Thursday, January 27, 2022
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Movie buffs’ must-watch: “Birdemic” followed by sequel

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Moviegoers will be able to watch the sequel for which they’ve been waiting, bated breath and all, for three years. “Birdemic 2: The Resurrection” is set to be released Oct. 15.

There’s a great tradition of wonderful terrible movies finding their niche audience – or finding the poor souls whose curiosity gets the best of them – and making back the small amount of money they put into their crapfest, thus perpetuating the B-movie industry.

“Birdemic: Shock and Terror” thrived more on morbid curiosity than any real love. This movie went wrong in every way “The Birds” by Alfred Hitchcock – a film that was an obvious inspiration – went so beautifully right.

The film opens with Rod (Alan Bagh) on a painfully awkward coffee date with Nathalie (Whitney Moore) that is somehow perceived by both to be successful. The audience follows Rod and Nathalie gaining status in their careers and growing closer in their relationship, while ignoring frequent news reports about random wildfires and diseased birds washing up on shore.

After an even more awkward sex scene in a motel, the birds – eagles and vultures that look alike except for coloring – begin attacking the area by dive-bombing buildings, exploding into flames and spitting acid on people . They join with another couple in the motel and manage to get into a vehicle and flee. On their journey, they find a car, inside of which are two children whose parents were killed by the birds. The second couple is dispatched by acid, but Rod, Nathalie and the children continue running.

In the end, they survive long enough to learn why the birds are attacking: global warming. This was subtlety hinted at in Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” but “Birdemic” director/producer/writer James Nguyen chose to include a roughly five-minute monologue by a crazy old hippie man. Since society is doomed and they must start over, the main characters decide to remain on a beach. There is a prolonged scene where Rod catches fish for them to eat and cooks it. Suddenly, they see birds on the horizon, and, just as they believe there is no way out, doves – a smaller, white version of the vultures and eagles – appear and drive them away.

This movie is bad. It is not even comically bad, but painfully terrible. The birds look like something out of a video game placed inexpertly on top of the film. There are about three models of bird – a side view, a front view and a back view – and the only differentiation is in color and size. The only movement they make is wings flapping, so the audience only knows when they are attacking by the actors’ reactions. Sometimes the flapping syncs up on all the birds so their “attacks” are flying in the same movement, like synchronized swimmers.

Possibly the best part of the film is the makeup effects. The acid makeup looks, fairly amazing. This could be comparative to the rest of the effects, but it appears that whoever designed the makeup (he or she is not credited) is the only person who seemed to know what they were doing on the film.

This is a great film to watch once, to know what all the fuss is about, or for future filmmakers to note exactly what not to do, but never even once if intended for true enjoyment. One can only imagine what lies in store for “Birdemic 2: The Resurrection.”


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