Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cult Flix: Birdemic- Shock and Terror

Cult Flix are not always good- but they are interesting!  The 2008 film Birdemic: Shock and Terror is one of those movies.  The film is a work by low-budget filmmaker James Nguyen and has gotten a lot of attention...for all of the wrong reasons.  Clip shows and internet shows like The Soup and Attack of the Show featured moments that would become famous.  What's so great about this movie?  Well, if you don't know, here's the deal: the film has some of the worst Special Effects ever.  I mean, ever!  The movie was made for a tiny budget and, like the Pendragon version of 'War of the Worlds,' people have had a good laugh at their attempts at computerized visuals.  On top of that, the film also features some of the worst Editing, Sound Editing and transitions of all-time.  With all those going against it (or for it), the film must be a sight to be seen. Well, yes and no.  The silly parts are very funny, but the rest...well, you'll see.  Get out your out-of-sync guns as we face down the...
The first forty minutes of the film involve Rod, a guy with the personality of uncooked tuna, and the lady he meets via stalking and oggling.  They have a 'romance for the ages' that consists of awkward conversations, out-of-sync audio and pointless moments.  We also get random plot points involving Rod hitting it big, a newscaster awkwardly-mentioning news stories about the environment and Rod starting his own company.  This crap ends with Rod and his lady making some off-camera whoopie while stock footage of Tippi Hedren plays in the background.  No, really.  Finally...
...the birds attack!  Here's where the meat of this movie is...when it's halfway over.  This stuff is hilarious, with composite pictures of birds moving in two-frame animation in front of the camera.  In their introductory scene, they even make jet flying noises and somehow crash into buildings...causing them to set on fire.  Just wow.  Rod and his lady meet another couple, who flee after the birds kind of float in front of them and do nothing.  They pick up two kids along the way and protect them.  By the way, hypocrisy alert- Rod espouses nothing but 'green' ideals, but picks up a case of plastic, bottled water.  For shame, Rod!
With the kids in tow, the group either wanders around or gets killed.  The other couple are killed by eagle blitz attack or a spray of eagle urine, respectively.  We get random filler as they meet a scientist who talks about how man is evil and then a nature enthusiast who says the same thing.  Ultimately, the pair get to the beach with the kids, but get trapped in the car.  Some white birds chase off the black birds and the movie just kind of ends.  Who needs resolution?  The End.
Damn you, static bird shots!  The plot of this movie is about as shallow and random as you can get.  It's just a series of events that occur in no particular order and for no particular reason.  On top of that, it's really TWO movies doing that, as the first half has almost no bearing on the second.  Other than Rod and the lady being around, none of this matters.  The company dealings- not mentioned.  Rod's riches- not brought up.  Their two friends- killed off-camera and their deaths revealed as an after-thought.  Speaking of which, the other couple are constantly shilling for something called Project Peace- by way of shirts worn or posters displayed. I might care about that if you weren't a) forcing it so hard and b)showing this in Birdemic.  Another random moment: Rod asks the other guy why he has automatic weapons with him.  The guy says that he was a soldier in Iraq, but left to protest all the killing.  After that one line, it's never brought up again.  Of course, the real 'star' here are the Special Effects.  When you finally get to see them, they are a laugh riot.  There's some debate over whether the film is trying to be bad or not.  Honestly, I think Nguyen is acting like it was a comedy in the same way that Nicolas Cage says that The Wicker Man was a comedy.  People laughed at your movie, so just go with it.  If it was trying to be silly, it would have featured 80 minutes of the birds, not 40.  If you can stomach the boring first-half, the second half is worth seeing...if you're really a fan of train wrecks.  For you casual fans of bad movies, you'll just hate it.  Let's leave on a good note: a random Texan being killed unconvincingly by a CG eagle.
Up next, we begin Mechanical Terror Week as machines attack!  First up, an anime-to-live-action film that involves robots, storm troopers and Jesus Town.  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment