Joe D’Amato tries his hand at this zombie business with this, his offering by the name of Uccelli Assassini (Killing Birds), re-branded as Zombie 5. It’s not really a zombie flick as such, as much as Fulci’s House by the Cemetery isn’t really a Zombie flick, but there are undead in both.
Basic plot involves a Soldier returning from war, only to find his unfaithful wife with her lover. After some slaughter and a bit of a chase, his wife gets it whilst trying to escape with their son. The soldier is then viciously attacked by birds out of revenge(?), pecking out the eyes. Then we leap forward a bit. 20 years or so. The son is at college with a group of friend planning a bird watching weekend away in the Louisiana swamps. They get a bit lost and end up at the house of the original murders; what a great place to camp out. It’s not long before the zombie type souls of the murdered are out for revenge and the body-count begins to amass.
It’s a bit of a mess really and from all accounts, has been made by two directors. Joe D’Amato’s stuff is visually superior. Its crisp, atmospheric and beautifully framed with real depth. On the flip side, we have Claudio Lattanzi, a studio hand who probably took control when (if) D’Amato was kicked from the set. (I don’t know the reasoning behind any of this, but it’s visually obvious that this is a film of two halves). D’Amato is a brilliant cinematographer, which is his strength, and pair that with a ‘runner’ with a camera, you can only imagine the contrast.
The film is reminiscent of Anthro, and Fulci’s Beyond (I think the house is actually the same one from the Beyond) and House by the Cemetery. It’s an interesting film, despite it’s problems. The gore is good and harsh. The acting is quite good too. This is well worth a look. Far from perfect, but better than expected.