WRITER: James Nguyen
DIRECTOR: James Nguyen
STARRING: Alan Bagh as Rod
Whitney Moore as Natalie
Janae Caster as Susan
Colton Osborne as Tony
Damien Carter as Nightclub Singer
QUICK CUT: A software engineer meets a model, and they have an overly long, overly boring, overly wodden lack of chemistry together. And then birds explode.
Rod - The personalities in this movie are so lacking, but here goes. Rod's a software engineer of some sort, who cares a lot for the environment, and for the pretty blonde he obsessed over in high school, and has been stalking ever since.
Natalie - A pretty model, who I can't even make fun of for being typical and shallow. Her character is so lacking she doesn't have any depths to have hidden.
Everyone else is nothing more than bird food.
THE GUTS: So it has been decreed that I must do Birdemic. Despite the fact that the movie came out in 2010. That's too new! First we have movies with robots, then humour, then an outright scifi movie, now this?? What is going on here? Well, whatever it is, we'll sort it out. Fortunately, this movie is pretty terrible. If any movie is deserving of being Trisked after our cut off date, it is this one. So away we go!
You know your movie is action packed when it starts out with an anti-thrilling driving montage over the credits. To the most droning, repetitous music ever. That will get stuck in your head and never leave. The tedium of the music is second only to the movie itself. Truly a perfect blend. Four whole minutes of this. Four whole minutes of soul crushing boring repetition. That sums up the movie, really.
Thrill as the movie makes you watch every excruciating second of Rod leaving his car, walking across the street, and walking across what sounds like rice krispies. Editing, you're doing it wrong...
If the acting does not crush your soul within the first five lines spoke, you probably don't have one. The delivery is flat, stilted, forced, drawn out, and full of pauses. Everything that could be wrong, is. I can even live with the waitress Rod meets having a thick accent. I am not even gonna make fun of that. That's the best part of the scene!
In Kaufman's name, the recording is terrible. TERRIBLE. The room noise that cuts out whenever someone speaks, the lack of normalisation. I literally find more to complain about the more I listen. How can this just keep getting worse? I'm barely even talking about the movie, just...every little thing in the actual making of the movie is wrong, from eyeballs to entrails.
The movie spends way too much time (ON EVERYTHING) on our hero staring awkwardly at a blonde girl in the diner. The poor editiing makes it go from a longing glance to "I want to take this woman to my basement and keep her there."
He finally confronts the girl and remembers her from high school. Oh goody, it's a long term stalker thing then. She senses the skeeve factor on the guy, and tries to get away to her next modelling gig. Being unable to take a hint, after making us watch Natalie walk ALL THE WAY DOWN THE STREET, he runs back to her to get her number. In reality, she would give him a fake, drive off, and never hear from him again. But this is the world of Birdemic, where models gladly give their numbers to creepy fanboys.
Later, after Rod makes a brief stop at home to watch a news report where the movie tries to have a brief message...MORE DRIIVING. What was that quote about how you don't need to see a character get into a car? We also do not need to see him filling up. Or going all the way to work. I am only greatful we don't see the entire drive. But we sure come fucking close.
Okay, let's check the clock on this movie and see how far we are, and how many birds we've seen so far...
10 minutes - Still no birds.
Well, that's not so bad, but maybe just a little worrisome.
The action packed thrill ride that is Birdemic throttles along as Whitebread makes a Big Sale that gets him A Lot of Money. And since that's about as specific as things get, this is about how much I give a crap.
We get proof that Natalie is indeed a model, with a series of photoshoots going on. Or, she's just in some guys crappy office and she only thinks it's a legit shoot. She is dumb enough to give her number out to a complete stranger, so...
As she's leaving the shoot, a bike messenger drives by, ruining the take... Wait, what? That's her ringtone? No way, I don't buy it. The director is off camera with a bicycle bell, isn't he? They decided to keep the cue rather than redub it, didn't they? This is the level of quality control in Birdemic.
