The Birds II: Land's End

  • 1994
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Horror

This unremarkable made-for-cable sequel to Hitchcock's classic relocates Mother Nature's revenge from the original Bodega Bay setting to the easternmost harbors of New England. Ted Hocken (Brad Johnson), his wife May (Chelsea Field), and their two young daughters decide to spend their summer on secluded Gull Island near the quiet fishing community of Land's...read more

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This unremarkable made-for-cable sequel to Hitchcock's classic relocates Mother Nature's revenge from the original Bodega Bay setting to the easternmost harbors of New England.

Ted Hocken (Brad Johnson), his wife May (Chelsea Field), and their two young daughters decide to spend their summer on secluded Gull Island near the quiet fishing community of Land's End, where Ted, a high school biology teacher, hopes to finish his dissertation. While there, May runs hands-on

computer tutorials for newspaper editor Frank (James Naughton), a once-famous combat photographer who quickly opens up a marital rift in the not-so-happy family. Soon enough, the birds--this time out, they're gulls, sea eagles, the odd crow, and at least one duck--begin their rambunctious forays,

knocking Ted off a ladder, crashing through windows, and lethally dive-bombing a marine biologist. Only the coastal Cassandra at the local deli (Tippi Hedren) and an old coot who mans the town's lighthouse (Jan Rubes) suspect that nature may be in disharmony. When the birds finally gather for

their avian holocaust, Ted and family escape in small metal fishing boat, under which they are forced to take refuge when a phalanx of gulls peels off to pursue them. In an ending less ambiguous than the original, the birds apparently resolve whatever differences they have with man, leaving the

family of four to paddle back to civilization.

From the moment this frustrated writer and his nuclear family take possession of their vacation dream house, we have the makings for both THE AMITYVILLE HORROR and THE SHINING. What the film settles for instead--from the shock-cut teaser before the opening credits to the final maritime showdown

and stock happy ending--is a slapdash JAWS, complete with a Babbitt of a mayor who keeps office hours at the local tavern and sees Ted's alarmism as a threat to the tourist trade. The opening shots of coastal waterfowl soaked in spilled oil are a promising start, but the environmental angle is

never followed up. There are no hints here of the amusing reflexivity that marked the long string of PSYCHO sequels, despite the pointed inclusion of Hedren from the original. (Violence.)

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  • Released: 1994
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This unremarkable made-for-cable sequel to Hitchcock's classic relocates Mother Nature's revenge from the original Bodega Bay setting to the easternmost harbors of New England. Ted Hocken (Brad Johnson), his wife May (Chelsea Field), and their two young… (more)

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