Zombie 5: Killing Birds

Year: 1987
Rated: NOT RATED
Release Date: 19 Aug 1988
Country of Origin: Italy
Runtime: 92 min
Director: Claudio Lattanzi, Joe D’Amato
Writer: Claudio Lattanzi (story), Sheila Goldberg (story), Daniele Stroppa (screenplay), Sheila Goldberg (dialogue)
Starring: Lara Wendel, Robert Vaughn, Timothy W. Watts, Leslie Cumming
IMDb Rating: 3.0 (903 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

In Louisiana, a soldier returning from Vietnam finds his wife in bed with her lover and he kills them both as well as a couple of friends, but he is attacked by a bird and he loses his eyes. Years later, the bodies have not been found and the former soldier is now a bird specialist (Dr. Fred Brown) living in a house nearby the swamp. When a group of college students go to the swamp on an assignment to research a species of woodpecker that is almost extinct, they head to Dr. Brown’s house to get some tips of how to find the rare bird. They drive through the swamp where they find the house where the murders happened and they decide to stay there. During the night, weird things happen.

Beavis’s Movie Memories

Thank GOD this movie came out because there are SO MANY unanswered questions from Zombie 4: Who Gives A Shit. Now I can rest easy knowing I have closure after viewing the terrible story, abysmal plot-lines, and horrific dialog that makes this franchise complete.

The movie starts out with a man breaking into a home and killing the man and woman, who are still sleeping. Apparently he has just returned from the war and it was his house, and having just caught his wife and some other guy in bed together, he decides to machete them up pretty good. After killing them, he walks outside and is attacked by a bunch of caged birds on his patio (yes, it is as stupid as it sounds). One of the birds manages to poke out the killer’s eyes with it’s beak and he goes to a hospital.

zombie-54Years later, the killer turns into Robert Vaughn. He is blind and lives in a house in the swamp near the home where decades earlier he murdered his wife and the philanderer.

See if you can guess what happens next… Give up? Well, it’s the old tried-and-true 80’s horror flick formula of having a bunch of College kids come snooping around the now deserted home where the murders took place. They are on a research trip (which for some reason takes 8 of them) to look for a new species of woodpecker (I know, right? I couldn’t contain my excitement either)! They meet with the blind killer, who is now a Doctor of birds?!?! I didn’t put the mixed punctuation after that sentence because I didn’t know what a Doctor who studies birds is called, I put them there because I can’t figure out how a guy kills 2 people, goes blind, then goes on to become an expert on the animal that blinded him! But as with any good ‘B’ movie, it’s best not to ask too many questions.

They make their way to the murder house where they are attacked by the zombies of people that have been killed at that house and nearby. I never really figured out what was causing them to return as zombies, but in a final act of unselfishness, the good Doctor realizes that the zombie’s revenge lust can only be sated by killing him. They kill him while 2 surviving kids run for their lives. The end.

On a side note… Like a lot of other slasher films of this era that use throat slashing as a killing method, why do the victims actually assist in their own demise by holding their heads still and bending their head back, giving the killer a wide canvas in which to work? Death by machete to the throat really requires a lot of assistance from the slashee.

Just like Horror House On Highway 5, this movie also features a cute heroine that resembles Velma from Scooby Doo. I guess any college-age girl that wears glasses and travels in a group with other college students is quickly identified as being Velma-esque. Unlike Horror House, she does NOT survive. In fact, all of the attractive people are killed, leaving two scrawny, unkempt, uninteresting meat puppets to carry on the species.

All in all I’d give the movie 3 stars based mostly on it’s riff-ability. The movie was interesting enough to hold my attention and it’s good background noise if your doing something else while watching it, like your taxes or cutting your nails.

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