Alison’s Birthday (1979)

97m, 1064.09 metres
16mm film (35mm blow-up), Eastmancolor
mono, English

An Australian horror film directed by Ian Coughlan.

Plot Summary

At the age of 16, Alison is warned, while using a ouija board, that dire things will happen when she reaches 19. Three years later, as her birthday approaches, strange things begin to happen and Alison gradually begins to suspect that her relatives may not be all they seem…


Directed by: Ian Coughlan
1979 David Hannay Productions Pty, Limited
An Australian Film Commission, Fontana Films presentation. A David Hannay production. Produced in association with The Australian Film Commission, Fontana Films Pty Limited, The Seven Network
Executive Producers: Ric Kabriel, John Sturzaker
Produced by: David Hannay
Associate Producer: Michael Falloon
Written by: Ian Coughlan
Lighting Director: Brian Bansgrove
Editor [opening credits] Image Editor [end credits]: Tim Street
Music: Brian King, Alain Oloman
Sound [opening credits] Sound Recordist [end credits]: Phil Judd
Wardrobe Master: Robert Lloyd
Make Up: Lesley Lamont-Fisher
Production Designer: Bob Hilditch

Joanne Samuel (Alison Findlay)
Lou Brown (Peter Healey)
Bunny Brooke (Jennifer Findlay)
John Bluthal (Dean Findlay)
Vincent Ball (Dr Jeremy Lyall)
Margie McCrae (Chrissie Willis)
Julie Wilson (Maureen Tate)
Martin Vaughan (Mr Martin)
Rosalind Speirs (Maggie Carlyle)
Robyn Gibbes (Helen McGill)
Ian Coughlan (Dave Ducker)
Ralph Cotterill (Brian Healey)
Marion Johns (Granny Thorne)
George Carden (druid leader)
Belinda Giblin (Isobel Thorne)
Brian Wenzel (police sergeant)
Bernard Lewis (Michael)
Lisa Peers (Sally Brown)
Sonia Peat (hospital clerk)
Eric Oldfield (priest)
Brian Blain (“Uncle” Patrick)
Adam Bowen (“Cousin” Richard)
Stephen O'Rourke (detective)

Extracts included in
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror (2021)

See also
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
La setta (1990)



  • Halls of Horror no.30 p.12 – note


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.333 – credits, review
  • Australian Film 1978-1994 by Scott Murray (ed.) p.71 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Australian Horror Films 1973-2010 by Peter Shelley pp.57-60 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Elliot's Guide to Films on Video p.16 – credits, review
  • Hoffman's Guide to Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.19 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.5 – credits