Birdemic: Shock and Terror – Flocking Awful

David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) once said of Kevin Smith that his success with Clerks hadn’t made getting into the industry any easier, but rather turned the indie film industry into a special Olympics. Birdemic takes that theory to the extreme, its not hard to imagine off the back of his huge internet following that director James Nguyen could be gifted a budget to make another movie and that is just wrong!

Birdemic: Shock & Terror is a truly awful movie that is missing basic movie making fundamentals and shouldn’t be watched by anyone.

From the trailer you would have already picked up on the terrible acting and special effects but overlook them for the moment, good actors are hard to find and special effects don’t come cheap.  Let’s instead go straight to the fundamentals. The script is awful, its chocked full of stunted lines that you have to assume are written by someone who doesn’t get out a great deal, someone who doesn’t talk to women and clearly doesn’t work in a sales environment (“I’ll give you a 50% discount!”). It also lacks any basic storytelling properties. Allow me break the movie into acts for you, play along at home kids see if you can make this last an hour and twenty minutes:

Act 1 – After 5 minutes of the worst scenery shots and introduction music ever, we are introduced to our hero the most boring man in the world. Our hero meets an old school friend in a cafe, she is ridiculously hot (seriously, this woman and her mother are the only good points of the movie) and after some hilarious flirting they arrange to see each other again, after a couple dates they are officially an item (sub plot if you need it, it’s not actually touched on past act 2. Boring man makes a great business deal and hot girl gets a job as a Victoria Secret model).

Act 2 – Hot girl and boring guy get away for the weekend and go to a motel in “half moon bay” to have a night of dirty “trousers and shoes stay on” sex, by that I mean that they spend the night together but when they get up in the morning (oh there is another 5 minutes or so of terrible scenery here) they are wearing the same clothes they slept in. Wait what’s this, Eagles that can spit some sort of acid that blows shit up start attacking the motel! Why? We don’t know why! The couple get out with some marine and his wife who were also in the motel and hit the road. (why? WE DON’T KNOW WHY!)

Act 3 – There is no act three, our heroes drive totally aimlessly for about an hour, they get out now and then to make terrible decisions that nobody would make. Here’s an example; our heroes have just escaped the first attack, they’re in a van with guns and have rescued two small children who’s parents have been killed by birds (although this is never mentioned and they seem pretty cool about it), Everyone should be feelin scared and asking each other why this is happening and what they can do to survive (you know, to push the STORYLINE along) do they drive to find a safe place to stay? do they bunker down and fight? No! they have a picnic in a wide open picnic area!.

Towards the end the birds attack then suddenly start making dove noises and stop attacking, we didn’t really understand what happened to be honest, then they all stand looking at the sea. The End.

Most unforgivable for me is that Nguyen lacks of any sort of film making ability. From the first scene you will notice that he lacks any knowledge of the basic rules of cinema, the rules you are taught in the first months of any film course or the first pages of any film book for dummies. Quite simply you check your sound levels, check your white balance and your light levels and if you can work out your shots in advance you’ll be half way towards making something look like it was made by a professional. If Nguyen did half of this stuff before filming we wouldn’t see scenes in which cars in the distance drive at normal speeds apparently unaffected by killer birds and the dialogue wouldn’t be inaudible under the sounds of wind or just plain inaudible through inept sound management. This happens all too often and stops being funny after the opening scenes.

In summery Birdemic: Shock & Terror is literally the worst movie ever granted real distribution, not because of the terrible effects or the terrible acting (they almost give it that much sought after ironic “so bad it’s good” quality that has captured the internets collective minds). Birdemic is rotten from the core out and should be shown to young film makers as a stark reminder of what happens when you forget the basics of film making.

2 Responses to “Birdemic: Shock and Terror – Flocking Awful”

  1. Wow. I haven’t seen this movie, nor do I intend to follow anyone involved on Twitter, but Act 2 really sounds fucking awesome. I’m a huge fan of Clothes On Sex.

  2. I actually feel a little bit sick and very tired whenever I even think about Birdemic

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