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|Index||17 reviews in total|
1.) Bad dubbing and phonetically challenged foreign actors.
2.) A TV news story entitled "Attack of the Killer Chickens!"
3.) Close-ups of birds pecking faces apart and pulling out eyeballs, leaving only blood-squirting empty black sockets.
4.) Gratuitous slow-mo flying and attack scenes.
5.) A dense globe-trotting blonde couple who take time out from the carnage for a PG-rated bubblebath/champagne kissy kissy session.
6.) Snappy dialogue reducing a worldwide epidemic of bird attacks to "feathered mutiny."
7.) An annoying little brat who runs outside during the middle of a bird ambush just to get her greedy little hands on a party horn...leading to several unnecessary deaths.
8.) Christopher Atkins talking to his penis.
In case you haven't caught on, this is a low-grade rip off of the 1963 classic which cuts back and forth, from different countries to different people running away from someone offscreen throwing pigeons at them. American actors Michelle Johnson and Atkins are in the main segment about TV reporters who travel around investigating various attacks only to get ravaged on a train, but the story also covers a bickering couple, their two kids and a girl in a bikini attacked at a beach and people at a children's birthday party (there's even a little Veronica Cartwright knock-off named Cathy!).
This film was also released as BIRDS OF PREY and was an international production that was filmed in Spain, Peru, Italy, Mexico, Morocco and Puerto Rico!
Score: 3 out of 10 (for scattered laughs)
Ah yes, who could forget this little gem from the director who brought us such greats as NIGHT OF 1000 CATS and TINTORERA!! Birds are banding together into an unstoppable army to wipe out mankind. It's up to a news reporter (played by the gorgeous Michelle Johnson) and her cameraman boyfriend to stop them. But can they be stopped? Ridiculous and absurd from beginning to end and some scenes are stolen right from THE BIRDS, such as the birthday party scene. But it moves along at a clip and it's over before you really have a chance to hate it. What amazed me were the attack scenes. I wonder how they trained the birds to attack so viciously without harming the actors. As usual with a Rene Cardona, Jr. flick the plot is incoherent, the acting putrid, and the dialogue inane. But dig those attack scenes. And dig watching the beautiful Michelle Johnson, who's been absent from the big screen for awhile. Where are you, Michelle?
What a stupendous movie. So bad in every way that it is flat out hilarious. As someone else wrote - concerns over ACTUAL birds being harmed or killed during the making of this epic. Oh yeah! No doubt about it. You can actually see a crew member's hand in one shot throwing a bird at an actor. In other scenes to make it look like the PIGEONS are swarming a victim you can see the poor things have their feet tied or stapled to the actor's costume. Sheesh! Plus you can tell the money people behind the film told the director we need nudity (check) gore (check) a long para-sailing scene with a Thompson Twins late 1980's pop sound song (check) explosion (got it) and slo-mo shots of children in danger (you betcha)! This mess is very funny even though it doesnt mean to be. For lovers of Grade Z classics - check of BEAKS! Two Claws Up!
This turkey of a moovie is one huge pile of pigeon poo. Apparently, birds from all over the world (in this case, pigeons in Puerto Rico) have decided to kill mankind - or at least peck nonchalantly at a couple of idiot actors. Silly moovie is a direct rip-off of Hitchcock's The Birds, except the acting, direction, and fx are horrible. Michelle Johnson (Blame it on Rio) defines blandness; it is quite amusing to watch her blow her lines repeatedly. Christopher Atkins (of Blue Lagoon fame) is equally awful, only he has less lines to blow. Rene Cardona, Jr. is the son of the legendary Rene Cardona, Sr.(known as the Mexican Ed Wood), who gave the world the Wrestling Women VS the Aztec Ape, and VS the Aztec Mummy, so you know directing talent is in his blood. This moovie is very painful to watch, especially the repeated slow-motion shots of the pigeons in flight. One amoosing mooment comes when the pigeons attack a plane; it's pretty obvious that the plane is stationary, and that stage hands are tossing pigeons at the actor through the plane window. Yep, they don't make 'em like this anymoore. MooCow says leave this basting turkey in the oven, or be prepared for stupidity. :=8P
It's hard to condone a film that starts off with some muppet shooting
pigeons for sport, but this film is so overwhelmingly stupid that it's
hard not to enjoy it. Basically, it's The Birds only made by Spaniards
and Italians. Which is probably why it starts with a guy shooting
Basically, the birds are annoyed that man is damaging the Earth and are now looking for payback. Although we have countless shot of Flamingoes, Storks, seagulls etc any time there's a mass bird attack the films uses pigeons. You know, one of the least threatening birds of all. Fair enough, a couple of eagles show up to pull people's eyeballs out but it's pigeons all the way for this film.
