So what can I say about Frankenstein that hasn’t been said? I of course watched the movie first, and loved it:
Shelley started writing Frankenstein when she was 18, with it being published when she was 20, in 1818- the same year as Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. And it is a mix between gothic fiction and science fiction.
The book starts off with a Captain Walton who is on an Arctic trip and writing to his sister. Every time I read the book I find myself connecting more and more to him than any other character.
“But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy, and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil, I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. I desire the company of a man who could sympathise with me, whose eyes would reply to mine. You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend. I have no one near me, gentle yet courageous, possessed of a cultivated as well as of a capacious mind, whose tastes are like my own, to approve or amend my plans.”
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Who doesn’t feel that lonely at times, especially as the older you get it’s harder to connect with old friends and make new ones..
Captain Walton finds Dr. Victor Frankenstein and learns of Dr. Frankenstein’s quest to hunt down his creature. We learn about how Victor was born into a wealthy family and had a desire to understand the world and create, like what the great alchemists have before him. But instead of trying to turn lead into gold, he wanted to capture life!
This is when things go downhill for Frankenstein. First he decides to create life without thinking about how he will train the creature or what type of morality he should instill in it. Or what it means to have a life breathing person. It’s as if he wanted to make a baby only for the science of it and then when the baby is born abandons it.
Victor also makes the Creature gigantic, about 8 feet in height. You have to remember not only is that really tall, but in 1818 it’s humongous as the average height of men were about 5.5. Compare 8 feet to 5.5
Victor goes to the trouble of trying to make the creature beautiful, but it’s several body parts from different people and is frightening with watery white eyes and yellow skin.
Once everything is completed Frankenstein realizes his mistake, but is unable to destroy it. Instead he just abandons it, adopting that mentality it is “future self’s problem). Frankenstein’s creature escapes from Frankenstein and tries to find acceptance, only to be rejected. He then acts on his emotions and wants; killing or hurting everyone that Frankenstein holds dear to get back at him after Frankenstein refuses to make the creature a female.
There are a lot of different analysis of the book, but to me I always felt that one of the points Shelley was making was the necessity of guidance and a code of morals to live by. You may argue between whether that is a higher power, the law, etc.; but there must be some kind of code of ethics or else chaos reigns. If everyone only went after what made them feel good and what they want terrible things can happen.
I also think it is reminiscent of her father not really guiding his daughter in her life where she was younger, but then trying to be a parent after she was almost an adult and already set in her ways/at an age when she didn’t feel she needed to listen to him. Frankenstein does the same when he abandons the creature, only to later try and have him adhere to Frankenstein’s moral code.
Either way I recommend it for all gothic fiction fans.
Like my okay on Halloween Ends? I don’t care what they say, I know they will make more. When there is money to be made there will always be another sequel or remake.
But enough of that. Here ends another Horrorfest: 31 reviews of films and/or TV episodes that are mysteries, horror, film-noir, suspense, monster movies, thrillers, psycho killers, ghosts, vampires, zombies, mummies, etc.
I only started doing this because I already would watch something for Halloween every day in October (and annoy my friends by doing so); and it was a real easy leap to blog about it. I know some people don’t think I should as it has “nothing” to do with Jane Austen. That may be true, but I do know one character who would enjoy Halloween and Horror films.
I also did my third annual Celebrate Halloween withNorthanger Abbey. And added something new, reading a chapter of Northanger Abbey every day, it’s a perfect countdown to Halloween as it has 31 chapters
And of course our Annual items
A movie or TV episode from every decade from the 1930s-2020s
Jane Austen with Pup Fiction (1997)
Alfred Hitchcock with Marnie (1964)
Animated Film/TV Episode with Over the Garden Wall (2014) & Coco (2017)
Disney with Coco (2017)
Stephen King with Firestarter (2022)
Tim Burton with Beetlejuice (1988)
Vincent Price with The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
I have never seen this before but I needed a 1970s film and thought it sounded interesting. It’s supposed to be horror comedy version of Dracula, takes Dracula from Victorian themed and sets him in the modern world, and was for many years the the highest-grossing independent film of all time.
This film was inspired by the hit Young Frankenstein spoof by Mel Brooks and aspired to be as good. Let’s see if is worth the hype.
We start off with a rock song and a coffin slowly opening. I really like this music, pretty sweet.
We are in a castle, candles lit and a piano plays while dogs (or werewolves?) howl in the background. Our Dracula (George Hamilton) is playing and drinking alone. He calls to Reinfeild his servant who brings him nude-y magazines. But that’s not what Dracula wants as he tosses them in their trash. He only wants fashion magazines.
