The Curator of Schlock $324 by Jeff Shuster

Bloody Birthday

Bad Seed times three. 

Indigo didn’t show up for our Thursday night checkers game. My housemate was nowhere to be found. I started searching the property and found his dead body tucked behind the tool shed. Too puncture marks were on his neck and I can’t help, but think that it must have been some kind of animal attack. Maybe one of those Florida panthers got him. Jervis said he’d contact the authorities and they’d take care of the body. Creepy business. Maybe I should make plans to leave, but Jervis is making Sloppy Joes this weekend. I love me some Sloppy Joes.

schlock mansion

But what I don’t like is children. Yeah, I didn’t like children when I was a child and I certainly don’t like them now that I’m a man of distinction. Children are the main focus of tonight’s feature film, 1981’s Bloody Birthday from director Ed Hunt. The movie begins with three children being delivered at a hospital during a solar eclipse, two boys and a girl. And I guess if your born right at the point of an eclipse, you’re a bad seed.

Fast forward ten years and we have a trio of miserable ten-year-olds whose idea of fun is murdering people and getting away with it. These are Debbie (Elizabeth Hoy), a blonde girl, Steven (Andy Freeman), a blond boy, and Curtis (Billy Jayne), a four-eyed little shit that I want to smack every time I see him on screen. They’re all little shits and I can only think that getting killed by them would be one of the humiliating experiences imaginable. If I have to go, let me die by that hands of a Cropsy or a Michael Myers, not this trio of despicable brats!

Their first victims are a couple of horny teenagers who thought it was a good idea to make out in an open grave. The adolescent girl gets strangled with a jump rope and the adolescent boy gets his head bashed in with a shovel. Then the children throw dirt over the grave. This doesn’t stop the town Sheriff from uncovering the bodies and determining that a killer is on the loose. And wouldn’t you know it, Sheriff Brody is Debbie’s dad.

This doesn’t stop our little Debbie from orchestrating the demise of her own father. She leaves a skateboard on the back steps to her house, but her dad just steps over it. That’s okay since Steven is at the ready to bash his brains in with a baseball bat. Curtis also gets in on the murder game by using the Sheriff’s revolver on his super strict grammar school teacher, Ms. Davis (Susan Strasberg). You see, young Curtis had a replica of a revolver that he switched out for the real thing.

The heroine of this movie is Joyce Russell (Lori Lethin), a high school senior with aspirations of becoming an investigative reporter. I think she first becomes suspicious of the bad seeds when Curtis and Stephen lock her younger brother, Timmy (K. C. Martel), in an old refrigerator at the junkyard. A night of babysitting gone to hell removes all shadow of a doubt that these kids are killers, but Joyce doesn’t kill them. She manages to subdue them in time for cops to arrive. What a disappointment. I was hoping to see Curtis get decapitated or set on fire. I wonder if there was a sequel.


Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeff Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.