Today’s movie is Birdemic: Shock and Terror. I won’t try to argue that this isn’t a “bad movie,” but what I can tell you is that I love it. It’s another Perfect Storm film, very much in the same vein as Ed Wood’s movies, with an opening sequence that recalls Manos: The Hands of Fate. At this point, Birdemic probably isn’t “obscure.” Like The Room and Showgirls, I think that if you’re a fan of these sorts of things, you’ve already seen Birdemic. If you haven’t, though, drop everything and go watch it. This is the sort of movie Indiana Jones would be looking for if he looked for bad movies instead of artifacts. The film was written, directed, and produced by James Nguyen, a man whose other films you’ve probably never heard of.
Nguyen seems to have been inspired by a basically unheard of film called The Birds, in which birds start attacking people. Using this as a springboard, Nguyen made a movie about birds suddenly attacking people. Instead of using actual birds, though, Birdemic relies on GIFs. At least, they may as well be GIFs. The sort of GIFs that used to adorn Angelfire and Geocities sites, accompanied by some great midis of Final Fantasy VIII battle themes and other unintelligible garbage. Birdemic doesn’t skimp on the audio, either, with every bird having pretty much the same bird-squawk sound effect. Be sure to have surround sound, and the volume button within reach.
The story follows Rod, a successful software salesman, and Nathalie, a fashion model. They have all the chemistry they need to start dating following a chance encounter. Soon, though, birds start exploding and spitting acid on everyone. Rod and Nathalie are forced to fight for survival, along with a Marine named Ramsey, his girlfriend Becky, and a couple of newly orphaned kids (Tony and Susan). Along the way, people try to explain why the birds are going crazy. It’s sort of like M. Night’s The Happening, only it’s a lot more fun listening to Birdemic’s experts (a scientist and a tree hugging beetle expert) ramble on about why the End of Days have been unleashed on the world.
Nguyen financed this movie himself, and he shot it when he had time to shoot it- mostly on weekends. It was apparently produced for 10,000 dollars, and I think Birdemic is easily a labor of love. The movie is loaded with everything you need to enjoy it: bad CG, bad sound effects, questionable writing, and the kind of acting you can’t buy… all of these qualities come together in an unfathomable way to create something really special. This one belongs in my collection- and I know plenty of people disagree, but I think this one is worth owning. If I had made this movie, I would be extremely happy with myself.
Get it on Amazon.