On the cover of one of the magazines is a model who is his “true love”, the reincarnation of his one true love he bit back in Warsaw in the 1800s, and in England in the 1930s, etc Looking at the magazine articles that Dracula reads off the cover of the magazine, these are jokes that would no longer hit. That’s something you only to be found in a 70s film.
Dracula’s castle has been taken by eminent domain of the Romanian government and they are going to use it as a training facility. They only have 48 hours to clear out and he can move to government housing or leave the country. He forgoes the apartment (if I was a Count I would too in Soviet Union Romania.)
Dracula calmly leaves, and I’m surprised he didn’t go Vlad the Impaler on them, but I guess it wouldn’t be comedic. When the crowd does try to swarm on them he releases some strange breath and they all move away. One old lady tried to get a shot in by hitting him with a bat but of course it does no damage. Dracula leaves with a parting shot, but the joke falls flat.
The two fly to America with Dracula in his coffin trying to get up to date on American slang and but the book he’s reading is from 1932.
At customs, Reinfeld brings Dracula and goes on about this sob story about his father dying in Africa on safari and being in pieces. It’s so good, the agent starts crying. But it turns out that he accidentally swapped coffins with another family.
Hey Sherman Hemsley is in this movie. He’s the minister at the funeral of the family that they accidentally swapped coffins with. In the middle of the service Dracula wakes up and opens the coffin with everyone taking off frightened.
Now Dracula is lost and alone on the streets of New York looking for the Plaza Hotel or a taxi. He runs into some African American people and doesn’t understand exactly what they are saying to him, but when they try to fight he takes them out and even bends a metal switchblade with his mind, and uses telekinesis to throw one right through the window.
Eventually Dracula finds his way to the plaza. And gets Reinfeld on the job to return the other body, get Dracula’s coffin, and find the model from the magazine, Cindy Sometime.
Reinfeld is dressed in horrible suit (that’s supposed to have him blend in) and heads to the model agency to try and arrange a date with Cindy. When the agency won’t tell him anything, Reinfeld threatens her with his lunch, a King a cobra.
With the address in hand and the sun having gone down, Dracula heads to the photo shoot to meet his Cindy…but first a man has gotta eat.
Dracula turns into a bat and roams the city. First he tried to feed on a woman who is in the middle of making love, but is scared off by the guy who thinks the bat is his first wife. The second family is hungry and try to capture and eat him. The third is a drunk homeless man who gives the bat alcohol. I think these scenes are supposed to be funny but they all fall flat. While I’m not really into the film I do think the makeup of Dracula is good. They actually had the same make-up artist as Dracula (1931), William Tuttle.
So Dracula is sad as he is lonely, can’t eat real food, and unable to be a part of any holiday. Imagine if Stephanie Meyer saw this, in this version being a vampire absolutely sucks. Reinfeld tried to cheer Dracula up and gives him the address of where Cindy would be, a discotheque.
Dracula sees Cindy and tries to talk to her, but she thinks he is a waiter and ignores him. Dracula uses his vampire magic to end Cindy’s phone call and tries to make his move, but she’s not really into it.
The two dance and I really like this scene. Cindy enjoys the dance so much that she invited Dracula home to her apartment which is a mess. The two make are together with Dracula biting her neck.
Later, Cindy is talking to her therapist and boyfriend Jeff Rosenberg.
Yeah Cindy is dating someone and she picked up another guy. When she tries to explain it to her boyfriend/therapist…
I know, I can’t believe she is dating her therapist, he should totally lose his license. Anyways Cindy sounds super crazy trying to explain her cheating. Like seriously Jeff, you shouldn’t be dating her, but I’m sure you’ve guessed how he rolls.
Jeff thinks that Cindy might be making it up but Cindy shows him the hickey and Jerry recognizes the teeth. Turns out his grandfather was Fritz Van Helsing-the Van Helsing. Jeff warns her that she shouldn’t dare Dracula again as if she gets bit two more times she will become a vampire as well. Cindy walks out as she thinks he’s crazy! I’m sorry, Jeff is crazy? You’re the one who said your low blood sugar made you cheat. That the FBI is adding things to your feminine hygiene products that make you cheat. You’re crazy!
That night tbe Count crashes Cindy and Jeff’s date. Jeff gives Cindy a garlic necklace but she tosses it. Jeff reveals his true identity, and Cindy is trying to figure out what is going on. Jeff tried to use a Jewish Star of David on Dracula but it has no effect. The two men try and hyponitize each other, but that also doesn’t work. Cindy gets mad and leaves, Dracula later following her and going through her balcony.
