Where do I start…?
I am sure everyone has heard of Birdemic: Shock and Terror. It’s occupies many of the ‘worst film ever’ lists online, and it lingers awfully close to the absolute bottom of IMDB’s Bottom 100, which is partly why we are reviewing it here.
I’m going to steal IMDB’s synopsis because it begins to perfectly highlight how amateur this movie is:
When a platoon of eagles and vultures attacks the residents of a small town. Many people die. It’s not known what caused the flying menace to attack. Two people manage to fight back, but will they survive Birdemic?
DISCLAIMER: the most important thing to note before I get into the meat of this review is Birdemic wasn’t written by a 15 year old. In fact, the writer/director was born in 1966 and has had over 40 years human interaction upon which to base his characters’ conversations.
The biggest thing that struck me while watching Birdemic was how watchable it was. In reality, it was so bad. I don’t think there are enough negative adjectives to adequately describe how shitty this movie was, but in a weird way, I enjoyed it. I think it has an unknowing irony that makes it hilarious to watch. Everyone is trying so hard, yet failing in every way, which works for me. It wasn’t cringe-worthy to the point of being unwatchable, it was just crap and hilarious and I laughed a lot.
All of the technical aspects of the film were laughable. It’s nearly an hour and a half long, yet with a half-decent editor it could be trimmed to under an hour. It’s like Kim Chow left all of the pre and post roll footage on each clip, so we had scenes ending with characters starring into the void. The sound recording, mixing and music constantly shifted in quality, and scenes set in the same room had different room tone and gain issues, so everything sounded inconsistent. The lighting between shots was patchy and the visual effects on the birds might be the most unintentionally funny CGI in any film ever.
The women in Birdemic were the most weak, pathetic, misrepresented and one-dimensional women in the history of cinema, who all needed a man to help them financially, orgasmically, and to escape from kamikaze exploding pigeons. Apparently, the most fulfilling things a woman could experience in the world of Birdemic were shopping, modelling for Victoria’s Secret and having awkward footsie while kissing really noisily. The characters in general were flat, the acting was beyond wooden (the most believable performance was from a young girl stuck under a truck) and the dialogue was written by a man who has been alive for longer than some of my uncles. Here are my favourite lines from the film;
‘Doesn’t help to have a secure financial husband to support you’
What is a secure financial husband and is it good for my sciatica?
‘When are you gonna grow up, man? Chicks love cars! If you wanna get into her pants, you’ve gotta have a hot Ferrari.’
It’s true, chicks love wankers with expensive cars.
‘Maya and I have to get back to work…you know, sensual work…’
That gets my girlfriend DTF, especially when I say it in the presence of acquaintances.
‘Guys, this is revolutionary green tech. Contingent upon agreement on our term sheets, we’re gonna fund you.’
How the actor managed to say that second sentence is beyond me.
‘I like to travel, I like to cruise. And I enjoy watching television!’
To round up, I think James Nguyen was channeling the spirit of Alfred Hitchcock when he made Birdemic. His shot choice, use of pans and dissolves, and direct pilfering of the plot from The Birds, were definitely Hitchcockian, but unfortunately he fell just short of the mark for Birdemic to be considered a modern day classic. There is a message of green energy, global warming and true patriarchal values woven into the thick tapestry of Birdemic, and even though it absolutely fails at being a well made film, it was watchable, and at least they made a movie. And that’s more than most ‘filmmakers’ will ever achieve.