Wednesday, June 16, 2010

17 wonderfully awful things about Birdemic: Shock and Terror

Posted By on Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 2:30 PM

HUNTIN PECKERS: Birdemic: Shock and Terror
  • HUNTIN' PECKERS: Birdemic: Shock and Terror
Last night The Plaza Theatre presented director Birdemic: Shock and Terror, James Nguyen's competence-free eco-thriller that seeks a cult following to rival The Room. Also screening June 18 and 20 at the Plaza, Birdemic includes such unforgettable qualities as these:

1. The opening credits refer to the actors as "Supporting Casts."

2. The dialogue and line-readings of lead actor Alan Bagh increasingly make him sound like English is his second language: "So you're a cats lover;" "I think you'll look great in these lingerie!"

3. The complete lack of shock or terror — and precious few birds — for at least the first half of the movie. Instead we attend to the career of a software salesman named Rod (Alan Bagh) and his romance with Victoria's Secret model Nathalie (Whitney Moore). If Birdemic were good enough to be merely awful, the first half would be unbearably boring. Instead, it's like an avant-garde commentary on vapid yuppies and environmentalists that Jean-Luc Godard would envy.

4. The sound mix is so amateurish and inconsistent that the background noise makes surreal changes within scenes, when it's not cutting out completely.

5. Rod makes "million dollar sale" while sitting in a tiny, barren cube and wearing a headset more appropriate for a back-room telemarketer.

6. Rod and Nathalie's big date, where they dance incredibly stiff, half-hearted versions of "The Robot" in the middle of an empty restaurant in front of a singer with an apparently invisible band.

7. The fact that Rod's million-dollar sale, his company's billion-dollar buyout and Rod's new venture to produce "nanotech solar panels" all takes place in about a week. Not to mention that birdemic.

8. The awkward .gif-style animations of the attacking eagles and vultures, whose range of movements is no more than four. They're almost as hypnotically weird as the acting of Tommy Wiseau in The Room.

9. The birds' dive-bomber sound effects and their penchant for bursting into flames when they crash.

10. Rod and company's use wire hangars to fend off the birds, like they're swinging at low-hanging pinatas. The film practically begs for a Mommie Dearest call-back.

11. So-called experts wander into the film to blame everything from West Nile Virus to "bark beetles" on global warming, which must have turned the birds bad, because it's to blame for everything else.

12. Words of wisdom from Dr. Jones: "It's the human species that needs to quit playing cowboy with nature. We must act more like astronauts, spacemen taking care of Spaceship Earth."

13. Finding hapless citizens trapped by birds in a double-decker bus, Rod and his heavily-armed new friend "Ramsey" help out by shooting their powerful guns at the birds, ignoring the risk of shooting the people they're trying to save.

14. The contagious birds that seem to explode like bags of piss, drenching victims with contaminants that prove instantly fatal.

15. Rod, Nathalie et al constantly load up with water at convenience stores, then go off into the woods to get more fresh water from a stream. Does the aimless driving of the film's second half take place over hours? Days? Months? Who knows?

16. The inexplicable, boneheaded, flabbergasting habit of Rod and the rest to take picnics, go fishing and go to the bathroom in the middle of wide open spaces — like parks and beaches — in the midst of this bird-based apocalypse. I mean, come on.

17. The fact that closing musical credits cites 10 compositions as being by "Smartsound Software." Thanks, Smartsound!

One good thing about Birdemic: Shock and Terror: The grisly make-up isn't bad.

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