Zombie 5: Killing Birds (1988)

Directed by: Claudio Lattanzi

Written by: Daniele Stroppa

Story by: Claudio Lattanzi & Sheila Goldberg


Lara Wendal .... Anne
.... Steve Porter
Leslie Cumming .... Mary
James Villemaire .... Paul
Sal Maggiore .... Brian
James Sutterfield .... Rob
Lin Gathrigh .... Jennifer
Robert Vaughn .... Dr. Fred Brown

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: July 13, 1988 (France)

*Images courtesy at: www.happyotter666.blogspot.ca






A group of students goes into the woods to study birds during their college break and meet up with a Vietnam soldier named Dr. Fred Brown (Robert Vaughn) who's eye was plucked out by his own birds after murdering his wife and lover along with their friends.
They find out that the house where he murdered them is haunted by zombie's and other types of evil forces making them all the victims and finding no way of escaping when they decide to spend the night there.

There's terrific camera shots on a truck driving along the road as it gives an action type of feel to it as well as good shots on a mysterious killing returning to his home with his pet birds watching him as there's good close up camera shots on these cute pets of his. Plus we have a good mysterious moment on him coming to a couple's home to kill one of them sleeping and then spotting the wife noticing her husband dead and good reactions with her screaming but yet when her throat gets slit it looked rather fake. But some good disturbing moments with a couple bringing a baby back to the home and him killing these two while they try to get away from him in which you wonder if they'll succeed which keeps you in suspense as well as a good camera shot on him staring at the baby making you wonder on what he's going to do next.
Plus we have some good shocking horror violence when the killer gets home created by his birds which looked good and graphic and will please the fans of this type for sure.
We then spot alot of good uplifting situations with the students enjoying their time off which looked nicely focused and good discussions with all of them as well as their plans to interview the person whom was attacked by the birds as it was all well set out.
During the scene when both lead character's Anne and Steve Porter enter the home with silent moments which offers a fair creepiness to the story as well as an approach by the character Dr. Fred Brown with his revealed plucked out eye as this looked perfectly spooky while spotting this.
Great serious discussions with Fred talking to Anne and Steve about his experience as well as playing the tape recorder on the birds that attacked him as these situations looked suspenseful while everyone gets into this type of detail here.
Alot of great moments with the gang of schoolfriends enjoying themselves near a countryside as well as one of them playing the harmonica which the camera takes looked perfectly set like almost watching a music video when this happens.
Also a nice near surprising moment when one of the students opens a busted up truck door and a corpse falls out which adds nice timing to the horror story here. Also many great takes on hawks staring at these people which also leaves a nice impression too and making you wonder if they'll attack as well.
There's great concentrated moments with Steve chacking out the abandoned home which looked still and leaving you in suspense by what might happen in which there's a good moment when we spot him outside with the cages of birds which psychs you out since they were abandoned but then a mother getting a baby bottle ready and then we spot her face turned looking at him and she is a zombie which offers some frights here and had some good timing when this is happening. Also some other creepy moments when he tries to get away from what is happening in the house and then things are back to normal when his group of friends are still doing some activities are occuring as this for sure worked in cleverly that the house is haunted and playing tricks on him as this moment can please those type of fans too.
A perfect scary situation with one fo the character's Jennifer checking out a part of the home and then out of the dark we spot a zombie slowly walking up to her as this offered some perfect situations with her trying to get out of the house and fidning that she can't as well as a perfect intense violent moment with this zombie as what he will do to her which looked disturbing and making you think that she's gonna be as good as dead by how brutal this violent moment is for sure.
A fairly amusing moment when someone gets caught on fire without a cause from it and he runs wildly which looks great in most horror films with a moment such as this one and another nice add on that the house is alive.
More perfect settings when some of the friends are using a flashlight in the misty night as well as them trying to start up their vehicle and in the misty night a bunch of zombie's try to terrorise them including grabbing one of them in the back van which keeps your eyes peeled and wondering if they get the things started and good shocking close up shots by what happens here.
Plus another great moment when some survivors run up into the attic and a perfect misty bright shot on a zombie crashing through the walls and tries to grab a hold of Anne as well as a zombie crashing from the roof and grabbing someone else by the neck with Anne and Steve trying to save their friend but no hope happening here which looked truly sad to spot this as well as good emotional moments between the two of them by what is happening here.
Bottom line is that although mentioned some fine touches in the story but yet it doesn't seem to go anywhere which is the downfall by making this an average horror flick and very strange to titled this a part 5 when the other one's came after this one. Yet this was made on a bigger budget and by some of the same makers as Witchery but in much better style here. Can be a fun flick if you're in the mood for it without a doubt here. Not really a zombie flick as they only appear near to the end of the film and some of it seemed to pay a tribute to Hitchcock'as classic The Birds.

