Killing Birds title

AKA: Raptors, Zombie 5, Uccelli Assassini, Dark Eyes of the Zombie

Killing BirdsA group of 6 ornithology students (that's bird watching, in case you didn't know), along with a Park Ranger, go into the Louisiana swamps to study some rare species of woodpecker that's been spotted in the area.

After meeting the areas only human inhabitant, a reclusive old blind man named Frederic Brown (played by Robert Vaughn), who also just happens to be a former Ornithology professor, they go off into the swamps to film the local wildlife. But with night time approaching, they decide to spend the night at an old abandoned house they've discovered.

Unaware that the house had previously been the scene of several gruesome murders, they bed down for the night (you can see where this is leading) No sooner does it get dark then, low-and-behold, all manner of weird things start happening. One of them starts experiences ghostly visions, strange shadowy figures are seen outside, members of the group start going missing and dieing in mysterious circumstances, then some zombie figure in an old army uniform pops up out of nowhere and starts stalking them.

What the hell has this got to do with killing birds I hear you ask? Well very little actually, in fact the film is more zombie than anything else, with the titular killing birds only swooping in at the end when we finally get to find out the identity of the guy who killed the houses previous occupants.

Released in the US and some European countries as Zombie 5, and directed by infamous horror/soft porn director Joe D'amato, the film is something of a disappointment with a very boring plot that trudges along at a dreary pace, complete with typical dumb acting and very little action or gore.

In fact the film seemed to be a mish mash of different ideas that never really took any shape, and proves to be much worse than Fulci's "Zombi 3" (Zombie Flesh Eaters 2) and Fagrasso's "After Death" (Zombie Flesh Eaters 3). Probably Robert Vaughn's worst film, not that he's in it much, and as such is a film that can only be recommended to die hard zombie film enthusiasts.

Overall Marks : 3.5/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • The movie was filmed on location in Thibadoux, Loisiana.

  • The house used in the film was apparently the same one used in Lucio Fulci's "The Beyond".

  • The film was co-directed by Claudio Lattanzi, who also worked on "Stage Fright" and "The Church".

  • There were 2 different versions filmed, an uncut print and a "blood free" version, in which alternate less gory takes were used on the death scenes.

  • The US DVD by "Shreik Show/Media Blasters" is of the gory version, not that its particularly bloody in the first place.

  • Joe D'Amato is probably best known for directing former video nasties "Anthrophagus the Beast" and "Absurd". he also directed the "11 Days and 11 Nights" series of soft porn films.

  • The Astro DVD entitled "Raptors" was a composite print which used the "blood free" version, but with the gory killings from the uncut print spliced into them. Unfortunately this resulted in varying picture quality and was still missing several key blood scenes, and due to an editing problem every murder was shown twice.

  • The music was composed by Carlo Cordio, who also scored Fulci's "Aenigma", D'amato's "Absurd" and Umberto Lenzi's "Eaten Alive".

  • Originally Robert Vaughn was going to wear dark contact lenses to simulate having blind eyes, but as he was unable to wear them they had to settle with dark glasses.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

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Buy it at Amazon.Com

Buy the US DVD (uncut version).

Notes on affiliate sites.


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