Anyone that has ever watched a made for TV movie on the Sci-Fi network is familiar with bad movies. The shoddy special effects and laughably bad acting all seem to be standard affair, but few of them reach that cult status of being awesomely bad and more entertaining and watchable because of it. BIRDEMIC SHOCK AND TERROR is one of those movies that hits so many new levels of low that it’s almost mind numbing how something can be so terrible. After a while though everything that’s bad about it also becomes endearing in a humorously entertaining way that you are fascinated and intrigued about how much worse it can get. I’m still not sure if I find the ineptitude of BIRDEMIC is sad or some unfounded sense of admiration in something so brilliantly terrible.
BIRDEMIC is the heartwarming story of Rod (Alan Bagh), a software salesman who runs into an old classmate and aspiring model, Nathalie (Whitney Moore) and the two begin seeing each other. One night the two spend a hot and intimate night in a hotel and in the morning, the town is being attacked by flocks of eagles and vultures. Faced with some pretty serious ecological theories of why these birds are attacking Rod and Nathalie head off with some survivors to escape the ariel threat.
Where do I start? The most obvious shortcoming of BIRDEMIC is the terrible acting. To call these people amateur would be a criminal understatement. The dialogue is quite obviously being fed through filter from director to actor when the director does not have a clear understanding of the English language. That’s the negative I have to say about the acting, on a positive note the dialogue and acting is hysterical and nearly pushes me to call BIRDEMIC one of the best comedies I’ve seen in recent memory.
Speaking of dialogue I picked out a few things that had me scratching my head, such as character talking about how proud they are to own a Mustang that gets over 100 miles per gallon. Within the first 20 minutes Rod is always referring to Nathalie as a girl he just met yet they both refer to the fact that they knew each other in high school. BIRDEMIC’s script and visuals are the type of film that enforces the saying of it’s like watching a car wreck, it’s horrifying but you can’t look away.
The visuals, my goodness the visuals; the animated vultures and eagles are mind numbingly bad. The splicing of live action and what are basically .gif images are laughable at best, but also part of what makes this thing so entertaining to watch. The marriage of so many bad aspects in film make BIRDEMIC a truly mind melting experience. The joke might be on us though because the film has gained quite the cult following for being spectacularly bad. One of the funniest scenes in the movie involves the characters swatting at the eagle and vultures with coat hangers; it’s something you really have to see to believe.
Aside from all the bad dialogue and acting and visuals, BIRDEMIC has a very heavy handed and wildly dramatic ecological message it is trying to hammer deep into your head. It gets tiring hearing all the global warming rants that almost every character starts spouting off. If it wasn’t for the broken English on display I’d have believed Al Gore funded, wrote and directed the film; the characters even walk out of a movie theater having just seen AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Towards the end the film’s consistent harping over environmental issues became really grating and annoying.
There are some pretty odd music choices on display in BIRDEMIC as well. There’s a very peculiar mix of Asian tones and a score that sounds like it’s leftover from a scrapped HOMEWARD BOUND sequel. The sound also cracks between different cuts of people talking as well as the pitch of the background noise shifting from loud to soft between cuts. The eagles and vultures don’t show up until well over halfway into the movie and when they do the looped squawks and screeches are enough to make your ears bleed.
All the negative criticisms anyone will have for the film are pretty blatant so most of my nitpicks and opinions are probably being met with loud exclamations of “duh.” The fact of the matter is that despite how technically awful BIRDEMIC is it’s extremely entertaining in its execution. Do not mistake any small detail of my enthusiasm about the hilarity of the film as an admission of how great I think it is. I could never recommend a film like BIRDEMIC to anyone without warning them what they are getting in to. I have no doubt that BIRDEMIC will make you laugh, it might even make you cry…from laughing of course. In the end though, while it’s an entertaining and fun bad movie, the key word though is that it’s still a BAD movie.