Beaks – Mexico, 1987 – overview and reviews

 

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Beaks – promoted as Beaks: The Movie – Spanish: El ataque de los pájaros – is a 1987 Mexican-Spanish horror feature film written, produced and directed by René Cardona Jr. (Night of a 1000 Cats; TintoreraGuyana: Crime of the Century). It is also known as The Birds 2Birds of Prey and Evil Birds. The utterly dreadful synthesizer infused score was composed by Stelvio Cipriani. The movie stars Michelle Johnson, Christopher Atkins and Sonia Infante.

Vanessa, a television reporter covering a story about a farmer attacked by his chickens, discovers that this is not an isolated incident. Travelling to Spain with her henchman, (also cameraman and boyfriend) 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 of all types launch attack for revenge against a train Vanessa is travelling on…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Some of the attack sequences are well done but writer-director-producer Rene Cardona Jr. lines his cage at every opportunity, relying on clichés.” John Stanley, Creature Features

” …it’s just a rip-off of Hitchcock’s The Birds, with exactly the same plot, including the child’s party, but with some added nudity and a lot of gore. It’s not the campy spoof the cover box art suggests. There’s eye-gouging and skin-ripping and the quality’s not bad if that’s your thing.”

it’s just a rip-off of Hitchcock’s The Birds, with exactly the same plot, including the child’s party, but with some added nudity and a lot of gore. It’s not the campy spoof the cover box art suggests. There’s eye-gouging and skin-ripping and the quality’s not bad if that’s your thing.” Down Among the ‘Z” Movies

Birds of Prey is a z-grade rip-off where pigeons rip people’s eyes out and doves menacingly organise themselves to destroy man. Clearly the blame lies squarely at the feet of the director: Hitchcock turned birds into a terrifying force of destruction that we’d never really considered a threat before. Here, Cardona Jr (who also brought us the equally-as-dire Jaws rip-off Tintorera) just makes them look dim-witted and laughable.” Popcorn Pictures

“At least it’s bloody and the effects when people gets their faces ripped off is fun (and not especially well-made), but it works. A more disturbing thing is how many real birds that gets killed, especially in the beginning. So if you don’t want to see fine, proud birds getting shot to pieces in super slow-motion, stay away from this film.” Schmollywood Babylon

“Making its contemporary in revenge of nature misfires Slugs seem sensible in comparison, you get lines like Atkins’ exclamation “These birds really know what they’re doing!”, constant distractions from the two leads to concentrate on Neilson’s granddaughter’s birthday party and a bickering family at the beach, and all the fake blood and slow-motion you could want from an impoverished production punching considerably above its weight.” The Spinning Image

“There was no idea strange enough or plot stupid enough that Rene Cardona, Jr. couldn’t take it and turn it into a really bad movie. Even by his standards, Beaks is bad as pigeons and doves are tossed at screaming actors.  Why are the birds attacking? Cardona shows us a polluted lake as if to say, “Any questions?” Through the Shattered Lens

“With a general inept feeling throughout this second rate knock-off (it even has a much too similar “house assault” sequence) is loaded with weak dialogue, poor attempts at humour, below average dubbing, attack scenes that just aren’t thrilling […] and a final “speech” about mankind’s mistreatment of animals and nature that’s just lame…” The Video Graveyard

“Cardona mostly uses pigeons here, making me think this animal wrangler consisted of a guy with a loaf of bread. He certainly knew how to make the most of his birds though and gives them an eerie quality.  This is thanks mostly to tons of slow motion.  Seriously, they must have extended the run time by 15 minutes with all the slow-mo on display here.” Video Junkie

Choice dialogue:

“Those birds certainly know what they’re doing.”

“We’re sitting ducks”

“Turkeys are killing people and it’s not even Thanksgiving,”

Main cast:

  • Michelle Johnson – Werewolf  TV series; Waxwork; Doctor Giggles
  • Christopher Atkins – Mortuary Academy; Dracula Rising; Stageghost
  • Sonia Infante – Doctor of Doom; Museum of Horror
  • Salvador Pineda
  • Gabriele Tinti – Lisa and the Devil; Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals; Creepers
  • Aldo Sambrell – Monstroid; Killer Barbys vs. Dracula; Flesh for the Beast
  • Nené Morales
  • Manuel Pereyro
  • Cintia Lodetti
  • Carole James
  • May Heatherly

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