on February 23, 2011
It is difficult if not impossible to rate a movie like this. On a pure movie-making standpoint this movie achieves negative stars, so many negative stars. It has to. Otherwise giving it even one star would create a wickedly skewed curve in all of movie-creation that makes the worst of the very worst movies you have ever seen Five-Star movies. Yes. This movie is so terrible that it makes EVERY MOVIE EVER MADE a five-star movie. The Room, through Plan Nine, up to Inception on through Citizen Cane and Casablanca. Every. One. Of them. Now five-star movies.
The plot? What plot? The text message you just got from your 12-year-old child composed in net-speak has more of a plot than this thing. Basically we have a hero, a heroine, some secondary characters and stuff happening and, oh yeah, some eagles have achieved single-positional, non propulsive, flight and are being generally annoying and sort-of lethal to the population of Somewhere, California. Our heroes are some lame ad-guy who is a millionaire but takes his love interests on dates in the locally-owned Mexican restaurants our heroine is a pretty young model talent who gets her pictures taken in the strip-mall photo shop and has, somehow, become the cover model for direct-mail catalogs for Victoria's Secret. The two meet completely by chance and creepy stalker-like behavior and are so turned-off by life they decide to go out on a couple of dates before rubbing uglies in an hourly-rate motel by the interstate. Remember, our lead male recently became a millionaire from business dealings and our lead female is a cover model for a major lingerie chain, it's at about this point the birds of the world turn into "CGI" sprites and begin "attacking" people at random. And by "attack" I mean they hover around them, squawk like seagulls and are capable of expelling an acidic venom although they do this only once. Random things happen, random vehicles pull in and out of parking places and then things just stop. It makes "The Happening" look well thought-out and executed.
The audio is very jumpy (movie's fault not the disc's) as in one shot the actor's voice is mostly audible and in the next shot the actor's voice is drowned out by background noise, the whole movie was also apparently shot on that VHS Camcorder that's been hiding in your parent's attic for the last 15 years, the "CGI" is done on the 400MHz computer sitting next to it and somehow looks less like a bird than the sprites in "Duck Hunt" did on the Nintendo, heck, the animals on your Farmville plot look more realistic. Dialogue is muddied by actors who weren't taught to annunciate and by a production so broke apparently no second takes occurred causing much of the dialogue to seem like the final take of a scene was also the dress rehearsal for the scene.
So, you may be wondering why I find it hard to rate this movie it's obviously terrible.
Well.... It's so terrible you simply have to see it. It'll shock and confuse you on how this production was financed, produced and distributed. Money has been invested in this thing. And it's absolutely terrible. You have to see it to believe it, do it with some friends, some drinks and some coat hangers (you'll find out). So on a movie level it's no-stars. On an entertainment value? Five stars. Seriously, you'll laugh at how bad this movie is and remember making a better movie for your 9th-Grade Mass Media class.
For the interest of full disclosure, I didn't actually buy this product from Amazon. I watched Birdemic on YouTube where it is completely free for anyone willing to put up 90 minutes of their time that they will never ever get back.
To start, I feel like I should point out that I'm very seasoned in the world of "bad movies." I own (among other titles) Glen or Glenda, Plan 9, Bride of the Monster, Reptilicus, StarCrash, Flash Gordon, Sinbad of the Seven Seas, Konga, Dragon Wars, Robot Monster, and every MST3k DVD box set except the unbelievably expensive vol 9. I heartily enjoy movies that are so bad they're entertaining. "Birdemic" is not one of those movies.
It can basically be split into two parts:
Part 1: Rod is a software salesman, Natalie is a model. They meet in a restaurant, talk, date, then fall in love. This takes 47 minutes. If you're wondering how this could possibly take the better part of an hour, please be informed that you will see tons of scenes of people parking cars, walking in and out of houses, and Natalie having unbelievably awkward conversations with her planet-sized mom. You will see Rod succeed at his job, in a way that is filmed as though it were a cutscene from a PS1 videogame. You will also see a handful of Natalie/Rod dates, which should prove to be cautionary examples of exactly what not to do on a date, including stilted dialogue, questions that sound more like a job interview than any known normal social interaction, ridiculous dancing to a karaoke R&B singer, and going on a DOUBLE DATE to a filming of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH!!!! Nothing against Al Gore and his honestly legitimate but occasionally ill-executed crusade to convince people to give an actual damn about the planet they live on, but an honest-to-god DOUBLE DATE to his SLIDE SHOW MOVIE????? SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!
Part 2: The bird attack. This is the remainder of the movie... kind of. Rod and Natalie spend a night in a cheap hotel room (despite the fact that Rod seems to have a pretty awesome house to take her home to), wake up to find that out of nowhere (literally, there is ZERO foreshadowing to this event) eagles are attacking their hotel. I say eagles, but what I actually mean are flying_eagle.gif graphics overlayed on any given scene. That means that the eagles stay stationary whenever the camera moves. Its ungodly bad. Rod goes to the next room where he finds a random guy named Ramses and his girlfriend. The four of them swing hotel coat hangers at the CG birds long enough to escape to someone's crappy van where they drive around, pick up two kids who's parents were killed by the eagles, pay too much for gas, get sort of robbed by a fat cowboy, find their double date friends from earlier dead from the eagles, meet a hippie who lives in a tree, then they catch a fish and cook it on the beach til the birds leave for no reason and the credits roll.
