Birdemic: Shock and Terror – Page 2 of 2
If you are up for it, let’s continue our dissection of Birdemic: Shock and Terror. At this point in the movie, Rod and Nathalie are on a date where they dance to a rap/R&B song by some guy (Damien Carter) who sings:
Big Mama’s in the kitchen
and everybody’s wishin
that she’s… fixin
they’re favorite dish!
Just hanging out with my family
Having ourselves a party!
About 45 minutes in, we watch poor Whitney Moore in her underwear making out with Alan Bagh. I assume this is where the shock and terror comes in.
So at about the midway point of Birdemic: Shock and Terror, the birds finally attack, completely without warning in one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Fake CGI birds swarm over the city, occasionally turning into buzzbombs. I don’t even know if I should call them CGI; it’s more like sprites from your Windows 3.1 screensaver. Even the bird effects sound like somebody just programmed them into a loop and let loose, like the sound editor just hit a “bird attack” button on his freeware and then went to get a beer. Thrill as people wave coat hangers at things that aren’t there! Feel terror as our heroes fire fake guns at attacking sprites! I can’t even describe the bird attack scenes in this movie in a manner in which you can understand. It must be experienced.
The rest of Birdemic: Shock and Terror sees Rod and Nathalie team up with other survivors including two seriously annoying kids, and try to save a busload of people, which fails, of course. Strangely enough, the rest of the city seems to be getting along with business just fine, unaware that eagles are supposedly attacking and killing people (you can tell from the orderly traffic going by). Our gang then meets Dr. Jones (Rick Camp), who complains that global warming is the reason for the attacks, and that mankind is the true enemy. They also meet a guy in the forest nicknamed Tree Hugger (Stephen Gustavson) who complains that global warming will soon be the death of his trees. Folks, do you see a pattern here? This is about the time when I started feeling that maybe James Nguyen was really trying to make a decent film – a “message” film, to be exact. Birdemic exists because Nguyen is an Al Gore fanatic who just watched The Birds.
After stopping at a convenience store to get gas ($100 a gallon!) the store owner tells them that the phones are dead from the eagle attacks, but he’s still somehow able to run Rod’s credit card. Then a guy in a cowboy hat tries to steal their gas, only to be killed by an attacking bird. But our heroes simply drive off, leaving both the guy’s gun and their full tank of gas. Right – they’re not bright. I have to remember that.
There are many scenes in Birdemic where our protagonists stop somewhere to eat lunch, or catch a fish and cook it on the beach. And I’m supposed to believe that the birds are a constant threat? Do the birds only attack a few hours in the day or what? No matter, soon the birds cease their attacks completely for no reason at all, and the ending scene sees Nathalie, Rod, and the two rugrats staring into the distance watching some bird screen-savers just hovering there… and hovering… and hovering. Oh, I know, the birds are supposed to be flying away, but they’re not.
You will see some outrageous shit in Birdemic. Bird vomit (I think). Inane dialogue. Birds zipping down on stuff like Japanese kamikaze planes. Fake birds hitting windows. Grade school quality effects. Non-acting. Rod’s “hybrid” Mustang. The inexplicable Yoko Ono references. One guy’s Iraq war commentary out of nowhere: “Can’t we just give peace a chance?” The news broadcasts that still have watermarks from Getty Images. A fish being cooked without being cleaned, scaled, or gutted. Eagles that sound like seagulls. And it’s all wrapped up in anti-global-warming sentiment. Hey, it’s OK to have a message in your movie, but Birdemic beats you over the head with the message, then rips out your spleen with it. (It’s kinda like how Ed Wood used Plan 9 From Outer Space as a way to warn mankind about their overreaching military ambitions.) Look, Birdemic: Shock and Terror lives up to its title – it’s shocking that someone can make a movie this inept, and terrifying that it has been loved enough to lead to a sequel: Birdemic: The Resurrection. No matter: you must endure this film. Not “watch” it – endure it. I paraphrase Morpheus: no one can be told what Birdemic is. You have to see it for yourself.
– Bill Gordon