When birds of a different feather flock together…

Spoiler alert!

After having posted my latest post on El Tango de Roxanne, it became clear that there are still lots of movies I have to see. There are so many classic movies, and good movies, and I haven’t seen even half of them! But sometimes, tv will help you out.
A few days ago, namely, The Birds would be on tv. We recorded it, because everyone knows this movie, and well, it’s worth watching it, right? So two days ago, we started watching this recorded movie. But we started watching quite late, so we only saw a part of it, and promised each other to watch the rest the next day. So yesterday, we sat down in front of the tv again, and watched the rest of it.

It’s quite fun to watch a movie that was made when my father was still very, very young. It’s full of dialogues, and special effects that are really fake now. When Melanie drives her car, the background is so obviously fake… Or when the birds attack the children, you can see they don’t really run there. But okay, at that time, it must have been spectacular. And sometimes, we agreed that the tension was built up very well. When Melanie sits on a bench, with a playground behind her, and the birds start collecting… It starts with two or three birds, but it ends up with a massive amount of birds just waiting to attack, and she doesn’t see them.

The same tension was built up when Melanie and the Brenners are at the Brenner’s house, hiding for the birds, and Melanie hears a sounds. Electricity is gone, so it’s all dark. Melanie takes an oil lamp and climbs the stairs…It’s a freaky moment, I was near to frightened. I like this kind of tension more than well, other kinds. I don’t like ‘physical’ horror movies, with limbs cut off and stuff. The psychological terror can be equally or even more frightening, and is less ‘cheap’.

Next to frightening, this movie was also cute. The fake backgrounds, the manners of that time, the fashion, all of that was just plain cute. Props for the actors though, because they were actually great. Somehow, I thought that acting wasn’t nearly as good as it’s supposed to be now, but I was wrong.

But then. We were desperately waiting for an explanation, a plot, while I was saying “Release the love birds! Release them!”, as I believed the birds attacked because of the love birds. All the while, we were scared that the movie would not be fully recorded, because we saw there wasn’t much movie left, and the end wasn’t even near. We believed. So the Brenners and Melanie get into Melanie’s car, they drive off, and then, all of sudden-

Publicity!

The end of the recorded movie!

We were like ‘Noooooo! We want to see the ending! We have to see the ending! Why can’t that stupid thing record the entire movie!’ So today, I desperately searched for the movie on YouTube, on Dailymotion, on Google, because it seemed to be nowhere. We found it on some site, went straight to the end, only to discover that this version stopped at the very same moment. Suspicion was growing. We found another site which offered the movie. According to Wikipedia, it had the right duration, so we went straight to the end once more, only to find out that the end…

… was what we had seen: the Brenners and Melanie driving off. No explanation, now release of the love birds, no solution or whatsoever.

We were terribly disappointed. I mean, you call that an ending? I don’t. I’m still convinced that if they just had released those pokerfacing love birds, everything would have been alright. I’m not pleased to find out that in fact we had seen the entire movie, but I must admit that it left me with an uncomfortable feeling. So somehow, it was well done.

But the ending just sucked.

The taglines to the movie made me laugh…:

Suspense and shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined!
…and remember, the next scream you hear may be your own!
It could be the most terrifying motion picture I have ever made!
Nothing You Have Ever Witnessed Before Has Prepared You for Such Sheer Stabbing Shock!
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25 Comments

  1. Gotta love Alfie! Just can’t beat psycho!

    Reply
    • Haven’t seen it yet, but the trailer is promising…

      Reply
      • WHAT????? Get back to me on that!

      • Eerm, I’m sorry? 🙂

      • Sorry I wasn’t meaning to be rude…just one of my favorite movies. I have added to that post. Jen xx

      • Don’t worry, I didn’t feel hurt or something :)! It’s just that I’ve got a giant list with movies to watch, but I need the time and means to watch all of them. I certainly want to watch Psycho, just don’t know when I’ll do it.
        Besides, I’m such a scaredy cat :D.

      • That’s OK. I’m sure you do after your wonderful post. This isn’t scary by modern standards but it still leaves you feeling scared. At least you have a list to work by now! I saw the birds after Psycho and I was disappointed too.

