YES, another one i was cojoled into watching and reviewing quickly because Amazon Prime Video reminded me they we’re gonna take it off their service in 5 hours. And since i’m still semi-quarantined at home, might as well watch it and review it.
This time it’s about killer birds, crows instead of general “birds”, because clichès.
And like a good chunk of these movie i’ve been “coerced” into reviewing by Amazon Prime Video removing, this is another TV movie for Sci-Fi Channel/SYFY, and it’s somewhat fitting that most of these movies about killer birds were made for TV, since the apocryphal The Birds II: Land’s End in 1994, a movie so good the director Rick Rosenthal (the original Halloween II, Bad Boys, American Dreamer, Halloween Resurrection) asked to be credited as Alan Smithee instead, was also a TV movie.
The title also echoes the “famous” snake creature feature “Sss”, you lure people into watching your movie better with this simplistic attitudine, so KAW is it. I love that in the italian release they added a subtitle with the intent to specify the ravens are not just your common, bargain basement ravens…. but if i were to translate it to english it would literally read “Attack Of The Common Ravens”.
Plot is pretty typical, birds (crows in this case) start attacking people in a small rural town, the sheriff and the populace see the birds pressing their attacks to a ravenous degree, and have to fight back. But there’s a bit more this time, as we also get an explanation for why the crows attack in hordes and what made them go around in search of flesh to peck at…. and it involves mennonites.
I thank the script for clarifying they’re Mennonites and NOT Amish, because i know very little about anabaptistic groups, not that it really matters much to the plot. Regardless, they noticed a disease spreading between their cows, who made them die all in a few days, and they kept quiet because they didn’t want “the English” to know, and they felt it was a divine punishment of sorts.
Problem is crows came to eat the infected cow meat, and so the “mad cow disease” spread to them… which results in packs of huge crows going after humans specifically, of course it does, because this is the kinda of logic we have here. I’m surprised the crows didn’t grew hooves or anything else like that, wouldn’t have been that absurd going by this logic. I did mentions Ssss, but no it doesn’t go into that territory. You just get a “sudden bad ending” that somehow reminds me of Fragasso’s, but not quite, it lacks the absolute gratuitous depressing, almost antagonistic nature of his endings.
It goes without saying, but yes, we also have the usual gaggle of features that come with a movie like this: dumb characters, fake-out jump scares (or torchings) for the hell of it, people dismiss the reports of birds attack at first because the ex-drunk bus driver survived one and told the others about it… and stuff i didn’t fully expect like the mennonite girl being able to sense the flock of evil hungry infected crows coming, like it’s a supernatural gift or something.
But all things considered, it’s better put together than expected, it’s far more presentable overall than most movies of this ilk are, but not by much, and it really don’t has much in the way of gore, i guess partly due to it being a TV movie, but come on, even the aforementioned The Birds II had people with eyes completely pecked out, and it was low budget as hell. On this subject, while most of the cast is decent but composed of fairly unknown faces, it also has an actor who starred in the original The Birds, Rod Taylor, 2 years prior to act as Winston Churchill in Inglorious Bastards.
I would complain about the effects for the birds being…. not polished, but i can’t, at least most of the crows in the shot are real, NOT crappy gifs, people use guns instead of coathangers, i blame that movie for lowering the bar so much in killer birds movies.
Overall, KAW manages to be… fairly average, or close enough for a Sy-Fy TV movie.