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Zombie 5 - Killing Birds
Zombie 5 - Killing Birds
Actors: Lara Wendel, Robert Vaughn, Timothy W. Watts, Leslie Cumming, James Villemaire
Directors: Claudio Lattanzi, Joe D'Amato
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
UR     2003     1hr 30min

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Movie Details

Actors: Lara Wendel, Robert Vaughn, Timothy W. Watts, Leslie Cumming, James Villemaire
Directors: Claudio Lattanzi, Joe D'Amato
Creators: Claudio Lattanzi, Joe D'Amato, Daniele Stroppa, Rossella Drudi, Sheila Goldberg
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Shriek Show
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 08/19/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1988
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, Italian

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Movie Reviews

How do you spell dull? K-i-l-l-i-n-g B-i-r-d-s.
08/28/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, the current Amazon description -- supposedly from the back cover -- is from a different movie. This is actually a zombie movie. Well, not exactly. It's actually a killer bird movie. Well, not exactly.OK, this is a prime example that long-lost 80's genre, the Incredibly Stupid and Mind-Numbingly Dull People Who Walk Around For Two Hours In a
Vaguely Menacing Setting movie. The entire movie comprises interminably long sequences of people stumbling around calling each others' names (Mary? Steve?) punctuated by brief scenes of bad gore. Here's the kind of logic you will witness: After almost every character has been killed, a man walks into the action and says "I'm glad I made it in time." HUH?!?!The leading lady is insipid, the leading man is a piece of flotsam, and the rival for his attention is a dumpy girl with a mustache. The movie has all the pacing of a slug on valium. I know zombie movies. I love zombie movies. This, sir, is no zombie movie."
This my friend, is no zombie movie
Lunar Strain | United States | 10/22/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"First off I will say this is NOT a film that is part of the Italian "Zombie" franchise. It was originally released in the United States as "Killing Birds" and the film on the DVD itself portrays this title. Shriek Show/Media Blasters Entertainment slapped the title "Zombie 5" on the box art to fool people into thinking this is a fifth entry into the series so they would sell more copies. Zombi 3 & 4 were both released in 1988 but Killing Birds was released in 1987...uh that doesn't make sense. Very deceptive indeed. What's next? Is Black Demons going to have the title Suspiria 2: Black Demons scrawled on the box!

Now with that out of the way, let's review the Killing Birds movie itself. Killing Birds was made when the Italian horror market was starting to die off. Many of the genre's worst films were released in this time period of the late 80's and the really early 90's. The genre greats like Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento were showing signs of decline. Even with all the other bad Italian films released during this period, Killing Birds comes out as being one of the worst. This film by Joe D'Amato was filmed in the United States with American Actors so it isn't dubbed like most Italian efforts. The movie however does start off promising as it has a Vietnam vet returning home only to find his wife and lover in bed together. He murders them and her parents that happen to pull up during the incident. While cleaning up the mess in the family Avery, the killer gets his eyes gouged out by one of the family birds. Other than poor gore effects, the scene was done well and the sequence is very Italian. Right after that moment the film takes a huge nosedive as it introduces us to a handful of college students (who can't act) on a campus that apparently are majoring in some "Bird" like degree. They get a grant to go find some rare bird which happens to reside near the house where the first four murders took place. They run into a blind Robert Vaughn who is wearing some dreadful prosthetic makeup over his eyes. I have always liked Robert Vaughn as he can usually make bad B-Movies bearable. Sadly he isn't able to here and his character is severely underused. While in the house, the students begin to encounter weird happenings and suddenly two stiff zombies appear. The zombies (who always appear with a very fake "White Light" behind them) come out every so often to kill off the students one by one. Towards the end when only two students remain, Vaughn appears again saying "It's me they want".

A lot of Italian films sacrifice cohesion of story for style but they are still great. Killing Birds however is very incoherent with no style. Who are these two zombies? Are they two of the people who were killed in the beginning? If so, why are they killing off students that had nothing to do with their murder? Are they vengeful spirits like in "The Grudge" who kill everyone who enters the house? Who knows as nothing is ever explained. Even the title "Killing Birds" is deceptive. That title and the rather cool cover art make you think this is going to be an Italian variation of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds", which it is not. The beginning has the murderer get his eyes gouged out by a bird, but he wasn't killed. The ending (Spoiler alert) has a badly matted shot of birds flying in the air applied over a shot of a house and with a scream we can safely assume the birds killed Robert Vaughn's character. Ok...these Killer (not killing) birds killed one person! And again, what is the connection between the birds and the zombies? grrrr....this film is just so mind numbing! Yes it's bad but is it so bad it's good? Frankly no. Sometimes these Italian films are so bad they are hilarious. Zombi 3 and After Death (aka Zombi 4) are so bad they are funny and entertaining as hell, but Killing Birds is not.

