Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)

Birdemic: Shock and Terror has exactly that title, so you might think I don’t have to explain that this is not a good movie. But even if you know bad movies, you have no idea what you’re getting into with this one. It’s not just cheap or poorly made, it’s really the worst made movie I have ever seen. Take a video with your phone of anything right now and it probably looks better than 99% of this movie. Seriously. Anyway, it’s still a lot of fun since you simply can’t believe what you’re seeing most of the time. It consists of scenes that show completely mundane things for minutes on end (driving in a car, buying gas, walking from one place to another, people clapping). If you’d cut the actual plot parts of the movie together, you’d probably end up with a 30-minute movie. Let’s not even talk about the visual effects of the attacking birds because… let’s just not talk about it. It’s a perfect laugh-out-loud bad movie that delivers one insane scene with ridiculous dialogue, bad editing, amateur camera movements, terrible sound and inexplicable plot developments after another. Maybe you need three minutes of driving around in a car to process the absurdity of everything else.

What makes the movie unique (aside from everything else) is not its stereotypical gender portrayal, but the attempt at having a semi-political message. It’s one of those instances where the intention is probably good, but the execution is so over-the-top and so silly that any effect it could have completely fails. Maybe the problem lies in the message itself already, which is: “Global warming is a problem.” Well, that’s not really a shock and terror message for people anymore, but the lengths the movie goes to get that message across are incredible. Take a look.

We get a news report about the grisly fate of polar bears because of the melting ice caps (yes, from a newscast hidden in the lower corner of the frame).

190 Birdemic - 02 Gas Prices.jpg

There is a shot that lasts eight seconds, of the gas prices, followed by the main character buying gas.

A news report about wildfire (obviously he is watching the environmental disaster news channel).

The main character is buying solar panels for his house (for minutes on end).

Throughout the movie we get this Imagine Peace sign with a web address, because peace is also important you know. This message is especially great in the background of a sex scene or on the shirt of a dead character).

The two couples watch An Inconvenient Truth (off-screen) and the character who acts like a jerk no says the movie has changed him and he will live differently now.

The main character starts his own business with solar power and after his boring and weird presentation, the investors look at each other and say: “Yes, let’s do it!”

While the characters are on the run from kamikaze birds, they encounter a professor in the middle of nowhere who holds a three-minute-monologue on global warming (he drops it at least five times) that includes sentences like “It’s the human species that is invasive, menacing, terrifying.” He says that we are responsible for the attacking birds, but then again, birds have been attacking humans for centuries and if he meets some birds, he will shoot them. By the way, they meet him because while they flee from attacking birds, they decide to have a picnic outside, near the beach.

We see the character buy gas, again, because, you know, fossil fuels. Bad. By the way, we learn at some point that the main character owns a hybrid.

The group of characters goes into the forest at one point and there they meet a hippie character who tells them that nature is really cool and we should live in harmony with it, so he is not afraid of the birds. Then he says: “Oh, I heard a mountain lion, I gotta get back to my house!” Unfortunately, we never see the most implausible CGI used for the mountain lion, it’s just a noise in the background.

Well, most of all, the movie of course has birds attacking people because… global warming? Humans bad, nature good. In the end, the birds decide to leave our characters alone, presumably because they have realized that they have learned their lesson and respect nature now. The birds only do that after attacking them again one last time, but, hey, it’s birds, what can you expect? This is really a unique and special movie and I love it.