You've got a reporter and her cameraman seemingly travelling all over the world trying to get to the bottom of all these bird attacks (and failing miserably) while interviewing people who've been attacked, like Aldo Sambrell and another guy who had an eyeball stolen by an eagle. Also the guy who was the husband of the junkie girl in the Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue is in this for about five minutes.
But what makes it so enjoyable? The bad acting, fluffed lines, the scene where the pigeons 'eavesdrop' on our heroes, the crap ending and the even crapper (but most welcome) epilogue. What about the guy having a heart attack in the middle of a bird attack? I can just imagine some Spanish racing pigeon enthusiast being bunged a couple of grand only to watch in horror as his pigeons are thrown at confused actors trying to look terrified. They probably just poured breadcrumbs all over everything too.
Rene Cardona Jr.'s spin on Hitchcock's THE BIRDS isn't just a bad movie
it's an incredibly trashy one, seemingly made with little regard for
quality, coherence, editing or linear storytelling. Plenty of effort
has been made to give the movie an international feel parts of it
were filmed in North and South America as well as Europe and all that
effort goes to waste in what is nothing more than a schlocky Z-grade
attempt to emulate greatness. It has the same kind of quality to it as
something like Bruno Mattei's ZOMBIE CREEPING FLESH, except without the
Things do kick off on a good note, with an ultra-gruesome moment involving an eagle. There are some hilarious attacks of people being 'ambushed' by birds achieved by somebody chucking pigeons, off camera, at the cast members! Then the film loses it and turns into a rambling narrative, setting up about five different sets of characters for an hour or so before throwing them into siege situations: a party attacked; a camper van seeking refuge; a train at the mercy of flocking winged terror. None of this is as interesting as it sounds, and the gore effects are in short supply, limited to a few scratches on the back of people's hands and on their faces.
Christopher Atkins and Michelle Johnson are set up as the nominal protagonists a female reporter covering the avian crime and her cameraman sidekick. There's even some body-double nudity and a cheesy sex scene thrown in. However, these guys have little to do in the film and their acting absolutely sucks, with the kind of awful dubbing you expect from late '80s Spanish and Italian flicks. There's no characterisation anywhere in the film, and aside from a brief cameo from Italian star Gabriele Tinti, no interest from the varied cast.
In the end the film becomes overwhelming senseless, with more pigeons being chucked about than is strictly necessary; there's an exploding eagle and some annoyingly whiny kids around too, including the most irritating little red-haired girl whose awful scream leads you to hope that a pigeon will fly down and pluck out her throat! No such luck. Cardona made a long string of Mexican exploitation movies, but this is one of his very worst. It's not the worst I've seen, though; it may be an absolutely diabolical film, but like Z-grade trash such as THE ABOMINATION, it's never boring.
Broadcast journalist Michelle Johnson (as Vanessa Cartwright) and
cameraman Christopher Atkins (as Peter) stumble upon the story of the
century - BIRDS, formerly our feathered friends, have taken a foul
turn! They are attacking people all over the world! The cute
shirt-shedding blonde couple track the mostly pesky pigeons as they
make mince meat out of people's faces. As the attacks increase, you get
less of Ms. Johnson and Mr. Atkins showing their chests, and more
A real trouper, Mr. Atkins manages to utter the line, "We're sitting ducks," with a straight face.
