The Birds (1963) Film Review

the birds

The Birds is a Hitchcock classic. A fairly annoying woman, Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hendren) meets a quite arrogant man Mitch Brenner(Rod Taylor) and decides, with very little thinking, to surprise him at his mother’s home a couple of hours down the coast. Both he and is younger sister Cathy (Veronica Cartwright) are quite impressed, but his mother (Jessica Tandy) and ex-girlfriend Annie (Suzanne Pleshette) are less impressed. But this story doesn’t get to be explored any further as all of the birds start to attack the townsfolk.

It’s not hard to get past the fairly average special effects; the story is so compelling. I think what got me is that it is not explained. The birds just start working in an obviously deliberately aggressive fashion, and together. Plus, when you see hundreds of bird covering every surface with no soundtrack besides the sound of the birds. You don’t get much creepier than this. Below is a truly magnificent short lecture from Alfred Hitchock about birds. How wonderful.

The Birds was nominated for an Oscar for Best Effects, Special Visual Effects.


Witches of Eastwick (1987) Film Review


I have such a soft spot for eighties films with effects that, at the time, were totally cutting edge. This and Beetlejuice and two of my all-time favs.

Alexandra (Cher), Jane (Susan Sarandon) and Sukie (Michelle Pfeiffer) are three women whose husbands have gone (dead, divorced and deserted) living in the small town of Eastwick. After drunkenly describe the perfect man for them, a mysterious character appears in town; Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson). Rich, talented and totally repulsive. He manages to seduce the three and before they know it, the whole town in talking about them.

It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s gross and it’s magnificent. The absolute height of eighties comedy. (Actually, that’s a big call. There are a lot that fit into that category. But it’s definitely up there!)

The Witches of Eastwick was nominated for Oscars for Best Sound and Best Music, Original Score.