The Birds II: Land's End

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The Birds II: Land's End
Poster of the movie The Birds II.jpg
VHS cover
GenreHorror
Based onThe Birds by
Daphne du Maurier
Written byKen Wheat
Jim Wheat
Robert Eisele
Directed byRick Rosenthal
(as Alan Smithee)
StarringBrad Johnson
Chelsea Field
James Naughton
Jan Rubes
Tippi Hedren
Music byRon Ramin
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Production
Executive producer(s)David A. Rosemont
Producer(s)Ted Kurdyla
Production location(s)Southport, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
CinematographyBruce Surtees
Editor(s)Maryann Brandon
Running time87 minutes
Production company(s)MCA Television Entertainment
Rosemont Productions International
DistributorUniversal Studios
Release
Original networkShowtime
Picture formatColor
Audio formatDolby
Original releaseMarch 14, 1994 (1994-03-14)
Chronology
Preceded byThe Birds

The Birds II: Land's End is a 1994 American made-for-television horror film directed by Rick Rosenthal under the pseudonym of Alan Smithee. The film is a sequel to the 1963 film The Birds, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and stars Brad Johnson, Chelsea Field, and James Naughton. Tippi Hedren, who starred in The Birds, appears in a minor role different from the one she played in the first film. The original music score was composed by Ron Ramin. The Birds II: Land's End premiered on Showtime on March 14, 1994.

The plot of the sequel is very similar to the original. Biology teacher and Somali Civil War veteran, Ted, his wife, and children move to a summer house on an island after the death of their son. While there, flocks of birds start attacking individuals for no apparent reason. The town mayor denies the birds' role in the injuries, but is forced to believe after further incidents of violence by the birds.

Plot[edit]

Ted and Mary Hocken (Brad Johnson and Chelsea Field) move to a remote, windswept, tiny East Coast island with their two young daughters; the Hockens are determined to forget their painful past of losing their son and spend a quiet, uneventful summer.

But as immense flock of birds begin massing around Gull Island, it becomes clear that something is very wrong in this isolated, deceptively calm oasis and fear mounts as a marine biologist is the target of a mysterious, grisly attack. Before long, the sky is darkened by a hideous onslaught of screeching birds. It is an assault unlike anything in the history of man or beast – except for an old timer who recalls a similar, horrific outbreak that gripped the West Coast three decades ago in Bodega Bay, California.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Tippi Hedren on the set of The Birds II: Land's End (1994)

Tippi Hedren appeared in a supporting role, but not as her original character. She was however disappointed that she didn't get a starring role and admitted before the film's release, "I wish that it was more than a cameo. I think they made a mistake by not doing that. But it has helped me to feed my lions and tigers."[1] When asked about what could have been Hitchcock's opinion, she answered: "I'd hate to think what he would say!"[2]

Reception[edit]

The television film received widely negative reviews and was criticized by many critics. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly slated the production,[3] especially criticizing the writing and acting, saying: "The actors in 'Birds II' have little to do except widen their eyes in terror, and even that seems a daunting stretch for Johnson." He also commented on the fact that it was an Alan Smithee film, the pseudonym used when a director wants to disown the final film, writing "...but the poster and cassette box that Showtime sent along with the review tape clearly state that Rick Rosenthal directed 'Birds II'", before adding "He has good reasons to want his name erased from it. If it were me, I'd sue."[3]

In a 2002 interview, Tippi Hedren said of the film, "It's absolutely horrible. It embarrasses me horribly."[4]

Many other reviews were in the same vein, such as The New York Times calling the film "feeble."[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Green, Ann (March 13, 1994). "Retro : A Flock of Terror, Part II". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Smith, Liz (March 17, 1994). "'Nobody's Fool', the life of Danny Kaye". Newsday - Long Island. New York.
  3. ^ a b Tucker, Ken."The Birds II: Land's End (film review)". Entertainment Weekly. March 18, 1994. Published in issue #214. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  4. ^ Chiller Theater Magazine. 2002. 59.

External links[edit]