in Shocktober

Shocktober: Day 31

Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2008)

Rather then end Shocktober or “Shlocktober” on a grim note with my disgust of Rob Zombie’s Halloween, I decided I’d end the countdown with a movie that personifies what Shlocktober is all about. So many times I’ve used the phrase “So bad it’s good” and this is one of the best of those kind I’ve seen in years.

“Why did the Eagles and Vultures Attacked?” Yes you heard me “Attack-ed”. This is the very phrase that adorned dozens of flyers handed out by Vietnamese born director James Nguyen at Sundance 2009 and that pretty much sums it all up. Some films are rushed, some struggle with a low budget, and some filmmakers are just incompetent. James Nguyen is three for three in that department. How someone with such little understanding of plotting, characters, and film in general even made a film boggles the mind. On one hand you have to respect someone for going up to the plate to take a swing. So maybe Nguyen just got hit in the head by a pitch, his mind certainly seems to operate that way.

I think it’s a good indicator that a film will be bad when there is a typo in the opening credits. “Supporting Casts” is what appears bold as day as it’s played over boring driving footage to a song that loops every thirty seconds… And the movie hasn’t even started yet. When it does we are introduced to a young software salesman Rod (Alan Bagh) who is almost as good an actor as board with a nail in it. Rod lives the sweet life in Silicon Valley and things only get sweeter when he reconnects with Nathalie (Whitney Moore) an old classmate and fashion model who does photo shoots at what looks like a one hour photo place. But just as their romance takes off so does a swarm of killer hawks and eagles that begin to explode all over the city.

Instead of continuing with a plot summary here’s a list of some of the mistakes, errors, and other oddities present in Birdemic.

  • All of the killer birds in the film fly in place like hummingbirds. This is most likely done to save money on CGI, but the filmmaker’s explantation is “Global warming has caused them to be mutant, toxic, and flammable. That’s why, when they take a kamikaze drive, they explode, and when they drop bird fluid on some of the cast, they get burned.” Though I don’t really see how that answers the question.
  • Characters are never seen reloading their weapons after firing off endless rounds. Also, I should probably mention that a popular weapon for most of the characters are coat hangers.
  • Doves fight off eagles in the film despite the fact that eagles (and remember they are radioactive) are predators to doves.
  • Sometimes we see people driving around in the background not reacting to the bird attack. I’m sure these people weren’t supposed to be in the film.
  • A great deal of dialogue is inaudible and the room tone is never consistent.
  • If I recall correctly it was supposed to be December and yet there is a scene at a harvest festival.
  • When Rod is watching stock footage on the TV we can clearly see the Getty Images watermark emblazoned over it. I’m guessing the makers were probably too cheap to actually buy the footage.
  • Constantly, characters who we’ve never seen arbitrarily appear to complain about global warming. The film An Inconvienent Truth is mentioned numerous times.

You could go on to a fill a book with all this insanity, Im just speechless. From a technical standpoint this film is no better than some family’s home movies. There’s nothing to speak of visually and I can’t recall seeing a film with so many sound errors. The room tone is always either too loud or just silent and the dialogue is a garbled mess. It’s not like these would be difficult problems to fix either. Did Nguyen really see no problems with this footage?

Birdemic is one of those films that isn’t as much a film as it is a display of how not to make a film. Fortunately, what this all adds up to is one of the funniest bad movies I’ve seen in a long time. You wanna laugh? Watch Birdemic it will make your night, With that I thank you for reading this year’s Shocktober series it was one strange trip but it’s done, happy haunting.

And here’s one last video to bug Sean with it’s improper formatting!