I fell asleep twice during this movie. It was really boring and I’m not sure why it was such a big hit and helped make George Hamilton a star. After the second time I was done and ended up just looking up the ending online.
So how it ends is Dr. Jeff tried to kill Dracula but is thwarted, and Cindy and Dracula run off to Jamaica. I was very disappointed as I was hoping Dracula in modern times would be more funny, like in Hotel Transylvania when they run into the humans at the end. Definitely give it a miss.
I don’t understand what any of this has to do with my mom.
Your mother was a shadowhunter, like him; like you.
So about a year ago, I read the book City of Bones (Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare. I decided to read it as it is SUPER popular at the library. The book is returned and gets checked out as soon as it is shelved.
After I finished it…I was not pleased at all and I could not get the appeal.
It kind of felt like a mashup between Supernatural and Harry Potter. And it MOST definitely was not better than The Hunger Games.
Seriously, they thought that?!
It was an okay story, but it went overload on the cultural references. Like these kids are into fantasy and Scifi, I get it-but when you just reference or quote things constantly to fill in your story instead of developing the characters-that’s where I have issues.
Not for me.
Plus I found the character Simon, Clary’s best friend, to be super annoying, and I wanted her to end up with Jace the shadowhunter she meets-as the author is constantly putting them together, but it turns out that they are brother and sister?
I mean why would you construct a story that way to want two characters to get together and then be all, psych they are brother and sister.
Why, why would you do that. Ugh, it made me feel disgusting after reading it.
Or are they? Could Valentine be lying?
Hmm…is it her?
Yeah, not interested in reading more…
So I was scrolling through my streaming sites, and the film popped up and I thought, why not? There was nothing else on. Let’s see how they did the film.
So Clary Fray (Lily Collins) is a normal 16-year old. She lives with her mother as her father passed away years ago. Her family is rounded out by her best friend Simon, who has a huge crush on her that she can’t see, and her mother’s best friend Luke Garroway (Aiden Turner).
AIDEN TURNER is in this?
For those of you who don’t know-Aiden Turner is an Irish actor who is immensely talented and has the best looking curly hair I have ever seen. I became a fan of him and his hair after watching Poldark, so I was excited. As I said, it’s been over a year since I read the book, but I do remember Luke playing a crucial role in the end of the book and I couldn’t wait to see Aiden Turner.
Clary and Simon go out to a coffee poetry night. Clary sees this “hot” blonde guy and decides to be spontaneous and go to the club he is going to. To be fair it wasn’t just because of the guy-her mother has sheltered her, her whole life and tht coupled with her mom calling her again about when she will be home and her turning 16-she decides to have fun. The hot gut was the final push.
At the club she sees him with a girl and a guy and watches the group as they approach a man and kill it.
She hurries away but its too late. Life has changed forever.
She has realized the “reality” of her world and its not going away. Clary gets in a fight with her mom, and later Jocelyn Fray (Lena Headey) calls Clary and warns her not to come back. Jocelyn is kidnapped and the apartment torn apart. Clary returns home, but is attacked by some wolflike creature. Jace, the boy from the club, comes and saves her.
Where is everyone?
He saves Clary and tells her the creature was a demon, as was the man the night before. Jace is a shadowhunter, shadowhunters are a race of mortals who have angelic blood. They reside in the shadow world but cross over to the mortal realm to hunt demons, vampires, werewolves, etc. Shadowhunters can only be created by being born of a shadowhunter or turned into one by The Mortal Cup.
As you have guessed it, Jocelyn is a shadowhunter, meaning that Clary is too. That is why she could see Jace and his friends and no else could. They question the neighbor, a witch, and discover that people are after the mortal cup and believe she has it.
That’s not good.
They need a ride and Simon drives her and Jace over to Luke’s to get more information. Simon is less annoying in this, but is still annoying. And surprise, surprise he hates Jace as Jace is clearly into Clary.
The actors weren’t bad but Lily Collins and the guy who plays Jace have like zero chemistry. In the book they actually connected better.
They reach the antique shop to look for Luke, and find him being beat up. He tells the two guys (the ones who kidnapped Jocelyn) that he cares nothing for the Frays and only wants the cup too. If they let him go he will be able to find it.
The crew leave him-RUDE, like geez Clary this guy was a surrogate dad and you watched him get beat up and did nothing.
So Jace knows they won’t be safe in the city and takes them to the Shadowhunter Institute. On the outside the muggles mundanes see a dilapidated broken down church, but on the inside it is a beautiful building with weapons.
