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The Birds / Rosemary's Baby / Don't Torture a Duckling / The Other

Reed Rothchild


Which ones have you seen?  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Which ones have you seen?

    • The Birds (1963)
    • Rosemary's Baby (1968)
    • Don't Torture a Duckling (1972)
    • The Other (1972)
    • None of the above

The Birds (1963)

The Birds (film) - Wikipedia

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.

This is one of the few horror movies my dad showed me when I was super little, and I was traumatized for quite a few years.  I'd imagine birds coming for my eyeballs, pecking
faster than I could react.  One day my mom brought home a pet parakeet of all birds, and I actually had to assure myself it was going to be fine.  Luckily the fear was broken from that point on, but it was still a rough couple of years for little me.

I think that's the fundamental strength or appeal of "animals attack" horror films.  These things "could" happen.  A giant shark could bite you in half.  A pack of wolves could eat you.  And a bird could peck out your juicy eyes.

Nowadays, I think the film still stands strong.  The effects are surely dated, but not terrible by any means either.  And Tippi Hedren is great as the lead.  In fact, it's still by far the definitive bird movie.  It's honestly amazing that the major studios haven't taken another shot at the subject matter.  Knock on wood.

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Amazon.com: Rosemary's Baby Poster Movie (27 x 40 Inches - 69cm x 102cm)  (1968): Posters & Prints

A young couple trying for a baby moves into an aging, ornate apartment building on Central Park West, where they find themselves surrounded by peculiar neighbors.

This is like the bizarro version of Breakfast at Tiffanys.  Young bohemian New Yorkers hang around their apartment all day and engage in wild hijinks with their neighbors.  Except, this time the neighbors are elderly witches that want to stand around naked, watching Satan rape poor Mia Farrow.  Fun stuff.  John Cassavetes is also great as husband who's willing to throw his wife under the bus for a little fame and fortune.

It's a not a perfect film, and probably could have been like 30 minutes shorter.  But it's the Polanski film I always seem to return to the most.

Don't Torture a Duckling (1972)

Don't Torture a Duckling (1972) - IMDb

When a southern Italian town is rocked by a string of child murders, the police and two urban outcasts search for the culprit amid scapegoating within the superstitious community.

The first giallo to grace this list, and my favorite film by "auteur" Lucio Fulci, who's output was a decidedly mixed bag when all was said and done.  But this one is great.  And I love the setting of poor Sicily.

Now, can you see the ending coming from a mile away?  Maybe.  There's a limited slate of characters, and the obvious "villain" is so clearly setup to be the bad guy that you know it was to be misdirection.  But the payoff still works.

Oh, and the gratuitous (to put it mildly) death scene at the end is a fucking classic.

The Other (1972)

The Other (1972) - IMDb

A series of gruesome accidents plague a small American farming community in the summer of 1935, encircling two identical twin brothers and their family.

Another killer kid move.  What can I say, they're my jam.  And this one is about twins!  That's double my jam.  As a father of twins these kinds of films always hit close to home, and this one is no exception.  Now, is one of the main plot devices pretty silly and a bit contrived?  Sure.  But it works.  And it pre-dates a certain other horror film with a similar plot device by a number of years.  Plus it never gets in the way of telling a good story.

And that downer of an ending?  I'm here for it.  Horror films should always end in the bleakest fashion possible.


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