Craptastic Cinema

Celebrating The Best Of The Worst Movies

Birdemic

Year : 2008 Director : James Nguyen Running Time : 92 minutes Genre : ,
Movie review score
2/5

After last week’s induction of Sharknado, I was flooded with emails, and suggestions for other craptastic movies to induct.  Many of them are very worthy of inducting into this site, and you will see them in the weeks to come.  In fact, I was completely ready to induct one of those films this week.  Then, I was presented with a copy of a movie I truly have never heard of before.  When I was doing a little research before viewing it, I was intrigued at what I read.  Here was a film that claimed to been inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’sThe Birds“.  It went as far to call itself a romantic horror film.  Interesting concept.  I also noticed that the total budget for the film was reported to be under $10,000.  I immediately made a sound similar to Scooby-Doo as my interest sparked.  So I watched the preview, which you can too by clicking on the movie poster on the left hand side here.  After seeing the preview, I simply had to drop everything and watch this movie.  While semi ready to see it based on the preview, nothing truly prepared me for what I was about to watch.  Nothing prepared me for Birdemic!

It should be noted that the full title title of the film is “Birdemic: Shock and Terror”, most people just refer to it as “Birdemic”.  Kinda like “Army of Darkness”, but that is another induction for another day.

Birdemic is a story of two former high school classmates who bumped into each other by fate one afternoon at a small diner in Half Moon Bay, CA.  Rod (Alan Bagh) is a successful software salesman who was about to launch his own solar panel company.  Nathalie (Whitney Moore) is an up-and-coming fashion model who just landed a cover model gig with Victoria’s Secret.  The two of them began their courtship very slowly.  They did the typical early date stuff like go out to dinner, go to a dance club (err a dance club on a blue screen that clearly looks like it was added after the film was made), and even attended the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival.  Nathalie shot down Rod initial attempts to get inside her pants by saying she wasn’t that type of girl on their first date when he dropped her off at her house.  Over time though, they get a hotel room and it was on like Donkey Kong.  Why they got a hotel room when they have already clearly shown that both characters own their own homes, I don’t know.  As the sun rose the day after their night of lovemaking, things get real…. really real!!!!

Craptastic Cinema Birdemic Attack

Yep those are eagles on the attack, dive bombing houses and causing explosions.  Let that soak in for a second.  Birds, flying into houses, and causing the house to blow up in a massive explosion.  Hitchcock wasn’t even that clever.  Haha, I love how the houses are still there after the explosion clears.  Classic low budget effects.

Outside of their hotel room, birds appeared to stalk Rod and Nathalie forcing them to stay in their room.  I say appeared because despite how the actors were describing it in the room, the effects had the birds just hovering there on top of b-roll footage of a hotel.

Craptastic Cinema Birdemic Stalking

It may only be a 6 seconds long looping gif, but that is what most of this movie looks like.  Animated birds on top of poorly shot footage.  More on that in a bit.

When an opportunity came up for Rod and Nathalie to leave their room, they did so to find others.  In a room a few doors down from theirs, they meet a couple named Ramsey and Becky.   Rod states that he lost the keys to his car, and that is when the four team up to leave the hotel.  It was a damn shame that they did not have Rod’s car though.  You see, earlier in the movie he praised the crap out of his car.  Rod drove a blue Ford Mustang.  Being a former Ford car-salesman, I can tell you that it was the 6-cylinder 2008 model.  A good car with a decent balance of performance and gas efficiency.  Rod however made the bold claim that his car was a hybrid Mustang that got 100 miles to the gallon.  Ummm what?  That car doesn’t exist in any way shape or form.  First off, there has yet to be a hybrid Mustang, and this is 2013 when I write this.  Also, there is not a single hybrid on the market to get anywhere close to that millage.  Getting off my soap box for a now, but a car with that type of millage would come in handy in this movie. You see later on gas becomes scarce, and they are forced to pay $100 a gallon.  That is a lot of money to pay for a pile of crap minivan they end up with.  I guess the rental time ran out for the Mustang, so they replaced it with someone’s personal car.  Yeah, the car had a rental sticker on the window.  I noticed.

