The Birds II: Land's End

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The Birds II: Land's End
Poster of the movie The Birds II.jpg
Directed by Rick Rosenthal
(as Alan Smithee)
Produced by Ted Kurdyla
Written by Short Story:
Daphne du Maurier
Teleplay:
Ken Wheat
Jim Wheat
Robert Eisele
Starring Brad Johnson
Chelsea Field
James Naughton
Jan Rubes
Tippi Hedren
Music by Ron Ramin
Cinematography Bruce Surtees
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release dates
  • March 14, 1994 (1994-03-14)
Running time
87 min.
Country United States
Language English

The Birds II: Land's End is the 1994 television movie sequel to Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 classic The Birds. It stars Brad Johnson, Chelsea Field, James Naughton, and Tippi Hedren, in a role different from the one she played in the original Hitchcock film. The original music score was composed by Ron Ramin.

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]

A family go to spend their summer holidays in an isolated island home for the first time. The two young girls, Jill (Stephanie Milford) and Joanna (Megan Gallagher) Potter and bitch and bicker about not having TV, or their expectations of being bored to death in that place where there will be no more children to play with. But their parents, biology teacher Ted (Brad Johnson) and office worker mum May (Chelsea Field) want to have a very quiet holiday and to run away from it all.

Unbeknown to them, a fisherman has just been attacked by seagulls. The seagulls began with his eyes, and then hit bite him until he's dead. Their dog, Scout, barks at the bloodied boat. Ted approaches Jill and tells her that the person in the boat can't possible see or hear them as the boat is too far away: it floats away in silence. Crows and ravens start gathering outside the home. Ted has a nightmare about a 4x4 road accident, in which the elder son died. Startled, he checks on the girls who are alright. Mum and dad go to work. Photographer Frank (James Naughton) seems to be attracted to May, hitting on her and dismissing Ted's job, even mispronouncing his name. Ted and his daughters go to buy things from town shopkeeper Helen (Tippi Hedren), who comments that there are no secrets in town, as everybody knows everybody's business. She says that there are only birds on the island.

Joanna arrives saying that she's seen the boat they saw the day before. The police are already there, and they think that the fisherman may have fallen to the sea, but Ted feels that it'd be impossible to leave so much blood out of a mere accident. Back to the island, a raven is jumping around, and Scouts sees it. Scout follows after it behind a haystack. Jill goes to have dinner but is worried about Scout, which is nowhere to be seen. Scout appears with the dead bird and one of its offspring. Ted puts it in a cage and the girls want to take care of it. They tell Scout off, because he's eating the dead bird under the dinner table. The girls go out riding in their bikes to the forest. They leave their dad alone at home, trying to write his thesis but feeling uninspired. He notices the peeling-off walls, so he decides to start painting it. He jumps on a ladder and starts on the roof. A huge seagull smashes him in the face, so he falls to the floor. His returning daughters and Scout come to tend to him. He's alright, though. There's a little blood on his head. May and Frank arrive after work, and Ted says that he'll take May to work the following day.

May and Frank have a conversation sitting on the porch. May tells Ted to go see a doctor about the wound. A nurse (Sylvia Harman) tells him that Doc Rayburn (Richard K. Olsen) is also the mayor, so he's at the town bar. He says that the wound is nasty. He refuses to believe that birds are responsible for anything. Frank starts taking pictures of May, who tells him to stop kidding around. Frank and May have lunch together. Frank remembers how he realised he had talent for taking photos, and how Emily, his first wife, helped him to begin professionally. The girls feel disgusted about a huge dead bird on the shore, but they also find the body of the man from the boat. The waves tip the body over, so the girls run away from the body screaming, with Scout on tow, and birds fly all over the place. They bump into another fisherman, alive and well, who also scares them. Soon the police are there. Everybody notices this other fisherman picking up the dead bird. Ted and May offer some consolation to their girls, and then, they talk about how much they both miss Tommy. Ted goes to the kitchen to drink some liquor, and notices a bird tapping on the kitchen window. Another bird smashes itself against the window, hurting Ted in his hand. May runs to the kitchen when she listens to the noise.

Ted goes to buy something, and offers his sympathies to Helen, who's lost a dear friend. She tells him that she'll give his children their favourite cookies if he brings sea shells to her. Ted says that he's cut himself with a glass, but Helen says that she's noticed the birds acting funny, and that one of them attacked a nephew of hers.

Birds are gathering. The girls run in the forest and reach the lighthouse. There, Karl (Jan Rubes), appears from out of nowhere, scaring them away. Back home, the small bird they found runs away, May says that in search of its family, but the girls are sad about that anyway. After the escape, May and Ted find a moment to talk and kiss each other. Birds gather outside their home, and Scott notices them, so he barks. Ted and May are trying to get intimate, but Scott prevents it. May gets annoyed, and she says that if she's bothering them, she'll get back inside.

