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The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds (1965)

Johnson, an agent for the Liquor Control Department, comes across the remote Cuckoo Bird Inn after escaping from a band of cut-throat moonshiners and a mysterious killer. He realizes there ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Bert Williams ...
Detective
Ann Long ...
Showgirl
Chuck Frankle ...
Harold
Jackie Scelza ...
Lisa
Larry Wright
Sherry Saxe ...
Patt (as Sherry Sax)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bruce Bates
Harvey Ford
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Storyline

Johnson, an agent for the Liquor Control Department, comes across the remote Cuckoo Bird Inn after escaping from a band of cut-throat moonshiners and a mysterious killer. He realizes there that he must discover the identity of the killer before it, or the inn's demented occupants turn him into another display in the grotesque Chapel Of The Dead. Written by Anonymous

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Actually filmed in the Florida Everglades...amidst snakes and gators! See more »

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Drama | Horror

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16 October 2017 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Violent Sick  »

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Budget:

$127,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cuckoo Birds accidentally became lost for many years after the vault that held the negative suffered a fire and Bert Williams' personal print was stolen when his storage unit was robbed. Thankfully, a 35mm print was found at an abandoned theatre in New York. See more »

Soundtracks

The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds
Written by Peggy Williams
Performed by Peggy Williams and Jim Voytek
Guitar: Pete Bonanno
Bongos: Annette Tarrant
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User Reviews

 
The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds Review.
23 November 2017 | by See all my reviews

Long considered lost in the annals of cinematic history, a 35mm print of this Southern Gothic tale was discovered recently in a New York theatre. The film has since been restored and finally shown to audiences with the help of Mubi and film director Nicolas Winding Refn. This film is a classic case of a myth being built up so much that it doesn't quite live up to the reputation. The film is a passion project from star, writer, director, and editor Bert Williams. Williams plays an undercover cop called Johnson whose cover gets blown whilst trying to infiltrate a gang of violent moonshiners.

As he evades the gang through the murky swamps of the deep South, he finds himself washed on a small island. On this small island there's a dilapidated hotel with three somewhat off-kilter inhabitants. Johnson decides to stay at the hotel whilst the heat dies down, except strange occurrences keep happening to make him believe that he's not quite as safe as he thinks he is.

The film clearly draws a-lot of influence from past genre classics, most notably Psycho and Night of the Hunter. The film has an incredibly creepy atmosphere, alongside a couple of scenes with genuinely disturbing imagery. Unfortunately there's not much more to the film then that. The characters in this film aren't well defined or given much characterisation. The biggest issue I had was that the overall story felt dull, and it's not until the final twenty minutes when the plot starts moving that film becomes intriguing.

The film had a lack of urgency in the script and started to meander midway through. Due to the bland, uninteresting characters (and at times pretty bad acting), this film felt like a missed opportunity as the filler in between the interesting plot developments was poorly developed. The film would've made for a fantastic thirty minute short, but instead it's stretched out even with a short run-time of eighty one minutes. It's a shame because the film has some really great moments but not enough to sustain a feature film. In the end it's a film worth seeking out if you have Mubi for the rarity alone. However what you'll get is a B-movie mash up of Psycho and Night of the Hunter intersected with strikingly original moments that'll make you think this could've been a really great film.


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