Friday, May 11, 2012

Random Hitchcock: The Birds (1963)

This is without question one of the greatest, and influential horror films in history (it a direct influence on the concepts found in Night Of The Living Dead (1968)).  Yet, for all his macabre public images as one of the masters of the dark, which started in the 1950's, this was only Hitchcock's sophomore venture into the genre, though he was by this time the undisputed master of the Thriller!  The plot is simple, which in my opinion makes for the best horror films.  Birds are seriously out of control and are amassing in ever frenzied and numbered attacks in a small town in Northern California, all the while silly humans are standing around debating the very concept that birds are even doing what they are actually doing.  The entire affair is never even remotely explained, but by the end of the film the little town of Bodega Bay is completely invaded, and it's intimated that the rest of northern California is next.  Clearly something has gone very, very wrong in the avian population possibly worldwide.  Who needs bird flu??  Amongst an all star cast of Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedron, Jessica Tandy and Suzanne Pleshette, Veronica Cartwright embarked on a long career as a genuine modern scream queen in this one.  Also the diner/gas station explosion that is shown in this film, is described 5 years later in George Romero's ground breaking zombie film (later, it actually shows up in Zack Snyder's remake of Dawn Of The Dead (2004)).  Hitch really got this one right!

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