Those familiar with the films of Andy Milligan will hardly be able to recognize "Nightbirds" as his, because it contains few of the Milligan trademarks fans have come to love and expect. It looks like Andy was going for something very different here, something more serious and artistic..and he manages nicely, this tale of two very maladjusted young people, who meet "by chance" on the streets of London's East End. The coolly beautiful "Dee" comes off as warm and friendly to the homeless "Dink..." almost TOO friendly, as she invites him to live with her only hours after meeting him. The two blonde lovers settle into a domestic arrangement inside Dee's rooftop artists loft, but soon things begin to change, as a subtle, psychological power struggle ensues between the two young, but insecure kids. As the story progresses, it becomes quite clear that Dee has some very strange notions about love and relationships. It also becomes clear that she is a very disturbed woman. This is a slow film, but with a surprising conclusion that is definitely worth the wait. At times Milligan creates the illusion that the film is going nowhere, but the big reveal at the end is truly blood chilling. The casting choice was brilliant; the actress who plays Dee has the frigid look of an ice princess, with her white blonde hair and her icy, pale blue eyes. She is beautiful but there is something threatening and diabolical about her. Milligan fans will recognize Dink as "Spool," the forlorn hunchback from "The Body Beneath." In "Nightbirds" Berwick Kaler looks similarly pathetic and insecure. His character is a virgin with no self esteem, on top of being homeless. He is exactly the kind of desperate soul that Dee is drawn to, for reasons that i won't divulge. Shot in haunting black and white, and enhanced by a moody flute jazz soundtrack, "Nightbirds" is a recommended watch for anyone interested in the work of Andy Milligan. It's interesting to see a side to this film maker that is so different from the style that made him the King of no-budget grindhouse cinema. Danish director Nicholas Refn saw enough value in this film to basically bring it back to life, after being considered a lost film for decades. This fan hopes that more of Milligan's lost movies will be rediscovered.
While living rough on the streets of London's East End, a young man, Dink encounters the mysterious Dee and they begin a relationship. When tenderness gives way to cruelty they become consumed by darkness.
August 4, 2020