The acting is spoken in english this time around as it seems to stand out pretty well. Lead actress Lara Wendal (Anne) seemed to show off a nice outgoing type of behavior into what she does as well as being very energetic into everything that she does here. She knew on how to get into a conversation whenever she had to act like this or showing off a perfect emotional type of attitude or acting terrified whenever she is attacked or the terror striking her. Yet she tried too hard to not show off her accent which sometimes gets in the way by getting into character.
(Steve Porter) also was a bit stiff when trying not to pull off his accent when speaking english as he seemed fairly wooden especially when he tried to show off some good energy into what he did here. Yet he does do his best like a moment where he's hallucinating while walking into a house as his shocked reactions shopwed off. Plus seemed to show off some energy when he struggles agains the onscreen zombies. Plus had the right guy next door type of looks for the part which offered a fair deal for when we see him performing.

Leslie Cumming (Mary) seemed to stand out quite well into what she portrays and really focuses nicely by what she had to do here as well as reacting to stuff naturally and showing great expressions within everything that she did here. Also really knew on how to grab someone's attention when she stresses something which she shows off some nice energy here. Also shows off great energy when she is surrounded by terror but her screaming needed some improvement.
James Villemaire
(Paul) seemed to lack a bit with his work in the film as he shows off very little energy especially during the end of his performance by freaking out when he's caught on fire or panicking as he doesn't seem to make any of this believeable. He wasn't overly terrirble but needed a bit more coaching on what he had to do with certain parts of the story here.
Lin Gathrigh (Jennifer) did her job nicely as the brainy type in which she looked nicely as one of those clean cut smart girl type of role and not looking overly nerdy either. Does a good job showing her nice and concenred attitude and offering alot of spunk into what she does especially whjile looking around the house and acting excited and happy. Also does well when she gets creeped outt when an onscreen zombie slowly charges towards her really getting into the swing of things here. Yes she passes well into her supporting role.
Robert Vaughn (Dr. Fred Brown) had an interesting supporting role by having a creepy old man type of speaking which seemed to shine off nicely here but he wasn't the most special actor like the movie made him out to be but did his blocking right as someone whom is blind and presented himself in an okay fashion too when we spot him walking around and coming across mysteriously which wasn't too shabby here.

An eye ball is plucked out by a hawk.
Some slit throats.
A knife is stabbed in a corpses forehead.
A woman's wrists is imapled by spikes and a slit throat.
Faces are clawed off.
A head is nearly ripped off.

For the beginning there's perfect beating sounds which really sounds terrific for what is happening here. Also we have some pleasant composing for the uplifting moments with some people getting ready for their school break as it sounds pretty 80's mainstream here. Also there's alot of good low synthesizer playing along with metal pipe sliding sounds offering it for the nice and suspenseful scene's along with good drum rolling and good beats too. In another part of the film there's some good peaceful harmonica and block tappings for where there's the students near a river having a good time giving it a good southern feel to it all. Plus we hear some nice bass guitar plucking as well as some eletric guitar playing for the chasing scene's as this really stood out a great deal here. In one part of the flick when the survivor's are struggling up in an attic we hear good old fashioned organ playing along with some metal bell sounds as well as perfect hamony chants sounding very powerful. It's been a long time since I heard a horror film having many bersatile composing as it was all put together nicely by Carlo Maria Cordio.