For those who remember, or those who simply love the campy horror films of the eighties, Colin James hopes he has something right up your alley. A short film made to look and feel like your favorite scary movie - from yester-year. The "B" movie goodness so many people today are craving for. That "funny because it's so cheap" vibe, mixed with those awesome blood and gore effects we all remember as simply being awesome. This particular film, "Birthday Bash" is just what it sounds like. A birthday party gone dead wrong - featuring everyone's favorite cliche teenagers. The bitch and jock(s). The nerd, and the one in the middle, who usually ends up being the survivor. Oh - and of course the deranged killer with a mask of some sort. As the saying goes... it's all fun and games until someone looses a head. Right?
That bitch referenced above? She's Jennifer, and it's her birthday! Attendance is required or a good old reputation ruining at school is in order. Only... there really isn't many people here. Did I happen to mention the creepy blood Jennifer find? Or that she demands everyone ignore it? The party must go on right? Who cares if the news says a killer happens to be out and about. That deranged lunatic wouldn't dare show up at this party. This is all pretty stereotypical in the setup of a classic slasher film, and "Birthday Bash" is all about doing what we expect - and love. I'm sure everyone reading this already knows how things turn out for our teenagers, and that's just fine. Colin James's movie is all about the familiar and obviously, about the feel of the movie. Not so much about the originality. Once you process that bit of information, you can really have some fun with this film.
Technically, "Birthday Bash" is pretty much just what you think it is. Cheesy, campy, and completely ridiculous at times. That feeling of old slashers Colin James tries to recreate does, in fact, work well here. Mission accomplished. The underscore and edits all feel right, as does the camp factor that the cast manage to infuse with their "on purpose" corny acting. It all adds to the illusion you actually are, in fact, watching an old horror flick. Except maybe... the image quality is a little better than I remember these movies being. Maybe not much, but still an improvement. I should also mention some of the practical effects. Mostly, "Birthday Bash" emulated the campy gore effects quite well. Except for one particular effect, involving a decapitation, that was better than most effects of the time. Well, unless that is, we're talking about an old slasher flick that had a large budget, but "Birthday Bash" isn't trying to copy one of those movies. Realistically, that doesn't matter much at the end of the day. I think it's safe to write I was glad to see a completely cool effect, mixed in with all the blood splatter. Just thought I would point it out.
This movie will not be for everyone. Anyone who wasn't around during this time of campy movies, or doesn't actually seek out this style... should probably pass. They probably won't get it. At all. For those of us who remember, or crave this kind of thing... "Birthday Bash" was a well done homage to the classics. Nothing beats yelling at the stupidity of a bunch of cheesy heroes on your screen. Or agreeing when they want to do the smart thing... but are unable. Ever wonder why so many of these corn ball films were made in the first place? The simple answer? Because they were fun to watch. Something "Birthday Bash" has in common with the above mentioned classics.