Monday, June 28, 2021

Zombie 5: Killing Birds, Italian Horror in Louisiana

College hunks and nubile coeds.  Throw in some birds hungry for human eyes, some zombies, and an incredibly gory industrial accident and we have 1987's "Zombie 5: Killing Birds," directed by Claudio Lattanzi.  Oh yeah, I know what you're you have to have seen the first four 'Zombie' films to understand this one?  Don't even ask that 'Zombie' film has anything thing to do with any other zombie film. Just sit back and enjoy the gore and dubbing.

Fred Brown comes home to Louisiana after the war and commits a bloody quadruple homicide.  Many years later, Fred (Robert Vaughn) is the world's most renowned ornithologist...he should be, his eyes were eaten by moralistic birds.  Good news for Steve (Timothy W. Watts) his college has approved his senior thesis and he gathers a group together to wander into the swamps and look for some woodpecker. Also going with him is his ex-girlfriend Anne (Lara Wendel) and a bunch of hunks and babes.  Ann is going to cover the expedition for the school paper...I'm sure those frat boys and sorority babes are eager to read all about this woodpecker.

The expedition meets up with Fred...the cranky and blind ornithologist.  He directs them into the swamps where they find an abandoned house.  Little do they know, the house was the sight of Fred's quadruple homicide.  Now Steve starts seeing ghostly images of dead people.  Paul (Jason Villemaire) and Mary (Leslie Cumming) will be useless and have pre-marital sex.  Anne and Steve will bicker.  Then the zombies come and they seem to be driven by the birds.  Poor Jennifer (Lin Gathright)...her beautiful head will be smashed by the zombie horde. Now the zombies are attacking and they love pulling heads off.  As the ornithological expedition gets smaller, the collegians are on the run.  Then they board themselves up in the cursed house.  The beautiful and handsome will die horribly as Steve begins to understand a horrible secret.

What happened to Robert Vaughn after "Man from U.N.C.L.E." that caused him to seize the role as a cantankerous and homicidal ornithologist? Not that we're complaining.  Does the fact that this film is an Italian production spell doom for the nubile coeds?  Are woodpeckers a thinly veiled metaphor for the carnal misdeeds of hunks and nubile college kids?  Gory and creepy, "Zombie 5: Killing Birds" is a perfect film for lovers of schlock Italian horror.

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