"I know what we saw was awful, but it's over," says Salvador Pineda when he thinks he's escaped from danger. Not so fast. That could be your reaction after seeing this Rene Cardona Jr. homage to Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" (1963). There are some promising scenes, but the pace and editing are astonishingly bad - perhaps no editing was done, and Mr. Cardona tried to make a movie with the footage he had. And, it looks like they used up a lot of pigeons during production.
** Beaks (10/87) Rene Cardona Jr. ~ Michelle Johnson, Christopher Atkins, Sonia Infante, Salvador Pineda
Rene Cardona, Jnr doing what he does best, though not with his usual
flair nor the abundant cast normally assembled for these Latin B-grade
horror fests. This one is just a re-hash of Hitchcock's "The Birds",
featuring Michelle Johnson and Chris Atkins ("The Blue Lagoon") as a
pair of reporters documenting the strange and sudden phenomenon
gripping the world as birds of all species retaliate against mankind's
If you've ever wondered what a stray beak could do to your eye, you won't have to wait long watching this film to find out. And it's not pretty. But, aside from a brief moment or two of hysteria, "Beaks" is otherwise tame and unremarkable, a very loose narrative of clichéd story strands with little to elevate the pulse. Looks like it was shot on video or possibly made-for-TV, the production values and staging look confined, and the overall result is somewhat tedious.
Aldo Sambrell features in a relatively interesting minor role as a farmer who warns of the impending danger from his personal experience whilst names like Gabriele Tinti, Sonia Infante and May Heatherly should be familiar to some audiences. For their part, Johnson and Atkins look comfortable and display apparent chemistry, then of course the title stars look more harassed than harassing, but it's difficult either way to make a pigeon look menacing. Birds on a budget isn't awful, but it's definitely not among the finest in Cardona's catalogue.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not sure why I marked my comment with "*** This comment may contain
spoilers ***". It's pretty much spoiled before you ever watch it.
Normally I wouldn't comment on a film if I'd not watched it in it's entirety. However, this one deserves that honor. Most times when I have had to stop watching a movie mid-way through it's usually an interruption by forces other than myself. Not this time, I invested 60 minutes into this one and just couldn't bear the thought of wasting another 30 minutes of my life on it. (And I've sat through some real stinkers)
I don't even know where to start. Let's see; The acting was worse than I've seen at an elementary school Christmas play- the script too, for that matter, with lines like, "Turkey's are killing people, and it's not even Thanksgiving" and "Stop. The champagne's going to get hot... Don't you mean we're going to get hot and the champagne's going to get warm?". Now I do agree with some of it being so bad it was almost laughable but for the most part, this one may just be so far down the scale that it passes by the hilarity and goes right on down to "complete waste of time".
I'll admit, I do like my share of gory scenes, and I suppose the one with the man's eyeball being removed was alright, but it sure wasn't enough to hold my attention. I'd be willing to bet that the makers of this film spent more money on the Hershey's Chocolate Syrup they used as fake blood than they made on their opening weekend; and let's just say there wasn't all that much chocolate syrup used. Well, maybe there was, like I said, I never made it to the end. Maybe the pigeons won the war and the world was flooded with it. And by the way, I was rooting for the birds.
I was happy to see in another comment here that someone else showed concern over what might have happened to some of the birds used in this movie. It was sad really. As was mentioned earlier, you could actually see a hand throwing a bird at one of the actors, and then the scene where two of the birds were shown pecking away at the dead hang glider their feet were attached to the clothing on the body in a way that I probably don't really want to know.
I was going to give it 1 star but decided since I hadn't finished it I should be fair, so I gave it 2.
(I do keep my promises, and I hope this is one you've never heard of... AL)
Beaks is one of those rare movies, like Troll 2, that is so badly done, and silly, that it's fun to watch. Beaks is an obvious, and badly done, take on Alfred Hitchcocks' The Birds, but unlike the aforementioned film, contains little in the way of terror and absolutely no suspense what so ever.
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