Friday, July 2, 2010

[Review] Birdemic: Shock And Terror

Have you ever fallen up a staircase?

I'm sure you're all familiar with this — You're out and about on a particularly awesome day with a big ol' smile on your face, realizing life ain't too shabby. You approach a staircase, thinking "lol staircase"...but then your foot isn't lifted high enough, it catches the edge of an oncoming step and your whole body suddenly goes lurching forward.

And you've done it. As if you weren't awkward enough already, you've now somehow managed to fall up a staircase. In public. In front of everyone.

What are you to do in this situation?! Just sort of pretend as if it didn't happen and continue walking? Make eye contact with everyone staring at you? Force yourself to laugh? No matter what reaction you choose—it's awkward. Very, very awkward.

This, in a nutshell, is Birdemic, a movie that has magically captured the essence of the awkward moment. It makes you laugh uncomfortably, cringe uncontrollably and flat out deny the whole thing out of pure embarrassment.

I have watched many movies over the years that have evoked many emotions in me. But never—and I mean never—have I felt this kind of hilarious pain. Birdemic: Shock And Terror truly is, without a doubt, the best worst movie in the history of the world.

That's right, little Gary Coleman, I said it. It's the best worst movie in the history of the world. Troll 2, eat your f**king heart out.

So, the movie begins with Lead Guy, a computer software salesman who seems to live a very exciting life, as he just sort of...drives around a lot. That is, when he's not watching news reports about seals or getting solar panels installed on his roof. And then there's Lead Girl, who lives a glamorous life as a high-end fashion model, getting pictures taken at a One Hour Photo shop next to a convenience store by the side of the road.

Glamorous indeed.

Lead Guy and Lead Girl cross paths, and seeing as how they're both completely inept at doing pretty much anything in life, like walking or talking, they totally click and quickly fall in love.

According to the IMDb profile for writer/director James Nguyen, he's apparently known as the "Master Of Romantic Thrillers" (By who, his mom? He's only made two movies before Birdemic, both of which were cheap direct-to-DVD's that don't seem to be available for purchase). So Birdemic is not actually billed as a horror movie, but instead as a romantic thriller. And rather than blending the two genres, Mr. Nguyen apparently likes it in that particular order: Romantic. Thriller.

The first hour of Birdemic attempts to tackle nothing but the romance and fails miserably. All of the "conversations" between Lead Guy and Lead Girl are so painfully awkward, it got to the point where I started cringing before they would even start to speak. I swear, these people are train wrecks in the form of human beings. Their body language and dialogue delivery is absolutely disastrous and baffling. The directing and editing, unfortunately, amplifies this to unbearable levels. Instead of cutting off the scene once the actors have finished their lines, the camera would just sort of linger there on their faces for an incredibly uncomfortable amount of time until their eyes would eventually start to wander or stare directly into the camera, confused about what they're supposed to be doing. And man, is it awkward to watch!

After all the "romance" is dealt with and there's only about 40 minutes left of the movie, a scene of eagles wreaking havoc is suddenly shoved in our faces. No smooth transition from Romantic to Thriller. It literally just comes out of nowhere. Maybe that's the "shock" part of Birdemic: Shock And Terror. Although I was more confused, than shocked.

It comes as no surprise that the special effects used weren't of the highest quality. But even after seeing so many Syfy Channel creature features, I still wasn't prepared for the insanely atrocious effects on display here, which seem to have been lifted from a computer game circa 1995. But bad CGI aside, it was the way the birds were portrayed that was most concerning. When they weren't miraculously hovering in the same spot while barely flapping their wings, they would nose-dive into buildings, accompanied by the sound of a jet engine, and then explode on impact.

I kid you not.

From here on out, Lead Guy and Lead Girl form a group with another couple and two young children and go on the run, armed with wire hangers to fight off the eagles, Joan Crawford style. Some people live and some people die, but hilarity reigns throughout.

Along the way, they meet Old Man On Bridge and Tree Hugger, two random characters who decide to briefly inform our leads about the beauty of trees, the effects of global warming, and how we need to act more like "spacemen and take care of our spaceship" (or some such nonsense), all the while cheesy music plays in the background that makes it sound like one of those "Educational Moments" from the Brady Bunch. I was totally waiting for Marcia to pop up somewhere and explain how global warming doesn't matter when you're beautiful. But unfortunately, moments like that only happen in my dreams.

To say that Mr. Nguyen was trying DESPERATELY to make a deeply meaningful film with a "save the earth" agenda would be kind of an understatement.

Take for instance, a scene of a couple enjoying some sexytime:

Yeah, real subtle.

But whatever the intention, what he did do was unearth a comedy goldmine that will surely become a major cult classic in the years to come. All the buzz you've been hearing about this movie is absolutely true. I  initially thought such an anomaly could certainly not exist in this world. And yet here it is, defying God and science. Birdemic is so impossibly bad in every which way imaginable, officially dethroning Troll 2 as the best worst movie, which is surely a feat only the "Master Of The Romantic Thriller" could have accomplished.

Fortunately for us, a 3D sequel is already in the works! Check out the screencap below of the Craigslist casting call:

I particularly like the Archaeologist who studies archaeology. I mean, what are the odds?



Thomas Duke said...

I love how they are attacked by the birds, and the dude magically has an unlimited supply of automatic weapons and ammo. You need a automatic 9mm with a laser scope? Here ya go!

Mikey Sarago said...

Birdemic was just a big pile of crazy. Those weapons totally came out of nowhere. But the dude did have camo pants on. I guess that totally explains everything...