To me there are three types of bad movies:
1. The type that are well funded and should really know better. (see the Transformer series, or the new Star Wars trilogy)
2. The type that are low budget, but cynical and clearly have less than artistic goals behind them. (see Monster-A-Go-Go or Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny)
3. The sincere, noble failures. These films are done by people who really have a passion for movies and a strong desire to make one of their own, but none of the resources or talent to make anything resembling good one (see Ed Wood's output during the 50's, Robot Monster, Teenagers From Outer Space, etc.)
This film clearly falls into #3's category. This guy wanted to make a movie, really loved Hitchcock's "The Birds" and did the best with what he had (which seems to only be a video camera and a laptop for special effects). But that by itself does not make for an entertaining experience. Where to begin? The sound editing is consistently horrible. At no point does the director try to cover up whatever white noise is going on in the background, nor does he try to sync it with whats going on, making every cut extremely noticeable. Second, the movie has tons of padding. None of the first 40 minutes matter at all. Character development would be one thing, but at no point do Rod and Natalie seem like actual people. That would be dismissible enough if the bird attacks had any weight to them, but regardless of the terrible special effects, none of the post-attack events flow into the next to provide any kind of building action. Things just happen, then other things happen, none of it building to anything else. An environmental message is clumsily tacked on to a few scenes, but even then no one seem to know any motivation for any given part.
The saddest part of all of this is that while its all baffling and unbelievable, none of it really that interesting in even an ironic sense. This is simply an awful movie, boring from start to finish.
I know throwing stones at a movie like Birdemic is essentially pointless. The only people who even see a movie like this are here just to point and laugh at a complete failure. While this movie succeeds at being a complete failure, it doesn't do so in a way that merits repeated or even an initial viewing. There are other terrible movies out there that reward your attention better than Birdemic.
If you want a bad movie that's worth repeated viewings, check out R.O.T.O.R. or Super Infra-Man or StarCrash or Viva Knievel or Dragon Wars or Robot Monster or Megaforce or the obvious choice, Plan 9 From Outer Space.
But trust me, there is no reason at all to check out Birdemic. Everything you see on the 13 minute "best of" on YouTube is literally all that's worth seeing. Save your devotion for a terrible movie that's actually worth your time.
on December 4, 2010
Words alone won't do Birdemic justice. This isn't a movie, it's an experience. Like having your brain fried on LSD, spritzed with lemon juice and tossed into the grand canyon.
Plan 9 From Outer Space? The Room? Rank amateurs compared to the brilliance of James Nguyen. This movie has everything: Exploding birds, romantic thrills, mountain lions and the most mind-blowing anti-acting you'll ever witness.
Grab a bottle of vodka and a coat hangar, pop in this movie with a bunch of friends and prepare for the greatest night of your life.
on May 22, 2013
Reasons I loved this movie:
- Getting scratched on the face is a fatal injury
- A character says, in all seriousness, "I hear a mountain lion. I've got to go."
- Its message is a profoundly confused ecological sermon, and from beginning to end it is anything but subtle.
- All of the fatal scratch injuries look like vaginas made of play-doh.
- Exploding killer birds, you guys!
- Forest fires consist of a few burning branches.
- Traffic continues as normal, even though the wise forest hippie says the birds are only attacking people in their cars or at gas stations.
- Some more brilliant dialogue. "Oh look, a fishing rod. Maybe I can catch a fish. Oh look, a stove. We can cook it."
- Global warming causes bird flu and SARS.
- The bold choice of recording all sound for the film with what sounds like a circa-1970s tape recorder.
- The unnatural, awkward first date dialogue that everyone in the movie uses throughout, with Pinter-esque pauses between each line.
-There is zero explanation of why the birds attack or why they stop.
- The painfully long and awkward final scene in which the survivors stare out at the dozen or so birds flying away over the ocean, and the birds make no progress at all.
But by far, my favorite aspect of the movie is the digital effects, which completely speak for themselves.
As most reviewers have unanimously agreed, This is the "best" worst movie ever made. I just think it's THE worst movie ever made! Granted, I howled in sheer disbelief at the hilariously awful bird effects, but that certainly isn't meant to be complimentary. Writer/director (?) James Nguyen may have been a precocious child running around making home movies with his family but he evidently suffers from Peter Pan syndrome and has never grown up.
There are no redeeming qualities and its undeserved cult status has prompted an upcoming sequel called BIRDEMIC - THE RESURRECTION and Alan Bagh is reprising his role as Rod. If Bagh isn't the worst actor in cinematic history, I don't know who is. I won't go into the other horrible "actors", the absence of sound editing, the pompous global warming warning. The birds sum it up---unless you want to experience the most embarrasing 90 minutes in the anals (oops..annals) of movie history, AVOID.