Beaks: The Movie

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“You don’t have a wing of a prayer.”
This gory, low-budget, feather-brained rip-off of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic fowl fright flick The Birds, featuring a bunch of bad actors getting their eyes pecked out by gaggles of turkeys, pigeons and even a few confused chickens, is a delightfully dumb birds-gone-wild crapfest that undoubtedly had the Master of Suspense spinning in his grave. Originally titled Birds of Prey before someone had the bright idea to swap that title out for the much goofier title Beaks: The Movie, this is a hilariously misguided attempt by Mexican exploitation director Rene Cardona, Jr. (Guyana: Cult of the Damned) to ride the considerable cinematic coattails of Hitch’s iconic thriller, only without all of that film’s pesky suspense, class and expert direction. Well, who the hell needs all of that when you’ve got rivers of gore and thousands of angry little peckers just itching to dive in and get some? When a top heavy, globe-trotting lady journalist (early ‘80s sex bomb Michelle Johnson, star of Waxwork, and owner of two of the bushiest eyebrows in Hollywood history) is assigned to cover a story of an innocent farmer pecked to death by his own chickens, she and her annoying cameraman (early ‘80s MALE sex bomb Christopher Atkins, star of The Blue Lagoon) soon discover that this is no isolated incident, as birds all over the world begin an inexplicable attack on anything with two legs, no wings and big ‘80s shoulder pads. Never one to skimp on the gross-out, Cardona treats us to endless and beautifully sensitive scenes of badly-dubbed extras having their eyes, tongues and noses being savagely ripped from their corresponding body cavities by flocks of squawking tweety birds, while our two hapless heroes get to deliver such groan-inducing dialogue as “We’re sitting ducks here!” … when they’re not busy fooling around in a hot tub, of course (thus allowing us several lingering glimpses of Ms. Johnson’s ample acting assets, all soaped up and ready to emote). Who will win this epic battle of humans vs. birds? Well, if you love bad movies, YOU are the obvious winner here. (Dir. by Rene Cardona, Jr., 1987, 86 mins., Rated R) Digital