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Happy Birthday to Me
Happybirthdaytomepn
Riffed by Ronin Fox Trax
Riffers Ronin Fox, Vamperica, DeMona
Series None
Date Released March 27, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me is a 1981 Canadian slasher movie directed by J. Lee Thompson.  The film was written by John C. W. Saxton and stars Melissa Sue Anderson and Glenn Ford.  The plot concerns a private school student named Virginia Wainwright who, after an unfortunate accident that caused brain damage, recovered and was accepted by a popular clique only to have her new friends murdered one by one.

Ronin Fox Trax released their riff of the film in March of 2012 and is available through iRiffs and Gumroad.

Synopsis and PreviewEdit

Ronin Fox Trax Happy Birthday To Me03:31

Ronin Fox Trax Happy Birthday To Me

[Spoilers Begin]


While attempting to meet up with her friends at a local tavern, Bernadette O'Hara is attacked in her car by a killer whose face cannot be seen. Unable to flee, she struggles and then plays dead to catch the killer off-guard, before running to get help. She finds somebody whom she is familiar with, only to have her throat slit by this person with a razor (whom the audience still cannot see).

Bernadette's friends, known as The Top Ten, notice that she's missing, but are too busy causing trouble with shriners and putting rodents into beer to investigate.  They rush to their cars outside to avoid a fight with a bunch of middle age men.

On the way home, the Top Ten see a drawbridge going up and decide to play "The Game".  Instead of challenging Triple H, all cars in the game must make it across before the bridge is completely raised.  Virginia "Ginny" Wainwright is clueless about the game until she's shoved into a car by fellow Top Ten member Ann Thomerson. Every car jumps the drawbridge save one. As the car goes over the drawbridge Ginny yells "Mother!" and makes it safely across. After the car stops Ginny runs from the vehicle into the darkness toward home.

On the way home she stops by her mother's grave to tell her she's popular and hangs out with the Top Ten all the time. Ginny is confronted by her father about coming home after her curfew. Unbeknownst to either of them, Top Ten member Etienne Vercoures, a French foreign exchange student, has followed her home. He enters Ginny's room, steals a pair of her underwear and escapes without being seen.

Ginny shares a handful of lost, repressed memories with her on-call psychiatrist, Dr. David Faraday. She underwent an experimental medical procedure, involving surgery to restore brain tissue, after surviving a harrowing accident at a drawbridge.  Somehow this surgery is related to how a lizard can regrow a tail.

As Ginny attempts to resume her normal life, her fellow Top Ten members are murdered in various vicious and violent ways: Etienne is strangled when his scarf gets caught in the spokes of his motorcycle; Greg has his neck crushed while lifting weights, and yet, the killer, who always sports a pair of black gloves, is never seen by the audience, but is sometimes recognzided by the victims. Top-Ten member Alfred, who's had a strong crush on Ginny, follows Ginny to her mother's grave and is then gutted with a pair of garden shears by Ginny.

On the weekend of her 18th birthday, Mr. Wainwright leaves on a business trip. After a school dance, Ginny invites Steve, another member of the Top Ten, to her place for a midnight snack. She prepares shish kebabs, and feeds him, while they drink and smoke marijuana. Then, Steve unsuspectingly leaves his mouth open and Ginny shoves the kebab skewer violently down his throat; leaving little doubt that Ginny may be the killer at this point.

The following morning, Ginny is taking a shower fighting to remember everything up to that point. In flashbacks, the following is revealed. Ginny's mother, a newly inducted socialite, invited the Top Ten to Ginny's birthday celebration four years earlier. Instead, the Top Ten went to Ann's party. Drunk and unstable, Mrs. Wainwright confronted the grounds-keeper. Ginny's mother learned that she had a reputation as the town whore; ergo, neither she nor her daughter were welcome at the Thomersons'. This led to Mrs. Wainwright attempting to drive across a bridge that was in the process of opening. With Ginny screaming, her mother finally stopped in the middle of the bridge as each side was still raising. The car fell in between the bridge halves and Mrs. Wainwright drowned in her car, although Ginny escaped only to suffer a head injury outside the car.

Ginny realises that she may have killed her friends after all, including Ann, who had just paid her a visit. With Ginny's 18th birthday steadily approaching, she struggles to get answers from Dr. Faraday; when he fails to provide any, she kills him with a fire poker.

Mr. Wainwright returns from his business trip, ready to celebrate his daughter's 18th birthday. Entering their house, he sees blood and frantically attempts to locate Ginny. Instead, Mr. Wainwright finds Greg's girlfriend Amelia in shock in the courtyard clutching a gift, his late wife's grave (which recently has been robbed) and Dr. Faraday's corpse. Entering a cottage he makes a ghastly discovery.

The corpses of all the murdered Top Ten members are seated around the table, which has been set to look exactly as it did four years ago. The corpse of Mrs. Wainwright is seated there as well. Then Ginny enters, carrying a large cake and singing "Happy Birthday" to herself. Already distraught, Mr. Wainwright bursts into tears when his daughter casually admits to committing the murders. Ginny then slits her father's throat with the same large knife she used to cut the cake. What he never sees is the real Ginny, who is sedated, seated at this table as the killer's only living guest.

Ginny's doppelganger rants about having done all of this for Ginny, who then awakens to discover that the second Ginny is really Ann in disguise. Ann has been embittered by the revelation of her father's affair with Ginny's mother. It turns out that both girls are half-sisters. Ann slaughtered the six main members of the clique, expressly for the purpose of framing Ginny – who suddenly breaks free, takes Ann's knife and kills her with it.

As she stands over her half-sister's corpse, a detective walks in on Ginny and the horrifying carnage that surrounds her. He stares at Ginny and demands, "What have you done?" The audience is then left to wonder if Ginny will be cleared of the killings or arrested for them.

We hear Ginny singing "Happy Birthday to Me" as the film ends.


[Spoilers End]

Cast and CrewEdit

  • Melissa Sue Anderson as Virginia "Ginny" Wainwright
  • Glenn Ford as Dr. David Faraday
  • Lawrence Dane as Harold "Hal" Wainwright
  • Sharon Acker as Estelle Wainwright
  • Frances Hyland as Mrs. Patterson
  • Tracey E. Bregman as Ann Thomerson
  • Jack Blum as Alfred Morris
  • Matt Craven as Steve Maxwell
  • Lenore Zann as Maggie
  • David Eisner as Rudi
  • Michel-René Labelle as Etienne Vercures
  • Richard Rebiere as Greg Hellman
  • Lesleh Donaldson as Bernadette O'Hara
  • Lisa Langlois as Amelia


QuotesEdit

NotesEdit

  • DeMona, the sister of Vamperica, makes her first and to date only appearance as a riffer late the track.  She is played by Erica Lyn Cruise's real sister Cassandra Rucky.

External LinksEdit

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