Cardona kicks things off properly with some globe hopping to show a worldwide epidemic of bird attacks. No joke, we jump around from Peru to Mexico to Spain to Puerto Rico. The film finally settles down and focuses on three separate storylines. The largest one centers on TV reporter Vanessa Cartwright (Michelle Johnson) and her cameraman Peter (Christopher Atkins). She is apparently pissed that her director sends her to cover a story on a guy being attacked by his chickens, but slowly begins to connect the dots that these attacks aren’t just random. This sends her all over the globe (quite a budget this TV station she works for has) as she starts interviewing scientists and attack survivors before ending up in a town besieged by birds. The second storyline focuses on a husband, wife and their two kids on vacation in Puerto Rico. Poor dad has more problems than just a nagging wife after their car gets stuck on the beach and the family has to run for their lives from crazed birds. The third storyline focuses on old hunter Arthur Neilson (Aldo Sambrell). He recently got his eyeball plucked out by a bird and now has to deal with more bird attacks the same day his granddaughter – gasp – is having her big birthday party outside on his estate. Everyone fights these pissed off winged warriors in their own way, but will mankind survive?
Okay, before we go any further, I should probably tell the Hitchcock nerds that I was only kidding and I don’t think BIRDS OF PREY will be replacing THE BIRDS in film history any time soon. If Hitchcock’s film is the gold standard, than PREY is that knockoff fake gold that people use to make cheap grills for their teeth. But that doesn’t stop this from being entertaining as hell. Cardona lets you know from the first five minutes what kind of film this is going to be – exploitation to the max. I mean, Hitchcock only dreamed of opening a film with a hang glider getting their eyeball plucked out while sailing through the sky. And Cardona certainly knows how to pile on the gore. Here is Neilson getting his eyeball stolen:
If you didn’t know the director and country of origin, you would think that is straight out of a 1980s Italian horror flick with the banging score, gushing gore and seductive slow-mo shots.