The following day, Ted and the girls go riding. Karl is interested about another huge late bird. When Ted arrives home, he can't answer his wife's call. Frank uses this as an opportunity to offer buy her a beer, and she accepts. Frank wonders what the problem is with Ted, who should be satisfied with what he has. May tells him that he can't go over their son Tommy's death, not as she, who finally realised that life goes on. Frank suggests that she and Ted may be going in different directions in life. When May arrives home, Ted is awaiting her, and in fact he's mad at her because she was late and she didn't call. She says she called before, at five, but he didn't pick the phone up. May admits that she was for a drink with Frank. Ted wants her to cook dinner, and she replies that he should have done it. When he says that she would spend that newly acquired free time with Frank, she throws a bag of frozen vegetables at him.

At that moment, somebody knocks the door, so Ted goes see who it is. May sighs. Ted opens the door, still with the vegetable bag in his hand. It's Karl Mengual, who offers him a huge fish he's just caught and cleaned. Ted offers him to have dinner with them, because that fish would go well with the frozen peas he's got for dinner. Karl entertains everybody with his stories of pirates, and the girls are not afraid of him anymore. He tells about the town female pirate. May sends the girls to bed. Once alone, Ted asks about the island's birds. Karl says there have been many more recently. - May listens to the conversation in a startled way. Karl says that people call that piece of land the Land's End. When he goes away, some birds fly by threateningly behind him. May is finally teaching Frank how to use the computer program to edit his newspaper. Karl uses that as a cue to frenchkiss her. She steps back. Frank says he's sorry. May isn't sure whether she wants it or not.

Many different birds are cooing outside the Potter's home. Bird knocks in the girls' bedroom, so Jill and Joanna open a window to pick him up and put it in his nest. That is used for the other birds to enter the bedroom and attack the girls. Their parents arrive immediately and the birds attack them four. Ted is left inside until the birds go away by their own volition. Ted has to build wood blinds to secure all windows at home, while the ladies bury the dead birds. The girls realised that it all was a trap. Ted finds some strange birds remains. Frank calls May to tell her that he needs her, and that she should forget about the previous day. Ted overhears that conversation and tells her to go if she doesn't want to stay.

Karl appears and checks on the dead birds, still unburied. One of the birds is a black net, who has never been found in the seaside. In a map, they check where Helen's nephew was attacked. Karl and Ted go talk to Rayburn, who dismisses their claims. Land's End is a fishing town with the scarce tourist, and he doesn't want the economy of the town to fail because of rumours about crazy birds' attacks. The bartender (Philiop Loch) intervenes and brands them as crazy. Birds are hovering around all over the place. Karl drives Ted back home in his car. When Ted arrives, nor May nor the girls are there. He panics, but he sees them going for a walk. Ted tells May that they can't stay at Land's End. May decides to start packing immediately... after a fully clothed wash in the beach. Ted bids goodbye to Karl, who looks at thousands and thousands of birds assembling. Ted tells May to delay departure for one day more, as the following day there is going to be a town fair.

During the night, Jill goes check on Scout, barking at many birds on the fence. Joanna and Scout slowly go back home. Ted hits a huge eagle who attacks Joanna. All the birds go berserk. The birds attack Scout, hurting him. The birds try to enter the home. One of them cuts the phone and electricity, while Ted and the females tend to Scout. Even the grandfather's clock going 12 scares them. The birds attack the lighthouse when Karl is inside. Karl falls down from the top of it, and the birds turn off the light. The waitress (Catherine Davies) tells Rayburn to check on the hurt family, who are burying Scout. Jo asks if he'll be in heaven with Tommy. Birds gather around town as well, scaring Helen and Frank. The Potters' car won't start. Scott goes to Karl's to ask for his car, finding him dead. He picks up the keys and drives to pick his family up, telling them that Karl can't come with them, because he has to care about his lighthouse, but the girls sort of guess what's happened to him, especially the 11-year-old Jill. The Potters arrive to Gulls's Island ferry, but there are too many people. Back in town, a gull attacks Frank, who is taking photos of the huge flock of birds.

While the birds attack people on the queue, Rayburn finally realises that there's danger about to happen. He picks his shotgun, and is attacked by a huge bird. Frank kills that one, but the rest attack all the tourists. Rayburn has to jump to the sea. One of the birds kills the driver of the ferry. With the emergency light, the bartender kills another bird. It falls to the water burning, so as there was a power leak before, everything burns, killing Rayburn, who was swimming away. The Potters run away in another smaller boat. The reach another shore, where hundreds of birds are flocking together. They have to tip the boat around so that the birds won't get to them there. There has to go to Joanna's rescue, who was left behind somehow. The birds attack the boat until they decide to go to the land. The film ends with the family watching the birds fly off on top of the overturned boat.

Main cast[edit]

Actor Role
Brad Johnson Ted
Chelsea Field May
James Naughton Frank
Jan Rubes Karl
Tippi Hedren Helen
Richard K. Olsen Doc Rayburn

Reception[edit]

The TV film received widely negative reviews and was criticized by many critics. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly slated the production,[1] 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."[1]

In a 2002 interview, Tippi Hedren said of the film, "It's absolutely horrible, it embarrasses me horribly."[2]

Many other reviews were in the same vein, The New York Times calling the film "feeble." The film also received a score of 2.7 out of 10 on IMDb.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Tucker, Ken. "The Birds II: Land's End." (film review) Entertainment Weekly. March 18, 1994. Published in issue #214. Retrieved on September 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Chiller Theater Magazine. 2002. 59. 
  3. ^ The Birds II: Land's End at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]