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31 Nights of Horror – The Birds

Another Hitchcock but what can I say? Nobody does it better. This is a 1963 horror/thriller starring Tippi Hedren as a declasse socialite, Melanie Daniels and Rod Taylor as a dashing lawyer, Mitch Brenner. Mitch knows Melanie by reputation but they officially meet in a bird store where Mitch is trying to purchase a pair of love birds for his sister’s birthday. The shop has none but Melanie purchases the birds elsewhere and sets out to deliver them to Mitch’s family home. He catches her before she can depart from the island where he lives, and she is attacked by a seagull. Melanie is invited to dinner and meets Mitch’s mother and younger sister. The next day she also attends the sister’s birthday party where the party-goers are set upon by a pack of seagulls.

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Killer birds admittedly aren’t that scary, until Lydia (Mitch’s mother) discovers a neighbor who has been attacked and had his eyes pecked out. One of the scariest scenes from this movie is when Melanie goes to collect Cathy (younger sister) at school and a flock of crows, or a murder is amassing on the power lines and all around the school house. The birds descend on the children and injure several, it turns out that birds everywhere are acting strangely and aggressively. There’s a gas pump explosion, birds smashing through windows, it is all around insanity. What makes this movie even more unsettling is that the killer birds issue is never resolved, the family and two lovebirds are seen driving through an asinine amount of birds, heading to the hospital but we don’t know what happens after that! I think they all died and birds took over the world. What I also found interesting about this movie is that there weren’t any birds of prey; hawks, falcons, eagles, etc that one would know are dangerous- there were just seagulls, crows, sparrows – killer sparrows?! I quit. This movie also includes my favourite Hitchcock cameo, he is walking his two little dogs out of the pet store. Another classic, not your traditional slasher but those birds hold their own.

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