Monday, February 20, 2012


(Claudio Latanzi/ Joe D'Amato, 1987)
Wow. With those two titles, one would expect to see either zombie hordes or hordes of zombies killing birds, or at very least zombie-killing birds. We don't get any of the above, I'm afraid.
Prologue: A soldier returns home to find his wife with another man, so he kills them, his in-laws, and their pet bird, but spares his infant son. The other birds in the aviary freak out and claw out the fellow's eye. He goes to the hospital and his son is taken away.
Skip ahead to college life in 1987: pleated pants, frizzy hair, and prehistoric computers. And really cheesy music. A group of students and a school newspaper reporter (Lara Wendel) are sent to study the rare ivory-billed woodpeckers, most recently seen near an abandoned rural property.
They come across a house and find it's inhabited by a blind man (Robert Vaughn) who could only be the killer from the beginning. After a brief, pointless exchange of words, the crew explore the neighboring property, and stumble across the original murder house, now uninhabited. They also discover a corpse in an old truck in the bush, but rather than leave and alert the authorities, they decide to hole up in the house for the night...??? They're then picked off gradually by dark forces and a couple of not-so-realistic-looking zombies. That's about it.
Zombie 5 is actually a mislabeled cursed/haunted house movie. In that sense, it's not actually as awful as wold be expected. No...I lied. It IS pretty bad. The dialogue and acting are craptastic, the plot riddled with holes and cliches, and D'Amato even copied the attic death scene from his earlier film, Anthropophagus. For the most part, the cinematography is pretty dull, with the exception of the scenes shot in spoooooky soft-focus (that was sarcasm). To be fair, the shots and lighting do improve in the last third, but too little too late.
As in other films produced by D'Amato's Filmirage (Witchery, Troll 2, etc), there doesn't seem to have been any kind of budget for lighting as the first two-thirds were shot in daylight. The makeup and special effects leave something to be desired, as does the soundtrack by Carlo Maria Cordio and his cursed Casio. Save this one for later... much later.

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