Craptastic Cinema Birdemic Fight

So they have to fight off some birds to get into their pile of crap mini van.  As you can expect now, it was amazing looking.  Avatar quality there.  Along their journey, the four save a couple children who now become part of the group as well.  It is not long until poor Ramsey and Becky die.  Good thing Rod met them and kept their mini van, considering he lost the keys to his kick ass Mustang hybrid.  Queue up the Rocky Horror call back normally reserved for Brad Majors….. “ASSHOLE!!!!”  So Asshole, Nathalie, and two whining brat kids continue on to find safety from the birds.  As the story unfolds, it is determined that humans are Earth’s enemy, and that global warming is to blame for the bird attacks.  See, birds normally feed out at sea if they can, but the warming of waters is killing the fish, so the birds are resorting to another source of food.  They are also smart birds because they are aware that cars and gas stations are to blame for global warming.  A man in the forest noted that the birds do not attack in there, but focus on cars and gas stations.  It’s peaceful in the forest.  Man kills trees, not the other way around…. ok ok ok I get it.  Seriously, this movie lays on the environmental message on thick.  Almost, if not all, extended dialog scenes relate to the topic.  Granted, none of the dialog is any good, or accurate, or even properly recorded to actually be heard clearly, but it makes up the overall message of the film.  Humans bad, birds good.

So now we have Asshole, “only reason to watch this movie” Nathalie, and the brat brigade making up the bad guys killing off innocent eagles by shooting them down from the sky.  Victory looked like it was in hand for the good guys, when the foursome ran out of bullets.  They were trapped inside the pile of crap mini van on top of a hillside.  The birds tried the dive bomb technique on the van, but apparently that only causes houses to blow up.  It simply cracked the windshield on the mini van.  Had it been the Mustang, who knows what damage it could have caused.  Just as we expect to see those evil humans die for their crimes against the Earth, the sound of doves fill the air.  The doves drive off all the eagles and vultures off into the sea, and save the human’s lives.  Why would they do this?  Is this thanks for us making them the bird of love?  I simply don’t get it.  A vulture or an eagle being afraid of a dove does not really work to me.  Then again, look at the film I am watching.

Birdemic ends with the new family, presumingly, driving off into the sunset happily ever after.  We as the viewer are left looking for someway to comprehend what we just watched.  I once read a study that said that the human brain registers everything we see, but does not process all of it at that time unless focus is directed towards it.  All that extra information gathered is placed in a storage bank, and then gets filtered out in the form of dreams.  That is why we can have dreams that semi relate to events in our current lives.  It is the brain playing catch up with the information it gathered while you simply live your life normally.  That really has nothing to do with Birdemic, but I am expecting some messed up dreams in the days to come after watching it.

On the Craptastic Scale, Birdemic gets a 2 out of 5.  It is all sorts of bad.  Nothing is done right in this movie.  We touched on the CGI a little bit, but let me just express that this has some of the worst effects I have ever seen.  The birds just sit on top of the film, and that is it.  Not a single effort to blend them into the picture.  No shadows, no lighting effects, nothing.  It looks tacky.  It gets to a point that it is just laughable.  The acting is completely terrible, for the most part.  Giving credit where it is due, Whitney Moore was actually decent.  Plus she is so damn easy on the eyes, that I can tune out everything else when she is on the screen  She suffers from being the only quality actor in the film though.  Everyone else portray their characters with either no emotion, or way too much.  It gets to the point where it is laughable too.  A good film editor could have perhaps covered the bad acting up with clever edits and cuts, but this film appears to have not had an editor at all.  The concept that they filmed this entire movie on a single real of film, filming all the scene changes and cuts in real time is completely plausible.  There is more than one scene where the dialog ends, the actors hold pose for several seconds, then start to walk away before the next scene starts.  Almost every conversation is shot with back and forth cuts between the two parties.  This leads to awkward sounding conversations because there is simply no natural flow.  The audio track also is poorly edited.  Background noise comes and goes depending on the camera angle in the conversation scenes.  Another sign of Birdemic perhaps being shot with real time camera cuts.  There are times where the audio completely drops out, and they didn’t even bother to do an overdub.  Who cares about those missing words anyways, probably not important anyway.  Sound effects are as bad as the special effects.  Often times the gun fire sound effects do not match the video at all.  There are a couple times where if the gun sound effects really matched action on the screen, several characters would have been killed.  Like everything else, it simply becomes laughable.  That is why I didn’t have it in me to give Birdemic a score of one.  Once you accept what quality of movie you are watching, and just go along for the ride, it is laughs out loud bad.  It is still a very bad movie, but Birdemic needs to been seen to believe.  Lovers of truly crappy movies will adore every single frame of Birdemic.

You can check out the DVD for Birdemic through Netflix.  You can also acquire signed copies of the DVD or BluRay on the official Birdemic website from the director James Nguyen.  As stated before, if you really love crappy movies, this is right up your alley.  Will this become a huge cult movie?  Only time will tell.  It already has a growing fan base, which is quite large in size.  Heck, Birdemic even has a sequel.

Wait, did I just say that?  A Birdemic 2 actually exists?  You bet your ass it does.  Want to know how it stacks up to the original?  Well be sure to tune in next week.  Same crap place, same crap channel.  Till then, try not to piss off any eagles.

-Matt Camarco

 


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