Rick Rosenthal’s ‘The Birds 2: Land’s End’- Vin Sin 2k Restoration Blu-Ray Review

In 1994, a staggering thirty-one years after the original classic, The Birds 2: Land’s End was released for a television premiere. This sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s formative film (our retro review here) gave birth to the saying, “Don’t remake Hitchcock movies,” among the crew. In spite of the critical reviews, this film certainly has its moments of tension and gore. After getting no release since its VHS debut, Vinegar Syndrome has finally give this movie a 2k restoration from its original 35mm interpositive and put it out in Blu-ray format. Let’s look at how this The Birds 2: Land’s End release soars through the skies.

The Birds 2: Land’s End was written by Ken Wheat (Pitch Black 2000) and Jim Wheat (Riddick 2013) and directed by Rick Rosenthal (Halloween 2 1981) under the default name of Alan Smithee after he asked that his actual name be taken off of the credits. He did this because he butted heads with the producers of the film, who added extra scenes after principal photography wrapped, changing the direction of the movie. Rosenthal wanted to pay more homage to the Hitchcock style of tension, and the re-shoots molded the film into more of a gory, straight-horror affair. The film isn’t as poor as the critics’ reviews would have you believe, though, as there are moments of well choreographed chaos over top of a well balanced score.

This The Birds 2: Land’s End release has a lot of solid extras, kicked off with a thorough fifty-four minute “Making Of” documentary. The cast and crew are opinionated talking heads, giving many insights into the ups and downs of shooting. We learn about how the crew would summon and place tons of birds with red ping pong paddles, how fluidly the script would change, and how accomplished the team behind the mechanical maniacs actually were. They talk about a travesty during a glass-breaking stunt where real glass shattered all over an actor and almost got in his eyes.

But there is a lot more content to satiate the fans. There is a 2:45 photo gallery, a commentary track with film historians, and a seventeen minute interview with composer Ron Ramin, who pontificates the pressures of scoring a Hitchcock sequel and talks about completing the entire soundtrack in three weeks. But The Birds 2: Land’s End also takes you back to the 1994 location, with production assistant Craig Edwards, who oozes love and appreciation for this film. His stories make you feel as if you were a part of the crew as well.

Overall, this release is great for completionists who collect movies based on Hitchcock’s works. It’s underrated as a film, and the quality of the video, audio, and bonus features is impressive. While the ties between this film and Alfred’s original are very loose, Vinegar Syndrome did a wonderful job pulling it all together.

About Jason Burke

Hey there, I'm Jason. I'm a lifelong writer and lover of all things that go bump in the night. Under my production company name, Nostalgic Nightmare Productions, I write and produce films, novels, and photoshoots. I'm also an actor, activist, poet, and stand-up comic. I believe in deep, character-driven stories that engage the audience.

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