Happy Birthday to Me

Open wide.

A shish kebab-related death, one of “the six most bizarre murders you will ever see,” drew gasps from audience members and jaded film critics alike, helping launch the ’80s slasher movement.

Directed by old-school pro J. Lee Thompson, of The Guns of Navarone and Cape Fear fame, it plays up the mystery as much as the bloodletting.

Melissa Sue Anderson is a high school student who had recent brain surgery, Glenn Ford is her evasive doctor, and someone is piling up bodies.

Topped by a bizarre finale, this remains one of the best from an often unfairly-trashed genre.

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