Dead Birds (2004 film)
"There are worse things than dying...." A group of Confederate soldiers hole up in an abandoned plantation after robbing a bank, and find themselves at the mercy of supernatural forces.
- Release Date: 2004
- Country/Language: US, English
- Genres/Technical: Horror, Western (Weird West), Thriller
- Setting: Weird West (Gaslight), "Weird World War" (actually, American Civil War)
- Runtime: 1 hr 31 min
- Starring: Henry Thomas, Patrick Fugit, Nicki Aycox
- Director: Alex Turner
- Writer: Simon Barrett
- Producer/Production Co: Silver Nitrate Pictures, Dead Birds Films
- View Trailer: (link)
- IMDB Page: (link)
- Rated: R (Violence, Adult Content, Profanity)
A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:
- SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; could be a very loose adaptation)
This film is essentially a Lovecraftian Weird Western, with much of the backstory prompted by a plantation owner's attempts to bring his wife back from the dead using human sacrifice and a weird Tome, only to allow demonic monsters from "the other side" into this world to cause mischief in this world.
Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.
- Brian M. Sammons at Innsmouth Free Press, (link) - "...Not an overly Lovecraftian movie. In fact, it only has a hint of HPL wafting through it.... Still, as a horror movie, it is far better than most - and that includes a whole passel of flicks that namedrop the hell out of H.P. Lovecraft and his creations...."
Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
A Confederate soldier has gone AWOL with a gang of other men including a runaway slave (Isaiah Washington) and a nurse (Nicki Aycox); after the gang stops to rob a bank as part of their getaway, the gang heads into an empty house to hole up for the evening. As the gang start arguing with one another, strange things begin happening in the house -- and everyone in the group soon realizes that the place is haunted by hideous spectres and demons unleashed onto the Earth by an outre necromantic ritual performed by the plantation owner.
Comments, Trivia, Dedication
Associated Mythos Elements
- fiction: allegedly inspired by Robert E. Howard's "Pigeons From Hell (fiction)" (though similarities are minimal)
- setting: Weird West (Gaslight), "Weird World War" (actually, American Civil War)
- tome: untitled standard-issue tome, perhaps the Necronomicon
- race: Deadites
- location: Other Side
- Elements of this scenario could be easily stitched onto the basic framework of "The Haunting (aka The Haunted House) (Scenario)": the backstory of the Corbitt House might be that old man Corbitt had joined the Chapel of Contemplation to learn the magic needed to to bring his dead wife back from the dead, but the ritual required human sacrifices to perfect and complete, and even then she came back wrong, with the ritual allowing evil spirits from the Other Side into the house, leading to The Haunting....