Movie Review: Birdemic: Shock and Terror

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A young couple falls in love just as their town is threatened by a virus that turns birds into dive-bombing killers.

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James Nguyen, 2010

Software salesman Rod (Alan Bagh) is having a pretty good year. He’s making the biggest sales of his life, the company he works for is being sold for a billion dollars, and he’s met a gorgeous fashion model called Nathalie (Whitney Moore). They spend a lot of time talking about their jobs while they flirt for a long time and go on endless dates. Just as things are finally heating up for Rod and Whitney, disaster strikes. All of the birds start going crazy, attacking humans, flying into building and exploding, and killing people with their acid. Rod and Whitney travel through the devastation, fighting off the diseased birds while trying to find a safe haven.

BirdemicPoster

For anyone who has never heard of Birdemic, it is one of the worst movies ever made. This movie is TERRIBLE. It’s worse than even a bad student film. It’s appallingly written, horribly directed, and hilariously terrible both visually (the birds are literally gifs that have been superimposed over the scene) and acoustically (the sound drops out frequently, the volume wavers, and white noise makes up the portion of the soundtrack that doesn’t consist of royalty-free elevator music). It starts with a five minute long scene of Rod driving around, and long driving scenes continue at weird angles throughout the movie. The editing is incredibly jarring, moving from a touching mother-daughter scene to a sex scene to an office meeting with no warning. I had no sense of how long anything had been happening for, or what the timeline was at all. There’s a two-and-a-half minute musical interlude, and the birdemic doesn’t actually start until minute 45, when it bursts on to the screen loudly and without warning. The acting is wooden across the board, most notably from star Alan Bagh, who has all the charisma and talent of a blobfish. Whitney Moore is more energetic and likeable, but she also puts in an incredibly one-note performance. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the Tippi Hedren credit: she appears on a screen behind Nathalie at one point, and that somehow equated to a role in James Nguyen’s strange, strange mind.

The film’s auteur, James Nguyen, is obsessed with global warming. It’s kind of sweet and naive how much he cares about the concept and how badly he executed his film about it. Every other scene has something relating to the theme, whether it’s a poorly framed newswoman talking about polar bears, Rod having solar panels installed, or a self-professed tree-hugger talking about how bugs are eating the trees because of global warming. The birdemic itself is explained to be a result of global warming…somehow, by an old man who’s testing bird blood on the beach. Which reminds me: THEY HAVE A PICNIC AT THE BEACH. The birds are literally dive-bombing from the sky, complete with fighter plane noises, and murdering people by either scratching or exploding and killing them with their acid blood (seriously), and the protagonists take some kids they saved to have a picnic AT THE BEACH. How idiotic do you have to be? Nothing in this movie makes sense. It seems like it was written by an alien who only had brief contact with humans some time in 1995. There’s no plot to speak of. One glorious scenes has the actors batting at thin air with coat hangers as pasted-on “eagles” hover in front of them. And if you’ve gotten to the end of this review and haven’t decided to immediately seek out and watch this movie, you are definitely missing out on one of the best film watching experiences of your life. Watch it with drinks, friends, and a sense of humour.

Birdemic: Shock and Terror on IMDb

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