There she meets Alex (Kevin Zeggers) and Isabella Lightwood, and Hodge who runs the institute. The three of the Shadowhunters are on earth because of what their parent’s did. Years ago, Valentine Morgensten’s father was killed by a werewolf and that set him on dark path. He wanted to destroy all downworlders (demons, werewolves, vampires, etc) even ones that were not breaking the law or the Accords. He was aided by the Lightwoods and intended on starting the killing when the next Accord signing was set up. They were stopped and punishment ended up with them being sent from Idris, their home in the Shaddoworld to New York City. Later Jace was sent to live with them. Hodge on the other hand is banished to never be able to return to Idris.
Valentine was experimenting with The Mortal Cup to become more powerful, but he was believed to be dead. With them searching for the cup and coming after Jocelyn, he must have returned.
That’s not good.
Hodge tells Jace to take Clary to the Silent Brothers so they can reveal her memories. When she gets there she discovers that there is a lock on her memories only one person could do that-Magnus Bane.
Magnus Bane is the high Warlock in the area and is just happening to be throwing a killer party. Of course poor Clary knows nothing about fashion and wears boring clothes so we have a makeover by Isabella.
After the makeover all the boys are upset- Jace has been struck by cupid, Simon is mad that Jace is into Clary, and Alec has a thing for Jace and doesn’t like that he is into Clary.
They head to the party and Clary goes off with Magnus. Magnus tells her that her mother wanted to keep her safe and used to take her to appointments regularly. It was getting harder for the block to stay as she growing older and they missed the latest appointment which was to be on her birthday. Magnus tells her he can’t do anything but that without the last session in time everything and all her powers will develop.
Well, thanks for that I guess.
Well that was a useless detour-except Simon gets kidnapped as he is turned into mouse and stolen by vampires. The gang has to go after him and fight, only surviving when they are saved by werwolves.
So about here I was checked out of the film. I like that they had pared down the pop culture references but to be honest this movie is really boring. It was just too much like things you’d seen before you know. I wouldn’t be able to give specifics but it was like a large order of deja vu.
Back at the institute Simon recuperates while Jace and Clary grow closer. Clary is a prolific artists and it turns out that her Shadowhunter powers are very interesting. She can draw something and pull it off the page, or put an ordinary object on into paper. That gets her thinking…
Jace, Clary, and Simon all have a spat as they are in a triangle-Simon likes Clary, and Clary likes the attention but she likes Jace who likes Clary, but Jace doesn’t like how close Clary and Simon are, etc.
Clary thinks about her abilities inherited from her mom and realizes she has seen a painting by her mom of The Mortal Cup. It was on set of tarot cards her mom made or their neighbor, the witch.
Jace, Alec, Isabella, and Clary head to her neighbors to get the cup-but she is possessed by a demon. They fight and get the cup, but Alec is wounded. At the institute Isabella blames Clary as Alec is wounded badly, so badly they have to call Magnus as he is the only one who could do anything.
That’s not good.
Clary gives the cup to Hodge, who betrays them by bringing Valentine into their word-he’s been biding his time working for him, the Death Eaters, as long believed dead leader is back.
Valentine is back and played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, oh I had a huge crush on him in the ’90s.
From Bend It Like Beckham
So Valentine reveals that he is Clary’s father. Clary has special abilities she isn’t aware of as he experimented on her when she was a fetus with angel blood and his son (her brother) with demon blood. I am really disappointed that he isn’t in the film that long and second his character is top comical. He’s chewing the scenery in every shot-and he’s not usually like this, so I blame the director.
So Clary is asked by her father to join the dark side him but she refuses, She puts the cup back in the card and travels through a portal to Luke’s. Meanwhile, Valentine bring Jocelyn to the institute and tries to figure out how to turn his daughter. Hodge comes up with the plan to lie to Jocelyn and Clary that Jace is the dead son Jonathan. I’m glad they made it clear in this that the incest is a lie-although it is still a weird plot.
Apparently, in a later book it is revealed that Valentine faked his and his older son Jonathan’s death and took the identify of Michael Wayland becoming a recluse. Michael and his wife had died, Valentine has been experimenting on Jace’s mother without her knowledge and when she died he saved the child and raised it. Jonathan had extra demon blood and Jace extra angel blood.
So they get to Luke’s shop and he reveals that he is a werewolf (Valentine was trying to get rid of him and took him on a hunt to get him turned into one and killed). Luke has always loved her mother and traveled with her to this world to protect her. He reveals information about Valentine and tells her that he lied to the the men torturing him to protect them. After he escaped he fought with another werewolf and gained a pack, them being the ones that saved them with the vampires.
The werewolves and few shadowhunters team up to take Valentine down.
Back at the institute, Valentine has brought demons in to help him and the Shadowhunters and werewolves do their best to fight him off. Simon discovers Jocelyn in a comalike state in the crypt of the church and tries to revive her. Valentine and Jace fight, but Jace stops when he is told that Valentine is his father.
He stops fighting, as that’s his “dad”, but Clary defeats Valentine and tricks him by giving him a fake cup ands him through the portal. Later Jace goes to see Clary and invites her back in to the Shadowhunter world-telling her he doesn’t think they are really siblings.
That doesn’t change it, still…
This wasn’t that good of a story. I think it was better in some ways than the book, but it was boring. It felt like a Star Wars, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer smoothie-and not in a good way. I liked Aiden Turner-although I wish he was in it more. Otherwise, meh.
You know, I was having a hard time thinking of what movie to open with. What ’60s movie do I like?
Then I stupidly remembered The Birds. Of course!
This movie is one of the best Alfred Hitchcock movies ever. I simply adore this film so much. It has everything that makes up a good film. And I can just watch it over and over again.
So I don’t remember what exactly got me into Alfred Hitchcock, but I became obsessed with his films. I do know how I was introduced to The Birds. It was through Ann M. Martin, author of The Baby-Sitters Club.
I loved the BSC books as a kid and read them all even belonging in the reading club that sent you two books a month and a little newsletter. I don’t remember if the newsletter or a book mentioned it, but I remember reading a note by Ann M. Martin about how she loved the film The Birds and because no one she knew had a VCR they could only watch it when it was on TV. Whenever it aired they would plan a sleepover and watch it with friends.
I can’t stop watching!
I became consumed with the idea of watching it, did and loved it. It was the first Alfred Hitchcock film I ever owned, me ordering it and planning on purchasing one every year on my birthday or Christmas and having the whole collection when I was an adult (did not happen sadly).
Later, a friend of mine. knowing how much I loved it, took me to Bodega Bay so I could see it in person and all the sites used in the film. It was so cool seeing everything and I later took many more trips out there. Here I am with the house that is used as a schoolhouse in the film. I blurred myself out as there are a lot of weirdos on the internet, no offense dear readers.
They also used to have a museum full of things from the movie and marketing/promotional materials, but it always had weird hours, then they closed it, then they had an awesome shop which doubled as a mini museum-but then the person died who owned it and the collection moved. Here I am with an item when they still had it.
Back in 2011, Tippi Hedren actually came out to do a promotional thing at Bodega Bay. I lived near there when I was going to school, but unfortunately I could not go and meet her as I had scheduled a trip home to be with family. However I had truly amazing and awesome friends who went out and stood in line and got her autograph my DVD. I tried to pay them back, but they would not let me know the price if it or let me do so.
So while it was an amazing film done by an amazing director there is a sad twinge to the story as well. Alfred Hitchcock was obsessed with Tippi Hedren and controlled her, he wouldn’t let anyone talk to her-unless they were filming, and just was plan awful to her, abusing her really. She tried to talk to the studio heads but he was such a money maker they refused to do anything. And when she refused him, he blackballed her. Too bad she wasn’t able to have justice. If you would like to know more I really recommend reading Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies by Donald Spoto
So that’s enough background, let’s move on to the review!
The film is based on a book by Daphne Du Maurier, this being the third of her works being published into a film-following Jamaica Inn and Rebecca. However, this story and her story have nothing in common besides birds attacking. And before we discuss the film, let’s watch the trailer.
So the film starts off in San Francisco where we have Melanie Daniels, Tippi Hedren, going into a bird shop to pick up her myna bird.
***little side note Alfred Hitchcock strolls on by***
****Second side note, by the way there is no music track-just bird noises****
*****And can I just say she is wearing a stunning green suit. I love it and wish I owned one just like it, although I have nowhere to wear it to.*****
Melanie notices a lot of birds in the air, thinking it odd, but moving along.
Unfortunately her bird has not arrived yet. The shopkeeper goes to call and she waits along at the desk. In walks the gorgeous Rod Taylor, and Melanie decides the same thing. Pretending to be the shopkeeper so that she can talk to him and put the moves on him.
He wants lovebirds for his sister’s birthday. He can tell she is not a shopkeeper but is trying to embarrass her, asking her questions she has no clue to the answers. When he asks to see a love bird it escapes around the shop causing havoc. And the real shopkeeper comes out to try and catch it. He reveals to Melanie that he knows who she is and has been playing her the whole time. It turns out that she went to court over a broken glass window and he was there too. He’s a lawyer and believed she should have served time for what she did, not gone off scot-free because she is a wealthy woman with a famous father.
