gore, and the cast acquits themselves well. Hollywood icon Glenn Ford even shows up in a supporting role, bringing a little class and gravitas to the low budget Canadian production.

It's not a great movie, but it's an entertaining enough couple hours of formula fun.


Charles Gramlich said...

Oh my, Melissa Sue Gilbert. I wonder if she wants to forget that one, or maybe she clings to the memory.

Christopher Mills said...

Wrong Melissa. This one was the older sister - though I'm sure she doesn't bring this up in conversation these days, either.