How can I devote a month to some of the worst movies ever and not talk about Birdemic: Shock and Terror? I actually own this film (but it’s also available on Tubi because of course it is) and somehow managed to not get around to it during the first year of this blog. But that oversight has now been remedied! Birdemic is infamous for being up there with The Room in terms of completely inept filmmaking. It boldly asks the question, “What if The Birds was mixed with An Inconvenient Truth with the worst CG birds you’ve ever seen?” It is, for lack of a better word, art.
The movie starts with the romance between Rod, a man with no real personality, and Nathalie, a model. Yes, that’s how she spells her name and yes, I hate it. Anyway, hope you really like those two because HALF THE FUCKING MOVIE IS JUST THE TWO OF THEM BEING A COUPLE! I’m serious! The first half of this 90 minute movie has fuckall to do with birds! We do see a few before the midpoint, all looking like they were assets stolen from The Amazon Trail. Does anyone else remember that game from back when Apple computers were called Macintoshes? Just me? Well anyway, after Rod and Nathalie sleep together at a motel (they both have homes so why there?) they awaken the next day to find that shrieking computer generated birds that explode upon impact half the time have declared war on humanity. They team up with some motel neighbors to enact one of the greatest moments in cinema history: the coat hanger scene. This scene belongs in a museum. Seeing is believing, so here’s the clip. Loud noises warning if you haven’t seen it before, but it’s… just so bad. Amazingly bad. Delightfully bad! After escaping the two other people die off quickly, leaving our lovebirds (ha) watching over a pair of children whose parents were pecked to death by the birds. They all encounter a scientist who warns them that the real danger is mankind, a tree hugger in a horrendous wig who laments about spruce bark beetles, and get robbed by a guy in a cowboy hat. In the end they’re saved by… doves? Like, a group of white birds show up and then all the birds fly out towards the ocean. The movie ends on what you would think is a freeze frame, but might actually be the actors holding still for 5 minutes.
This movie is hot garbage and I love it so much. Few bad movies decide to have all the important bits in the second half, let alone hammer the audience with its “humans are responsible for destroying nature” message so much that it borders on parody. So many decisions were made that apparently made sense at the time, but baffle me. For example, at one point Rod and Nathalie dance awkwardly while Mr. Damien Carter sings the best song ever, “Just Hanging Out.” Except when you watch his lips you see a disconnect when he says the words “hanging out,” as if he was singing some other line. But… that’s the name of the song. What were you actually singing? Why didn’t you do any reshoots? Why does this haunt me so much?!
The cherry on top of this movie about killer birds is the cameo by Tippi Hendren. She was in The Birds! That’s awesome that they got her for this! Except… not. Ms. Hendren had a role in writer/director James Nguyen’s previous film Julie and Jack, a story about a man who dates a cyber-ghost. The “cameo” in this happens right before Nathalie and Rod spend a night together when a clip of Julie and Jack appears on a television. That counts, right? That counts enough that you’d advertise it, right? Well, if not then you’re not on the same level as visionary writer/direct James Nguyen, the master of romantic thrillers! He… actually calls himself that in his trailers. ART!
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