She’s offended, but not so that she takes down this handsome man’s license, has a friend of her father run the plate, buys him lovebirds,and tracks down the address of a Mr. Mitch Brenner.
She’s got it bad, and is slightly creepy-but I kind of understand as Rod Taylor is a dreamboat. Who wouldn’t want to run into him again.
She brings the birds to his house and plans to leave them outside with a cheeky note, but his neighbor informs him that Mitch is gone for the weekend to visit his family in Bodega Bay.
A little funny that neighbor knows so much, but hey this is the ’60s. People actually knew their neighbors.
So Melanie drives the curvy winding coast road to Bodega Bay, which I have done plenty of times, and I always thought it was weird that the birds never flap around but just move with the vehicle. They don’t act like normal birds. It has always been my theory that they are the demon seed that start the revolution against people. They are just too quiet and creepy.
This is the only video I could find. There was originally no music
She goes to the post office, which you can visit, so that she can find Mitch’s address. The postmaster shows her the way to go. When you go now everything is compeletly different, but you can still look across the water like she did.
The Tides restaurant still exists, although it has been redone as there was a fire. In fact they were allowed to use it for filming only if the main male character was named after the owner of the Tides, Mitch Brenner. So yes, that is how Rod Taylor’s character got his name.
Melanie asks for the name of Mitch’s sister, but the postmaster doesn’t know. He directs her to the school and the schoolteacher, Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleshette), to get the actual info. Turns out the name is Cathy.
Annie asks Melanie a few questions about her relationship to Mitch. Hmm, sounds like there is some history there.
Annie Hayworth: Did you drive up from San Francisco by the coast road?
Melanie Daniels: Yes.
Annie Hayworth: Nice drive.
Melanie Daniels: It’s very beautiful.
Annie Hayworth: Is that where you met Mitch?
Melanie Daniels: Yes.
Annie Hayworth: I guess that’s where everyone meets Mitch.
Melanie heads out into a rented boat with the birds. She sneaks up to their house in heels, not an easy feat, goes into the house and drops off the birds.
Now Tippi Hedren may be a beautiful woman but I would be extremely creeped out if someone did that to me. I mean she doesn’t even know him but tracked down not only Mitch’s home address, but boyhood address. A bit creepy and stalkerish.
Mitch, however, is besotted.
As Melanie heads back across the bay, Mitch takes his car to meet her.
******Can I stop and go on a slight sidebar here? Feel free to skip over if you wish. I just love Rod Taylor in that white sweater. I don’t know what it is but he is extra dreamy.
Drooling is over back to the movie*******
So Melanie gets dive-bombed by a gull, and pretty badly hurt and bleeding. Head wounds are the worst. Here is were I guess it starts, the first shot in the revolution.
******Side note: The man who asks Mitch what happened, is the real Mitch Brenner.*******
Back to the film. They go into the resturant where Mitch tends to her wounds. She questions him, wile he tries to get to why she came. Melanie tries to play off her stalkerish by saying it was on the way to visit Annie, the schoolteacher, but Mitch knows that its a lie, therefore confirming to us that there is something between Annie and him, or was.
Melanie tries to play it cool, but she can’t hide the fact she had the serious hots for him. Come on Melanie, you tracked him down-don’t try to be haughty.
Mitch’s mom Lydia comes in and is introduced to Melanie. Lydia is the original ice queen and horror future-mother-in-law. Ouch. And Jessica Tandy is a great actress, one line “Oh I see”, packed with serious weight. Let the games begin.
Melanie is trying to head home but get tricked into coming to dinner as “she was staying the weekend” and won’t give up her lie. A girl has her pride after all.
She goes to Annie’s and wheedles staying there for the night. She tells Annie that she didn’t plan on staying long, which Annie replies she knows. That’s weighty right there, she knows as she didn’t plan on staying long either.
Melanie goes to dinner and meets cute little Cathy-friendly, cheery, adorable child. They mention that there is something wring with the chickens, They don’t like the feed…maybe because they are craving something else…like human flesh!
When Lydia calls her supplier it turns out her chickens aren’t the only ones on hunger strike. She agrees to see the farmer tomorrow to see if something is wrong with the chickens. And there is!
I love how Alfred Hitchcock plays the foreground and background against each other, both parts having things happen that go with the story, important, tension building, and just plan good.
