In all honesty, I’ve been debating as to whether or not I should review this particular movie. When it comes to reviewing movies, I like to try to be educational and analytical, showing people precisely why something doesn’t work, and helping those who perhaps wish to be writers and creators themselves. In the case of Birdemic: Shock and Terror, however, I don’t think there’s anything I could say on the movie’s quality (or lack there of) that you couldn’t figure out yourself.
Birdemic fails in ways you wouldn’t think possible. The story is all wrong. The camera is all wrong. The sound is phenomenally wrong. And the SFX…oh good god the SFX…
But, nevertheless, sometimes a movie this bad well and truly deserves a good trashing regardless of how obvious it may be.
Birdemic tells the story of some guy. I know he probably has a name, but he has so little charisma, and gives us so little to root for, that I’m simply goign to refer to him as that. Some guy meets some girl and starts dating her. Unfortunately for them, the realtionship happened to bloom right before the coming of the bmutant exploding bird based apocalypse. Because of global warming.
Even before the birds show up, the problems are fairly clear. Not only is the plot paper thin, but the dialogue is atrociously unnatural. Say what you want about The Room, but at least the weird dialogue there worked in a sort of comedic way given I can imagine someone as weird as Tommy Wiseau saying such things. Here, the actors state things so obvious, in such an unnatural exposition-y way, and most of them talk like they don’t wuite know why they’re saying what they’re saying. Take, for example, a scene that takes place immediately after the characters go to a cinema.
“That was a good movie. An Inconvenient Truth.” – some guy.
Why would he say that? Why would you state what movie you were referring to right after you’ve all seen the movie, aside for the fact that it’s pure exposition? I realise a lot of movies try to shove in exposition as best as they can, but Birdemic does it so unnaturally that the characters feel like robots desperately trying to masquerade as humans.
But speaking of An Inconvenient Truth, this movie does indeed have an environmentalist message. The WORST environmentalist message I have ever seen.
Someone actually outdid “inanimate garden variety plants wage war against humanity”
There’s one thing to clumsily shoehorn environmentalist messages into your story. Birdemic on the other hand has shoehorned a “story” into a string of environmentalist messages. Characters repeatedly make reference to the environment and global warming for no apparent reason, and with no subtlety at all. And need I even point out that global warming and climate change have very severe and serious consequences, that do NOT include “creating mutant exploding birds that wish to wage war on humanity.”
There is actually one more thing I’d like to cover before we go into what really makes this movie famous, and it’s something that I don’t feel has been mentioned enough when criticising this movie: the sound quality. This movie has entire scenes where sound only comes in when characters are talking. And when the sound comes in, it’s not just voices, it’s background ambience as well. Rather than recording background ambience and actually layering the sound, the scenes can switch between complete silence and suddenly noise. Some sequences have literally no background ambience or foley added to them. In other scenes, the background noise drowns out whatever the actors are saying
Not that that would ruin the movie in any way
But, of course, it’s about time we got around to discussing the real reason people remember Birdemic. And the real reason why anyone ever watches it at all. The mind blowingly terrible SFX.
Yes folks, if you’re capable of sitting through 40 minutes of boring monotonous “plot” about characters you are never going to care about, you will be treated to some of the worst CGI ever featured in anything daring to call itself a movie.
The evil mutant birds featured in the movie are looping GIFs. Rather than the shock and terror of watching our protagonists fending off a mutant bird apocalypse, we get the baffling confusion of watching our protagonists getting attacked by what appears to be a screensaver from the late 90s. Oh, and if things couldn’t be more perfect, they’re fighting them off with coathangers. Because apparently coat hanger were literally the best prop they could find on short notice and no budget.
While the rest of the movie is so amateur and pathetically filmed that it just ends up being boring as all hell, the “action sequences” are what earn Birdemic its place in the so-bad-it’s-good category. If you want to watch this movie, skip straight to the first scene of the mutant birds. Literally none of the first forty minutes are worth your time. The characters are so dull and the plot so wafer thin that no previous “development” matters. And any confusion caused by this is moot, because this film is so utterly senseless regardless of how much of it you watch.
To conclude, Birdemic: Shock and Terror is objectively one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. I say “objectively” because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie filmed so poorly with no consideration about how sound, cinematography or dialogue actually works. But in terms of subjective opinion, I can’t say this movie is worthy of other so-bad-it’s-good masterpieces like The Room, but I honestly can’t bring myself to hate something so pathetically and hilariously inept.
Plus the so-bad-it’s-good get out of jail free card.