...And then things get hilarious. The fake news broadcast with supposedly plotty infodump material? Well, first of all, it's barely important beyond "The world is polluted" but the anchor has a tv next to her to show footage. Because they can't figure out how to do a video overlay I guess. But I just noticed, that footage they're playing? It is still VERY CLEARLY WATERMARKED with "Getty Images". They couldn't even afford some stock footage.
Anyways, some guy wanders by from the Abandoned Plot Division to talk about installing solar panels on Rod's home. This is never mentioned again, and is just more crap to waste time. Arguably to give more meat to the environmentally conscious message of the movie, but fuck me. Where are the birds?? Check the clock!
20 minutes - Still no birds.
I'm beginning to suspect I put in the wrong movie, as Rod and Natalie go on their date and bore me with stories about their lives. I always hated smalltalk, and theirs is diminutive to the nth degree. Natalie almost seems like she's just acting polite to put up with Rod's stories, longing to get out of there. This is not the chemistry you want your leads to have. In fact, if she was SUPPOSED to be acting politely disinterested, then she would be the best actor ever.
Birds ever so briefly decide to enter the movie, but I'm not counting them. They're just flying by a tree in an entirely benign fashion. And oh boy are they terrible CGI.
We get introduced to Natalie's friend Mia, while she's about to have sex, with the lamest poster ever behind her. It just gives the name/slogan IMAGINE PEACE and a URL. It's really little more than that printed on a piece of paper. They couldn't come up with any sort of design? Any graphic? ANYTHING to make it not look like an attention grabbing device to make you go to this website? Seriously, what sort of idiot slaps a website URL on the wall behind them? Is it like a post it note?
Ugh. But whatever. We also meet the friend's boyfriend, since he's kinda underneath her at the time, and he JUST so happens to be Rod's best friend! What a small world! Or, the director only knows three people.
Are there birds yet? Check the timer!
30 minutes - STILL no attacking birds.
And just in case you didn't get that this movie is trying to tell you to be more environmentally conscious, the two couples go to the movies and see an Inconvenient Truth! And decide to buy hybrids! Pffft, pussies. Don't go with half measures, go all the way and get fully electric. Stop half-screwing the planet!!
The movie spends nearly ten minutes just having Nat and Rod wander around dating, and talking about the future. They at least give us something with a dead bird, but still, this movie is all romantic subplot at this point. And on top of that, they do THE worst editing trick in the book. Instead of reshooting, or cutting away, they cut from the same shot, with the same actors, in the same place, to exactly where they are, just to trim for time, or mistakes. Poor movie making.
How are we doing on those birds, guys?
40 minutes - Still no attacking, or living, birds.
Seriously. We are just about halfway through this movie. This isn't a three act structure. It barely qualifies as a two act structure!
We slog ever onwards though, waiting for the SHOCK AND TERROR to happen any day now, as our leads head out on another dinner date. On the upside, we at least get what is probably the best part of the movie, as the diner decides they want to get rid of these two losers, and bring out a singing act to drive them off. And it is one of the strangest sights to see, so random, and kinda catchy too. So there's that. Although, for a lone singer, he sure has a good backup group.
The dancing by Rod and Nat is...amazing to behold, plain and simple. So very white.
At the 45 minute mark, sex occurs, and the movie then spends way too much time panning across scenery. Where are the fucking attacking birds already?!
IT IS ABOUT DAMNED TIME. And oh shit, THEY'VE ADAPTED AIRPLANE TECHNOLGY!! They're dive bombing! Exploding! Propeller noises!! Wait...
BIRDS DO NOT WORK THIS WAY.
Like, at all.
Eh, fuck it. Shit is at least happening, after 47 dead minutes of wasted time. Grab the popcorn!
I cannot express in words how absolutely hilarious the bird CGI is. At the very least, go watch a trailer of it. All the birds are like that, through the entire thing. Motionless, hovering in air, and flapping their wings. And occasionally just falling in a most hilarious way. Again, birds do not work that way.
Rod and Natalie wake up to the hovering eagles, and use the bed in their hotel room to block the window. Because that will surely stop them. Eventually, the budget runs out for the scene, and the birds go away. Our heroes head out to find anyone else still alive in the motel, and come across some more cannon fodder for the birds.