We also found out that law and order Mitch is a defense attorney for “hoodlums and criminals”, interesting. Definitely a deep character.
Wow, there is more to him than I thought.
Cathy invites Melanie to her birthday party the next day, while in the kitchen Mitch and his mom start talking. They have a slight weird relationship as in someways his mom speaks to him as a child and in others their relationship is more spousal. Not that anything incestuous is going on, but as if that is the role that his mother put him in after his dad died.
We find out that there is a lot of interesting things in Melanie’s life. She jumps into fountains naked, tours Europe, and is always in the papers. A 1960s Sabrina van der Woodsen Debutante thats always doing something.
Mitch roots out the truth from Melanie about Annie, and starts goading her about her past misadventures, but Melanie isn’t having any of it. Good looks can only carry you so far Mitch.
Mitch Brenner: What about the letter you wrote me, is that a lie, too?
Melanie Daniels: No, I wrote the letter.
Mitch Brenner: Well what did it say?
Melanie Daniels: It said ‘Dear Mister Brenner, I think you need these lovebirds after all. They may help your personality.’
Mitch Brenner: But you tore it up?
Melanie Daniels: Yes.
Mitch Brenner: Why?
Melanie Daniels: Because it seemed stupid and foolish.
Mitch Brenner: Like jumping into a fountain in Rome?
Melanie Daniels: I told you what happened!
Mitch Brenner: You don’t expect me to believe that, do you?
Melanie Daniels: Oh, I don’t give a d*** what you believe!
Mitch Brenner: I’d still like to see you.
Melanie Daniels: Why?
Mitch Brenner: I think it might be fun.
Melanie Daniels: Well it might have been good enough in Rome, but it’s not good enough now.
Mitch Brenner: It is for me.
Melanie Daniels: Well not for me!
Mitch Brenner: What do you want?
Melanie Daniels: I thought you knew! I want to go through life jumping into fountains naked, good night!
We see the creepy birds watching from phone lines, congregating at the barn-waiting for the call to strike.
Not gulls but you understand the feeling.
Back at the house Annie and Melanie have brandy and Annie tells her her story and what happened. She met Mitch in college and fell in love, followed him here but Lydia got in the way. She kept them apart. She doesn’t want a daughter-in-law, she just wants her children. Annie didn’t want to lose him and stayed out here.
Then Mitch calls his ex-girlfriend for his new one. Ouch!
Melanie is apologized to and invited to the birthday party agreeing to come.
Both Annie and Melanie are surprised when a bird crashes into their door.
At the party Mitch takes Melanie off to the side with alcohol. She wants to head home as she has work. On Mondays and Wednesdays she works at the airport, on Tuesdays she takes classes, on Thursdays she has her club and lunches supporting a child through school, etc. Normal society things. Appears there is more depth to this party girl. Hmm…I wonder if the creators of Gossip Girl have ever watched this.
Mitch makes a joke about a mother’s care ad it turns out she has serious mother issues. Her mother abandoned them at age 11. A theme of mother’s issues is nothing new to Alfred Hitchcock as he himself had a ton and used the theme in many films, the most famous being Psycho.
At the party they are playing a game when the gulls show up and start attacking all the kids. Dive bombing and scratching. They try to help shoo them away and get everyone into the house.
Mitch is worried for Melanie ands invites her to stay the night there to be safe. And seriously, I think it is the love birds. Even with the cloth over them that should put them to bed as it is “night” they still squabble like crazy stopping only, when Cathy remarks on them. And just after, tons of sparrows come down the chimney attacking them. All cower in fear while Mitch tries to fight them off. Melanie moves Lydia and Cathy out of the room, to safety. After the attack and birds are gone they call the police, but there is nothing they can do about it.
The next morning, Lydia takes Cathy to school and then heads out to question the farmer about the chickens being sick. Lydia goes in looking for him and instead sees broken teacups, just like how hers were destroyed by the bird attack. The rooms are quiet and face the same destruction as hers and then she sees it!
Him, the dead birds, his eyes!
So freaky the first time I saw it. Oh, and still remains a scene that terrifies most.
Traumatizing children for all time.
Lydia races home and leans on Mitch, telling him what happened. Mitch heads over to the police that are called when he and Melanie have some very tender intimate moments. Relationships speed up when danger mars your every moment.
Lydia is worried over Cathy, with the large windows at school and the broken ones at the dead body looming in her mind. We see another side of Lydia as well, more vulnerable, worried-maybe Mitch comes home not just to help his mom but because without his aid they would loose the land. Hmm…thats one thing I love about this film, on the surface it is one thing but there are many sides to all these characters.
