For Your Consideration – ‘Birdemic: Shock and Terror’

Ryan Aday
Movies
Movies

For Your Consideration is a look at films or television shows that exist outside the mainstream but might merit your attention.

James Nguyen, self-proclaimed master of the romantic horror film (pretty sure that’s not a thing), did everyone a favor back in 2010. The Vietnamese-American director graced us with his first feature film, Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Released under his Moviehead production studio, the film had a $10,000 budget and took over four years to produce.

Critics have called this one of the worst films of all time, which begs the question, “what do you mean ‘one of'”? Birdemic is, without question, THE worst film that has ever made its way into a theater. The acting is stale, the script is garbage, and the effects are atrocious. It’s the level of bad that encourages the debate about whether it was done poorly on purpose. It is historically abhorrent. But that’s what makes it so good.

Think You Could Do Better? You’re Probably Right

james-nguyen-birdemic-director-with-bird
James Nguyen directs 105 minutes of unthinkable bottom-of-the-barrel cinema

Birdemic might be the best time you are going to have watching a movie. Remember seeing movies with poor effects and thinking you could do better than that? In the case of Birdemic, you would probably be right. Have you ever seen a film and proclaimed, “I could play that role better”? Right again. Ever left the theater and thought, “my seven-year-old could write a better script”? There’s the trifecta. Birdemic takes all of your critical hyperbole and turns it into reality. Shaky cameras, unnecessary film angles, and a painfully long driving sequence are all part of the Birdemic experience. You could make a better film than this.

The nonsense is laughable – in a good way. The entertainment value is off the charts. How Did This Get Made podcast sums it up with, “imagine Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Birds without the drama or the suspense.”

Oh, the Dialogue

The hilarity of the acting and writing are showcased by our two main characters, Rod (Alan Bagh) and Nathalie with an “h” (Whitney Moore). These two people are quite possibly the luckiest everyday folks in the world. Rod gives up a million dollars to make a million dollar sale:

Then, Rod’s company, NCT Software, is purchased by Oracle for a billion dollars.

Somehow, Nathalie lands a Victoria’s Secret modeling job by auditioning at a strip mall. With both of their careers made, they talk on the phone:

Where Are the Birds?

The birds don’t appear until 47 minutes into the film. When they do, they arrive with a vengeance. Squawking loudly and hovering for an extended period of time. Trapped in a hotel, our heroes have only one weapon to forge against these angry fowls – coat hangers:

Birdemic takes the weakest part of M. Night Shyamalan‘s worst movie (The Happening) and makes it the core plot point. Nature is rising against us and the form it has chosen to take is damned, dirty birds. Global warming has caused the birds to spit acid and explode on contact, with graphics that make Duck Hunt look cutting edge:

No weapon forged against these birds will prosper. It is useless to put up a fight. When hope is all but lost, a mysterious tree hugger with an even more mysterious hairpiece tells it like it is and drops the mic:

Don’t Watch It Alone

When all of these things come together, it is an experience unlike any other. Once you’ve seen it, you are part of the club. You should never watch it again alone, but bringing someone else into the fold makes additional viewings equally fun. It’s like handing out the password to the speakeasy or telling someone the secret knock.

Palmer, like Birdemic, is an experience you want to share with others

Johnny “Ace” Palmer is the world champion of close-up magic. He primarily has one show that he has perfected over dozens of years performing all over the world. He performs biannually at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. Everyone who watches his show has the same eye-opening experience. It’s a joy to let more people into the club and know the secret that is Johnny “Ace” Palmer.

This is the feeling you should have when sharing Birdemic with friends or loved ones. Including them in that secret is doing your part to make the world a little bit better. Every day, the club gets a little bigger. Hopefully, this will encourage you to give Birdemic a shot. Then, you will have the opportunity to pay it forward and spend 105 minutes like this:

Birdemic: Shock and Terror is available for your consideration on DVD and Blu-Ray. The sequel, Birdemic: The Resurrection, is available on those same formats but is not as epic as the original.

Buy it on blue-ray and share it for a lifetime
Ryan Aday
Mr. Aday was once a professional Christmas Lighter. Now, everyone asks him to help light their house. Its like when you own a truck and everyone asks you to help them move. At least with the Christmas lights it's a seasonal request. Seriously, though, he would happily light your house.
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