They look around for weapons to use as they make their escape to a vehicle and they settle on...coat hangers. Coat. Hangers. I got nothin' folks. I'm done.
I am rarely one to scream at a movie out loud. I will do it internally. I will shake my head. I will bury my face in my hands and whimper. But when Birdemic has someone trying to open a car door, and jiggling the keys to fake having difficulty opening the door, I do actually yell out, JUST TURN THE DAMNED KEYS. The movie has driven me to this, people.
Good thing that their new friend Ramsey just so happens to keep fully loaded weapons in his van, for just such an occasion. But seriously, who wants to write a story about this guy's life before the bird attack? You just know he's some anti-government whacko just waiting for an excuse.
They find some cars along the side of the road, and check for survivors. They find a little girl and boy who were smart enough to hide out amongst the cars, but not smart enough to escape this drek.
Not surprisingly, the kids are bad actors, like everyone else so far in this movie. But at least they have an excuse, y'know? Still, if you figure the usual level of child actor quality as compared to their adult counterparts, and apply that idea to this movie... Well, look at Whitebread and Milquetoast, then the kids. And you get an idea of just how terrible they are.
The kids are hungry and demand food, so the gang just stops at the nearest convenience store to grab some supplies. And it has somehow not been completely raided, set on fire, or had a single bird poop on it. The LA riots made people be more destructive than this Birdemic. The shelves have been picked a little, but there is still a surprising amount of stuff remaining.
They stop to eat, and meet a convenient Professor Infodump, who tells us that somehow, the birds are contaminated with bird flu, and because of global warming killing their food, they are attacking humans for revenge. SCIENCE!
After that bit of bullshit, the movie drones on for a bit about how war is bad, and the girls go out to take a crap. Before that can become a new internet sensation, a bird interrupts. Natalie kills the bird and maybe her friend too, but maybe the bird got her first. I know which story I would go with if I shot a friend in the brush, and I wasn't Vice President.
I love that when he hears of her death, Ramsey feels the need to run all the way out to her dead body, examine it, and run all the way back to the car. And the movie feels the need to show us the entire process.
Along their journey, they see birds attacking a bus full of people, and Ramsey insists on saving them. The people will be on their own, since they can't fit in the van, but he really just wants revenge on the birds.
Okay, enough is enough, I have to ask, WHY DO THE EAGLES SOUND LIKE SEAGULLS??
The adults and the two kids they arguably saved find another convenience store to stock up on food and gas. This one is even more well-stocked than the last one, but at least he is sensibly charging 100 bucks for a gallon of gas.
As they drive along, they stop to help a guy along the side of the road, and when they refuse to sell any of their insanely expensive gas to him, SHOCK AND TERROR! he pulls a gun on them. Well, that went badly.
They give him their spare tank in the back, and hilariously, instant karma strikes as an eagle screeches by and slashes his neck. I can't help but laugh. That was all the bird did, just whoosh by and save the day.
In a fit of stupidity though, Rod does not pick the tank of gas back up and take it with them. Sure, it might have been risky with the bird out there, but that's 100 bucks you just dropped, you little moron.
The movie decides to stop again, because these people can't drive more than five feet without needing something. They decide this time to stock up on water in a stream they see in the woods. At least the stops are sensible, but you could make a drinking game from this alone.
They encounter some hippie living in the trees, and he gives us some more infodumping from his perspective. For some reason, just because he lives au natural, it seems the birds aren't attacking. They're only attacking people in cars, and at gas stations. Because their bird rage is that specific. Bullshit.
When I say he lives in the trees, I mean that literally. He has a couple slabs of wood stuffed into a tree as a 'house'. Livin' the dream, pal! One has to wonder if he loves trees and nature so much, why he's slicing them up and nailing them, but you gotta be reasonable, I guess.
And then out of nowhere, the guy *ahem* "hears a mountain lion" and runs away. Do they make specific noises? Why didn't we hear it until after he said? Could this movie be more awkward and random?
On their way out of the forest, they suddenly hear something else, and Rod says it's wood burning. The trees are just spontaneously combusting from the evils of mankind at this point. And I also point out, so much for Hill and his belief that he will be perfectly safe and okay living in the trees. Take that!!
