Friday, February 22, 2013

Rare Flix: The Birds 2- Lands End

Why?  It's a simple question.  Why?  Why make a Birds II?  Didn't we learn our lesson from the Psycho sequels (even if II is decent)?  Didn't we learn our lesson from Bates Motel?  Mind you, we certainly haven't learned our less on that, as there is a NEW Bates Motel show coming out soon.  Regardless, we should really just leave Hitchcock alone.  Isn't that right, Gus Van Sant?  The film comes to us courtesy of Alan Smithee aka Rick Rosenthal.  On one hand, Rick is responsible for the underrated Halloween II.  On the other hand, he is also responsible for Halloween Resurrection.  So, much like Russell Mulcahy, you can really take your pick on how to judge him.  So what is the film about?  Well, a nice family with a somewhat-tragic past moves to Lands End to get away from it all for the summer.  Unfortunately, 'it all' comes to them in the form of bird attacks.  Thankfully, these ones don't explode when they crash into buildings.  To the film's credit, the birds you see are almost entirely real.  It doesn't make the film all that good though.  To find out more about this film you may have tried to forget about, read on...
In the opening, a guy out on a boat is killed by birds.  The Made-for-TV budget shows itself already in the form of sub-par gore effects.
Our protagonists move into the house with their dog, but the girls aren't happy.  If you took TV away from me for 3 months, I'd cut a bitch, so I feel for them.

Oh and the parents had a son who died in a car accident.  This sub-plot helps the film reach 80 minutes.
The family gets hints of what might be behind the escalation in bird activity.  It has something to do with this bird being washed up on shore.  One last Birdemic joke though...
While not much else of interest happens (another sub-plot involves the wife flirting with another guy at work), the birds finally get to it, attacking through the girls' bedroom window.
This is the kind of film that would kill a dog.  You know, the kind that has to make things seem dramatic, but won't kill off their leads.  Sorry, Scout.
After a scene of the birds attacking the house- see above-, the family manages to barricade themselves in.  Immediately following that, the birds randomly kill this nice guy from the Lighthouse.  Poor Bastard of Cinema?
Our protagonists try to leave, but a bird has crashed into their engine and wrecked it...apparently.  With the hood undamaged (see below), how the hell did that bird do that?!?
All of this is just a pretense to get them to the Dock in a different car, where all of the havoc occurs.  After sixty-plus minutes, shit finally happens as birds get shot, people get burned in a fire (don't ask) and this Ferry Captain is killed.  Apparently he was born with one of those rare 'spit up blood and die' buttons on the side of his neck!
After fleeing in a different boat (right before a random explosion), the group is cornered by more birds.  They flip the boat and hide for about a minute before the birds fly off towards the mainland.

Wait- so is this the prequel to Birdemic?!?  The End.
It's better than you might think, but it's still not really good.  If this film was called Lands End, it would not be so infamous.  However, this film is a sequel to The Birds.  It even features Tippi Hedren in a role so minimal and pointless that I actually didn't realize it was her.  Seriously, she plays a Shop Owner named Helen who appears twice.  In Tippi's defense, she was taking just about any high-paying job to help pay for her Big Cat Rescue Charity.  While this film may not be good, I suppose it did help save some Lions.  The other thing that makes it a sequel is a reference late in the film to a similar incident happening in California about 30 years ago.  For those of you who refer to this film as 'more of a Remake,' I cite that.  The film has a good enough premise, but clearly didn't have the budget to do much with it.  The use of mostly real birds limits the scale of what they could do (see Burning Bright) and the few digitally-inserted ones you see look bad.  They look like the 3-D Jaws from the titular film when it charges at the Tunnel.  Clearly there was something more going on behind the scenes, since its Director had his Credit removed from the final product.  Was it Edited badly a la Piranha 2?  Was it re-written numerous times like Yellowbeard?  I don't know, but I do know that the final product is ho-hum.  If you give it a chance, there's a decent story here, but not much else.  We all know what this is about though...
Next up, a modern action film with the same name as an '80s one that I own.  Will this succeed without Fred Williamson?  Stay tuned...

A quick shout-out to fellow Blogger/reader Craig Edwards.  He actually worked on this film.  See for yourself...


  1. I worked on this movie twenty years ago. I'll not commandeer the comments section with a lengthy anecdote laden treatise on the movie's production (I'll save that for my own blog heh heh) but I will tell you that the movie was re-edited against the wishes of director Rosenthal - and additional footage was added - including that opening scene with the guy on the boat - which was shot after-the-fact back out in Los Angeles - which also accounts for the lower quality gore effects here. Due to these changes, which he felt cheapened the movie - the director opted for the Alan Smithee credit. Another missing credit was for actor Muse Watson (I Know What You Did Last Summer) who somehow was simply left out of the cast credits - and got a chunk of change in the form of a SAG fine against the production as a result - which he quite enjoyed. This movie also represents my first screen credit (if you own the movie you can go back and check it out) though this wasn't a big screen movie in the end - it was picked up by and premiered on Showtime.

  2. Thanks for the info. I kind of figured it was something like that.

    Oh and I don't own the film, but I did find your Credit. Enjoy.