Lydia asks Melanie to pick up Cathy as she is very worried about her and Melanie heads out right away. Melanie goes to the school, but decides to wait a bit until recess. The kids are singing and she stays outside when we have this amazing scene.
Melanie runs in and warns Annie about the jungle gym. Annie tells them they are conducting a fire drill as not to scare them and directs them to run to different places. Of course the birds attack. Poor kids.
Melanie ends up in the diner calling her newspaper mogul father and telling him the story of what happened, All listening to every word she is telling her father.
We are introduced to Mrs. Bundy (BUNDY AHH) who is an ornithologist and for the birds, Giving us some serious information on the birds.
Traveling Salesman: Gulls are scavengers, anyway. Most birds are. Get yourselves guns and wipe them off the face of the earth!
Mrs. Bundy: That would hardly be possible.
Deke Carter: Why not, Mrs. Bundy?
Mrs. Bundy: Because there are 8,650 species of birds in the world today, Mr. Carter. It is estimated that 5,750,000,000 birds live in the United States alone. The five continents of the world…
Traveling Salesman: Kill ’em all. Get rid of the messy animals.
Mrs. Bundy:…probably contain more than 100,000,000,000 birds!
We get a bit of debate as a Captain interjects that he also hates birds and wishes they were all gone, them having attacked one of his ship captains. Melanie states that the birds are killers after the kids. Everyone keeps talking down to Melanie as she tries to tell them that it wasn’t just a few but a ton and a series of different kinds.
Mitch shows up asking for Kathy, who is at Annies. Just as they argue the birds attack again. Mitch tells Melanie to stay behind as they take out a guy pumping gas causing it to flow over the ground. An unsuspecting smoker sets it off and boom.
This causes a big sign that the other birds can see and they all come in swarming. The pyre’s have been lit.
I’m in shock
All go out of the restaurant (Why? Don’t know) and we have the famous telephone scene.
They actually have a telephone booth and Tippi Hedren mannequin at one of the shops there and you can get a picture with it.
Mitch gets her out and they head back to the restaurant. Hiding with others. Mrs. Bundy, I notice you are quiet. Not talking down at her anymore are you?
One of them is hysterical, blaming Melanie. In a way I believe she is right. Although it isn’t Melanie, but those love birds.
Mitch and Melanie run to the schoolhouse to get Cathy finding Annie’s dead body.
Cathy is safely inside, but utterly traumatized. Mitch carries Annie inside and covers her with his coat. Then the three speed off to the Brenner house.
At the Brenner home, Mitch patches up the openings, prepping the house for an attack. He notices that there appears to be a pattern. They attack, disburse, regroup, attack again. Why?
Melanie tries to contact her father but the lines are cut. The birds isolating them and making it unable for them to reach anyone or get even local radio.
Lydia starts to freak out wanting answers, the tension exploding. All are succumbing to it.
Cathy wants the love birds with her, NOOOO nor those evil things. Even now they are probably plotting.
Now they wait, trapped. Kathy gets so anxious she makes herself sick. Then they wait again. Hearing them, being taunted by them.
We have the first attack of gulls breaking windows and trying to peck through the door. Mitch being the one to take action and stop them. Then Melanie goes up to the attic.
Poor Melanie. they tend to her, but she is banged up. This scene was horrible to film. Seven days of birds being thrown at her, again and again.
Mitch uses this time of quiet to plan an escape. Melanie needs a hospital, so he and Cathy start getting things ready, not knowing what will face in the outside world or if they will be able to ever come back.
I like how Hitchcock ends the film with us not knowing if they make it out okay. We never know if everything will go back to normal. What or who caused this? I think it makes the film stronger and gives you the opportunity to create your own theory from each of his clues. If they had given us an answer, it probably would have been lame no matter what was chosen, we would have found faults. Sometimes it is better just not knowing.
So there we go, believe my theory or create your own. Either way watch the film.
This film changed how I look at birds. I never liked them before and hated them ever since. I’ll never look at another the same way again. Especially when they get in large groups or swarm overhead.
Not gulls but you understand the feeling.
After I showed this film to some friends who had never seen it, a few days later we were shopping at a store. As we are leaving, my one friend looks behind us at the store and goes ashen. She freaks out and tells us to run. As we are I look back and see a ton lined up on the store watching, then deciding to take off. We all ran as fast as we could to the car struggling in, and speeding home. Nothing happened, but a film like this just sticks to you.
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So this kicks off the beginning of Horrorfest VII. I hope you enjoy it and the spooks. thrills, and chills that are to come.