The Birds (1963) – Episode 32 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“I have never known birds of different species to flock together. The very concept is unimaginable. Why, if that happened, we wouldn’t stand a chance! How could we possibly hope to fight them?”  Yikes! The ornithologist has a darn good point! Join Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry (He’s ba-a-a-ck!), and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Dan Sellers, as we take a bird’s eye view of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 32 – The Birds (1963)

Based on Daphne du Maurier’s short story of the same title and adapted to the screen by Evan Hunter, The Birds tells the story of Bodega Bay, a California coastal town terrorized by inexplicably aggressive and belligerent birds.The film stars Tippi Hedren (Melanie), Suzanne Pleshette (Annie), Jessica Tandy (Lydia), Veronica Cartwright (Cathy), and Rod Taylor (Mitch) under the direction of Alfred Hitchcock.

The stars are surrounded by a cast populated with some of the best character actors in the business, including Ethel Griffies as the ornithologist, Charles McGraw as the fishing boat captain, Lonny Chapman as the innkeeper, Doreen Lang as the hysterical mother, Karl Swenson as the drunken prophet, Joe Mantell as the cynical businessman, Ruth McDevitt as the owner of bird shop, Malcolm Atterbury as the deputy, Richard Deacon as Mitch’s neighbor in San Francisco, Doodles Weaver as a fisherman helping with a rental boat, and William Quinn as a man in the diner. You might not recognize all of their names, but if you watched many movies or television shows from the 1950s through the 1970s, you will most assuredly recognize their faces.

Jeff points out The Birds has been called Hitchcock’s monster movie. Chad proclaims his love of Albert Whitlock’s matte paintings and explains the method used by longtime Disney employee Ub Iwerks in providing the special effects for The Birds. Joseph marvels at Hitchcock’s ability to build and hold tension and suspense, and they all agree the credit should be shared with editor George Tomasini. Dan discusses the prototypical “Hitchcock blonde” and confides to the Grue Crew that he’s just glad to be doing a podcast without Sammie Cassell.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is John Frankenheimer’s Seconds (1963), selected by Jeff Mohr.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!


Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) – Episode 41 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Sleep . . . Sleep . . . and be born again into a world without fear and hate!” – the tagline for Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) warns its audience of the horrors threatening to take over your body and extinguish your soul. Seventies leading man Donald Sutherland teams up with Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, and Veronica Cartwright to save the world from the pod people. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 41 – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

A sequel to the Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), the 1978 version from director Philip Kaufman tackles the source material from author Jack Finney once again, filling it with all the paranoia post Nixon era Seventies where everyone is so self absorbed they’d never realize the world was being taken over by aliens. It is crazy-frightening how easy it seems for the alien pod people to take over San Francisco, starting with a cameo from Robert Duvall as a sinister priest to the chilling ending where Veronica Cartwright screams in terror. No character is safe. Still, not sure how any of this explains the crazy human faced dog,but, whatever. Points for creativity, eh.

Doc Rotten and The Black Saint return to give their thoughts on the classic sci-fi horror film recently released on Blu-ray by Scream Factory. Santos recalls watching the film in the theater in the Seventies while Doc shares how, as a kid, he originally did not like the film but grew to love it for the classic film that it is. The grue-crew look back at that careers of the main cast including Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, and Leonard Nemoy. The from the great sound work in the film to the special effects, they rave about Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And so should you!

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