I've been trying to catch this film since its' release in 1994, and finally found a copy with russian subtitle last week. And what a queer fish it is. Not without merit, but totally without point. Hitchcock's flm, a million miles away from Daphne du Maurier, is probably my favourite film, and I know every stylised, well crafted second of it, loving all its set-ups and set pieces. This film is set on an island, and laden with imagery of oil pollution harming birds and such. It hints at Nature's revenge. It follows the structure of the first, and plays with the similiar idea of a family threaten - in the original it is Tippi Hedren's glamorous outsider that threatens the balance; here it is the threat of inidelity and the inability to cope with grief that is breaking up a family. Many incidents are the same as Hitchcock but have been inverted. There are CG effects, but this was 1994 so these are still a little basic. It tries to pull the same stunt as Hitchcock did with his enigmatic ending, but here our family holding onto an upturned boat watching as the birds flock to the mainland. The end. A bit limp. There's a baddie in the form of a mayor worried about tourists (think Jaws but without that jacket!). There's a cookie naturalist who understands birds. If you took Hitchock out the equation this might have been a half decent film, but it keep missing out on the set pieces. They kept flirting with the idea of the jungle gym scene, but never quite managed it. They had a gift of rotating lighthouse. How great that would have been to have seen the light swoop by in a room, and one bird flapped across. Next time, two birds, and so on. But no, nothing like that. They did blatantly reference Bodega Bay and a similiar incident, but that went for nothing.
The biggest mystery was Tippi Hedren, and this was the reason I had bought the disc. I had assumed she, well Melanie Daniels, would be a link to the original. wrong. She played a chaaracter called Helen who ran a shop, and that was that. A wasted character. Shame.
Still the sight of Brad Johnston rolling around practically naked being attack by birds is worth 90 minutes of anyones' time. As is listening to Tippi's beautifully cracked voice.