This time they stop ONCE AGAIN, when Natalie recognises a car on the road. They stop to see what's up, because they have not learned that lesson yet, and find the two friends from the double date. Dead. I guess that's what happens when you don't get top billing.
So they drive on again, and stop AGAIN, when the van runs out of gas. Rod is hopeful that someone might drive by and stop to help them. Again, have we not seen how well this goes? The people driving by are probably smarter than you, because an ameoba is smarter than Rod, and keep driving for fear of being robbed!
The kids are hungry, AGAIN, and I gotta say...there's a lotta dead birds just waiting to be cooked. But no, they find a convenient fishing rod and stove in the back of the van. Because killing and eating fish is MUCH better than killing and eating birds.
Next comes a moment of infamy. The Rifftrax guys lampooned it perfectly, but it needs pointing out, no matter what. Rod comes back with fish, Natalie has seaweed, and there is this HUGE awkward pause as...I don't know. Is it poor editing? Is Rod just that bad an actor? Did he forget his line? But it is just...so terribly bad. It sums the movie up in five seconds. Everything wrong is right there.
With only a few minutes left to the movie, the birds return THANK GIGER and swoop in for one last battle against our heroes. How will the movie end? Will they all die bloody deaths? Will the birds be turned away by some miraculous use of the stove?
Because those might bring me even the slightest iota of joy.
After huddling in the van, after their bullets run out, after birds swoop in circles for awhile...THE BIRDS JUST LEAVE.
No real explanation, they just fly off into the sunset. No real climax, no real victory, just...gone. Did they get bored? Are humans okay now? Did they kill enough of us? Did someone ban fossil fuels? Did we just up and decided, Okay! No more gas for us!
And I know it's an homage to The Birds. It is still a fucking stupid ending to a fucking stupid movie.
The amount of time the movie spends just watching them fly away is also just the final icing on the shit cake.
Video: I wish I could say this is the worst video quality I've seen. But it's biggest crime is poor lighting, and probably filmed on cheap cameras, making for soft, weirdly lit images.
Audio: I rant about this at length. The video is so ineptly recorded. But that's no surprise, considering the rest of the movie.
Sound Bite: Every. Single. Line.
1 - It is a long, long time before a single person dies, at 1:04:00 - Becky bites it while shitting in the woods.
2 through 5 - Ramsey and three other bus people get pecked to death.
6 - Dead guy trying to steal gas, gets necked by an eagle wing.
7 - Rick just gets found dead.
8 - Mai, dies shortly after, thanks to the gash in her face.
Best Corpse: We didn't see him die on camera, but the poor guy in the store with his eyes clawed out. Because I wish that was me now.
Blood Type - F: There's some blood splattered here and there, and it's not badly done, but it's barely mentionable. And the movie loses many, many points for the bad copypasta birds.
Sex Appeal: There's some shirtlessness, and underwear scenes of most of the four friends, but really, who wants to see Rod nekkid?
Movie Review: Pffffhahahahahaha. I used the word inept earlier, and that suits this movie perfectly. How can you be so clueless about movies? There is zero structure. The movie is billed as a romantic horror, a la a romantic comedy. And that should not mean what it does here. A romcom is not 45 minutes of romance, and then 45 minutes of jokes. But Birdemic does just that. The entire first half is nothing more than Rod and Nat meeting and dating. The last half is nothing more than birds fucking shit up. The lighting is terrible, the recording is bad, the story is...on vacation. This is literally one of the worst made movies I've seen, out of things that are actually trying to be professional. I've seen better student films. One out of five coat hangers.
Entertainment Value: But anything that bad, anything that so lacking in talent, holy crap, you have to watch it. Yes yes, I know, I said this was bad. I know how bad I said it was. But seriously, you have to see this for yourselves. You cannot truly comprehend how terrible this is until you have ingested it through your eyeholes. If you love bad movies, this is a must see. You will not regret it. And yet you will at the same time. Five out of five awkward pauses.
And yet, this still somehow manages to be better than Clown Hunt.