On the up side, the DVD content is good. We get trailers and an interview with Robert Vaughn. The DVD artwork is great (other than the dismal "Zombie 5" tagged at the top) and Media Blasters did a fine job at remastering this dismal film. If you HAVE to see this movie and you haven't already purchased Zombi 3 and Zombie 4: After Death, then get the Zombie Pack box set as it is real cheap and then you can consider this movie as a "bonus"."
Say it ain't so, Joe!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 03/16/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"You simply must hand it to the late Joe D'Amato. During his long career in the Italian film business, good old Joe made dozens and dozens of low budget films in genres ranging from pornography to graphic exploitation to extreme horror. "Emanuelle in America" is a Joe D'Amato production, as is "Anthropophagous," "Buio Omega," "Ator," and the best "so bad it's good" film ever made, "Troll 2." Sure, Joe made a lot of clinkers in his time, but what do you expect? D'Amato's films weren't crafted to win Hollywood awards. Most of his movies raked in the bucks in overseas markets, in places where the crowds filling the theater could care less about what type of schlock they're watching. A few of his movies surprisingly appeared on movie screens here in the States; I saw "Ator" at the local cinema in the early 1980s. Moreover, and probably most importantly, Joe's films also made money in America when the videocassette craze broke in the early 1980s. Yep, Joe D'Amato is a beloved figure to fans of schlock cinema, horror cinema, exploitation cinema, and anyone else who loves movies that wander far off the beaten path.I should start by saying "Killing Birds" isn't a very good film. In fact, it is at times an atrocious piece of junk best relegated to the trash heap of bad cinema. "Killing Birds" as a Joe D'Amato film is closer to "Troll 2" than it is to "Buio Omega," with important exceptions. Where "Troll 2" was hilarious because of its badness, "Killing Birds" is decidedly bad in an unfunny way. Imagine, if you will, a story about a Vietnam veteran who returns to his house in the bayous of Louisiana only to find his wife cheating on him with another man. Enraged by this blatant infidelity, the vet goes on a bloody rampage. He kills his wife, her lover, and a couple of neighbors unfortunate enough to appear on the scene. The murderer does, however, spare the couple's young son. For some reason that I still cannot adequately explain, some birds living on the grounds viciously attack the vet, tearing his eyeball out of his head and thus leaving him crippled for life. All of these scenes unfold against the backdrop of lush foliage in one of those stately old mansions you often see in shows about the South. Sounds like a great premise for a horror film, doesn't it? That's what I thought. I was wrong.Flash forward twenty years or so to a college campus where a gaggle of young adults plan an expedition into the bayou to research a biology project, something about the mating call of a rare bird. The group consists of your usual young people in a horror movie. There are a few loudmouths, the scholarly chick, the oversexed cutie, and a few other stock characters. You get the idea. After heading into the wilds of Louisiana, the kids meet a blind guy (Robert Vaughn!) who lives in a rotting mansion. This man spends his days recording the sounds of the wildlife in the area, so he gives the kiddies a few tips about what they seek and then promptly disappears for a large part of the film. Too bad, by the way, because Vaughn is about the only good thing about "Killing Birds." Even in the short time he appears onscreen he gets all the best lines, does a competent job with a bad script, and even manages to look and act creepy. Anyway, the young adults head out into the bayou, set up base in an abandoned house, and promptly die in cheesy ways as a host of weird zombies appear on the scene. It's all really lame in the strictest sense of the word, with cheap looking gore effects, bad acting, and dumb dialogue. The movie doesn't end as much as it skids to a halt.Most of the elements we take for granted in other films fail to materialize in this one. The pacing of "Killing Birds" is glacial, a molasses like mess that moves with all the speed of a snail on tranquilizers. I didn't just glance at my watch once in awhile with this turkey; I looked at my timepiece so often I developed a serious case of whiplash. I would like to tell you the pacing was the worst part of the film. It's not. Check out the music for this mess. Never, in all my years of watching bad films, have I seen such a schizophrenic score. The scenes at the beginning of the movie, when we meet the kids, employs an interesting (cough) blend of bland pop music that you must simply hear to believe. Pure treacle of the most abysmal sort, like "Dreamweaver" but worse to the nth degree. Then, an abrupt change takes place. Maybe D'Amato dug up Jan Hammer to score most of the film because what we hear when the researchers encounter the zombies sounds a lot like "Miami Vice." I'm not even going to go into some of the outfits the guys wear in the film. Let's just say I had serious questions about their sexuality. I wonder why the girls in the group didn't have the same thought.I can't give "Killing Birds" one star, though. The movie did manage to dredge up some creepy atmosphere in the end, and Robert Vaughn's appearance helped salvage the film. The DVD version is your typical Media Blasters/Shriek Cinema disc: trailers for several other schlock classics, an extended interview with Robert Vaughn about his role in the movie (!), and some other stuff. I cannot recommend this movie without feeling guilty, and I certainly cannot do so to viewers unaccustomed to cheesy movies. Horror fans should steel themselves for an unpleasant experience before popping this one in the DVD player. All others need to stay away. Far, far away."
Beyond bad
Melkor | San Diego, CA USA | 11/16/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I like bad movies. I like really bad movies. Some movies like "Zombie 3" are so bad that they end up being good in a comedic way. Some movies, like "Zombie 5: Killing Birds", are so bad that they're not even fun.

This is a case of false advertising. First, the "Zombie" part of the title. The first "zombie", if that's what you can call it, appears 45 minutes into the movie, and that one is only a dream, or vision, or something. The first zombie attack happens about 50 minutes into the movie. The second one about 69 minutes into the move, and that's about it. Under closer examination, the creatures aren't even zombies. Yeah, they're walking dead, but these are not the George Romero variety, which is something that even "Zombie 4" got kind-of right. They're more like ghosts, and really bad ones at that.

O.k., well maybe they just slapped the "Zombie" name on a movie that was really titled "Killing Birds" so they could sell it. Do you want to hear about these killer birds? The cover of the DVD shows the first bird attack that happens about three minutes into the movie. The second bird attack (which they don't even show) happens right before the closing credits roll. That's it. There are no killing birds in this movie.

So, what happens in the first 50 minutes of this movie? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The acting and plot make 1970's soft-core Cinemax movies look like Shakespeare. Basically, the plot consists of boring people walking around. That's it...really! If you like Zombie movies, avoid this. If you like bird attack movies, avoid this. If you like bad movie, avoid this; it is beyond bad."