The Birds II: Land's End

It may be called The Birds II: Land’s End (Showtime, March 19, 9-10:30 p.m.), but it’s not a horror movie about a scary yuppie mail-order catalog. It’s a sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller that starred Tippi Hedren as the blond who got all those nasty black crows tangled in her hair. In The Birds II, the still-lovely Hedren has a small role as a shopkeeper, but the movie centers on Chelsea Field (Angel Falls) and Brad Johnson (Ned Blessing) as the new inhabitants of a small town on Gull Island. As you can imagine from that name, most of the menacing birds are seagulls,although the movie briefly-and ineptly-restages Hitchcock’s famous moment when crows swarmed a playground. The actors in Birds II have little to do except widen their eyes in terror, and even that seems a daunting stretch for Johnson. The TV movie gets its cheapest scares from showing us two children terrorized by the spectacle of a corpse with its eyes pecked out. Hitchcock’s Birds was based on a Daphne Du Maurier story; Birds II was written by Ken and Jim Wheat, who gave us Nightmare on Elm Street IV, and was directed by ”Alan Smithee,” the time- honored Hollywood pseudonym used when a director wants to disown the finished product. But the poster and cassette box that Showtime sent along with the review tape clearly state that Rick Rosenthal, best known for the solid 1983 Sean Penn film Bad Boys, directed Birds II. He has good reasons to want his name erased from it. If it were me, I’d sue. D

The Birds II: Land's End
  • TV Show