      • It’s above all the ending, because it made me feel scared somehow. I did like the cinematography (does that word exist?) overall. So I guess Psycho will be at least equally as terrifying. If it has a better ending, it will be perfect :).

      • Yes that is a word and the ending is brilliant but very Hitchcock. Jen xx

      • WHAT????? Get back to me on that! I first watched this as a teenager on a weekend away with a girlfriends and her parents. We were downstairs away from the adults (a first for me), my girlfriend went to sleep but I was transfixed to the end. When the “video” ended and the TV went to fuzz, I was left in the dark…with the crazy fuzz sound of the television adding to the eeriness of the strange downstairs dungeon we were in, I was left to fumble my way to the bathroom and my bed on my own. I will never forget how scared I was that night! Watch and enjoy but remember to forget your expectations of modern horror. This is Hitchcock at his finest, the build is innocent and almost calming, there’s drama of course, the heroine is beautiful and desperate and the plot is flawless. Watch it in the dark…….with a friend!

  2. This is a very timely post because I just heard that they’re re-releasing it in the movie theaters over here for a short while.
    Haha! The special effects are so antiquated that it’s almost funny. I remember watching it when I was little and thinking it was really spooky.
    I agree 100% with your very keen review. The ending was so lacking.

    Reply
    • Absolutely!
      Rereleasing it? Hmm, I’m not sure if I’ll go and watch it.
      Perhaps I will.
      Probably I won’t. Unless they change the damn ending!

      Reply
      • hahah! Yeah, it’s probably not worth sitting through again if you just saw it. It’s probably been 40 or more years for me so I guess I can venture back.

  3. I would agree with the other posts, Psycho is definitely a great movie from Hitchcock and paved the way for 100s of movies like it- lots of tension. Another great movie he made was “Rear Window”. The whole thing takes place in an apartment with a guy laid up in a wheelchair looking out his back courtyard window. Many have copied this, but this original was one of the best at tension without arms and legs flying around in the process. Either way I agree with you The Birds could have had some closure, but what do you think? When they drove away “with” the lovebirds… would the birds follow them? Would there be further bird issues in the town they were leaving? OR did the birds finally get what they wanted- for them to leave together- away from the small town…after all they were pretty calm at the end after all of that upheaval. Makes you think anyway.

    Reply
    • But I like solutions… I need solutions… I really wanted an explanation and I wanted them to be freed from the birds’ wrath…
      Next to that, I was quite impressed, of course. But I see that many people agree on the Psycho thing.

      Reply
  4. Hitchcock was the master of creating unsettling movies. The Birds is not my favorite of his movies, by any means, but he did know how to manipulate people’s reactions. You’re much better off seeing Psycho, Rear Window, or North by Northwest.

    Reply
  5. We watched this in 9th grade English class. Not sure why. My teacher did not seem like a drinker. A hangover was not the cause. I felt the same way. You want to see a really bad payoff? Rent the movie Mary Marcy Marlene May or whatever it is called with the Olsen Twins’s younger sister. It’s a fine movie and then they run out of film.

    Reply
    • Really? I read some nice reviews on that movie. But I believe you, so I won’t watch it. From now on I’ll only watch movies with a decent ending!

      Reply
  6. After you’ve watched the Hithcock oeuvre, watch Mel Brooks “High Anxiety”. It’s a hilarious sendup of most of them.

    Reply
  7. If the cheesiness of The Birds taglines made you giggle, wait until you see Marnie, which is the ultimate in cheese… I love Hitchcock, but some of his movies don’t hold up as well as others.

    My favorites are Vertigo, North By Northwest, and Notorious. No one ever mentions Notorious, but it is SOOOO good.

    Reply
    • My head starts spinning at the thought of all movies I still have to see! That Marnie is on my list as well now. Because sometimes, cheesiness is sooo much fun :D. (Yes, I’m the kind of person that comments on movies all the time…)

      Reply
  8. I love Hitchcock! He had such great ideas for movies. Way before his time! The Birds was always one that I wasn’t afraid of though for some reason. I guess I was like, psshhh birds are lame.
    But look at this awesome Barbie doll (hopefully you can see it!)

    Reply
    • Haha, awesome Barbie! They really look alike!
      I know some people who are in fact scared of birds, and then I’m like you: psssshh, it are birds, come on! But this movie was slightly different for me ;).

      Reply

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