Monday, November 5, 2012

FLICK PICK: Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)

Welcome to another edition of our semi-regular (i.e. when I can be bothered to write it) feature, Flick Pick, where we take a closer look at a movie you need to have in your life. Today's entry is the incredible Birdemic: Shock and Terror.

Plot Synopsis
I began constructing a synopsis for the movie before I realized that Birdemic: Shock and Terror cannot be explained. It must be experienced. So rather than provide a breakdown of the things the filmmaker pointed his camera in the vague direction of as a group of ''actors'' stood around looking embarrassed, I've instead found this highlight reel for your viewing ''pleasure.'' 

Bad, right? Well imagine 90 minutes of that, with the actual sub-The Birds plot not even kicking in until around the halfway mark. Prior to that we're forced to bear witness to the stiff, awkward and creepy ''romance'' between sensitive, eco-minded, caring sexual predator Rod and ''hot lingerie model'' Nathalie. For the next forty five minutes, we're subjected to such highlights as the most cringe-inducing pick-up scene ever,  Nathalie being the perfect girlfriend (by asking Rod lots of questions about why he's so awesome), the lovebirds (ha!) dancing together in a romantic manner (which includes, yes, The Robot) and best/worst of all, the utterly bizarre, creepy seduction scene (which can be seen briefly around the 4:10 mark and then about a minute later) in which Nathalie breaks out her love undies whilst Rod looks sexy in a wifebeater and khakis (which he then sleeps in.) 

And the Award for Best Actor goes to... somebody else.
Then there's the opening music (as you may have briefly heard in the above montage), which is clearly a looped arrangement that sounds like something from a DVD menu; there's the way in which Rod - when walking along the street - varies his pace depending on whether he's being shot from behind or the front; the movie's ''green'' message that's sledgehammered into the plot through TV broadcasts and ''characters'' from the Basil Exposition school of purpose. And don't even get me started on the B-plot romance between Rod and Nathalie's respective friends, which appears to be some weird John and Yoko homage (complete with sub-standard Imagine ''tribute'' love theme) or the fact that the dashing hero Rod's life seems to weirdly and completely coincidentally parallel that of writer/director/camera operator/editor/producer/composer/best boy/worst boy/key grip/gaffer/prop master/caterer James Nguyen - just without the bird attacks (and presumably lingerie model girlfriend.)

Digital Effects by Tommy Wilson (Aged 9 3/4) and Senor GIF
I could spend all day picking this movie apart but in all honesty, I think I've already spoilt it in too many places. Just do yourself a favor and get together with a group of like-minded friends to watch Birdemic: Shock and Terror - if only to prime yourself for the upcoming sequel.

Final Thoughts
If, like me, you're a fan of so-bad-they're-good movies then you'll probably have already seen ''the Classics'' - Manos: The Hands of Fate, Troll 2, Plan 9 from Outer Space and Puma Man. But nothing, I repeat, nothing you have ever experienced will prepare you for the utter ineptitude that is Birdemic: Shock and Terror. You see, whilst the movies I listed feature nonsensical plots, cheap effects and wooden acting, they were at least made with some level of technical ability by people on-set who had some idea about how to light scenes, direct actors (however badly) and construct a movie and despite how poorly they did it, they at least had an understanding of how cinema works. Birdemic has none of this.

Imagine if you gave your pre-teen kids a couple of hand-held digital cameras and told them to go improvise a movie with their friends. That's about the level of technical brilliance on display here. But that doesn't even begin to cover just how truly awful this ''movie'' is. Forget every other ''bad'' movie you've ever seen. They were nothing compared to the shock and terror that is Birdemic.

Birdemic: Shock and Terror is currently available to rent via Netflix's Watch Instantly service. Filming of the sequel, Birdemic II: The Resurrection (!) was completed earlier this year.


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