When a meteorite lands near his family farm during a storm in Tennessee, the son of a struggling farmer believes it's connected to strange plague-like events afflicting the crops, the farm animals and even the family themeselves.
Vanessa, a television reporter covering a story of a farmer attacked by his chickens, discovers that this is not an isolated incident. Travelling to Spain with her cameraman Peter, the two discover the survivors of a town wiped out by the birds thirty years ago. Meanwhile, attacks continue as a child's birthday party ends in tragedy and doves devour a poultry farmer and his wife. Vanessa soon comes to the conclusion that the birds are organizing themselves against the ecological ravages of man, but time is running out as thousands of birds launch an attack against a train Vanessa is traveling on...Written by
Rubbishy rip-off of Hitchcock's The Birds, but it's rather amusing
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 fun factor.
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.
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