Film & Television

“Birdemic” Review: “Why Would Birds Just Attack Like That?”

By Monica Castillo • June 6, 2010 at 11:32 am


The real question is, why would this movie be allowed to be made, distributed, and exhibited?

Watch the “Birdemic” Trailer for yourself-if you dare…

I swear it's not a bootleg-it's the actual DVD cover.

This movie is all about awful actors, dialog that would make English teachers cringe, raging propaganda for “going green” , cinematography that had most audience members shielding their eyes, and birdlike-hovercrafts worthy of screensaver art. Predictable as the script was, I still sat in disbelief as the director managed to follow the Ed Wood Jr. school of film. Even though actors fumbled through lines, failed to open car doors, and missed that happy look on their face at the prospect at making “one billion dollars,” director James Nguyen still kept these shots in the picture. Crooked camera angles prompted shouts of “fix it!” from the audience, as did the endless driving scenes, where audience members yelled “CUT!” as a cry for mercy. Apparently, not one of the many people listed in the credits knows how to operate a Sony Handycam or even read the instruction manual. Making films is hard, guys. It’s like putting together a story about sex, birds, and global warming.

If you are a reasonable person, do not show up to this “romantic thriller” and expect a masterpiece. Instead, you watch these awful movies (think “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and “The Room”) to enjoy the company of the audience. It is an experience with a theater full of people. To watch this alone is torture yourself. With people, it becomes socially acceptable to yell obscenities and whatnots at the screen. Within the first few minutes, “Birdemic” evoked the magic of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” but with far less enjoyable music. But hey, at least there’s the most awkward dance scene ever caught on film. I didn’t think such dancing was even humanly capable after all the proms and homecomings I’ve survived. I guess you learn something new…

Speaking of learning, have you heard about global warming? Well, if you haven’t, don’t get your statistics from this guy. The movie about rabid birds is more accurately about how global warming is going to mess things up pretty seriously. Al Gore and his PowerPoint are name-dropped, and hippies and “bird doctors” talk to us about how nature is our friend and how we need to protect it. Did you throw up yet? The only thing that elicited bigger groans from the audience was the endless montages of the main character driving-out of the frame. I’ll get the Pepto-Bismol.

Fear...the "Birdemic!"

I’ve yet to find the romance in this movie.  I found no love story, just an awkwardly painful hookup. As for what the thrill was, it was to share the company of movie-goers. The camaraderie that lions find in taking down a zebra is the same primal feeling that united the audience against this movie. Tearing it scene from scene, licking each limp line with sarcasm, the movie ended as the rotting feathered carcass of yet another roll of credits, staring blankly at the main characters watching the rolling seas. Yes, thankfully it ended before I lost my voice from screaming over the cinematic crimes against the camera. Watch the skies–there’s global warming out there.


Monica Castillo (CAS '11) is a Film writer for the Quad. Drawn into the world of film studies accidentally, she's continued on writing, writing, and writing about film since. She also co-writes on another blog, http://beyondthebacklot.wordpress.com/, which is about even geekier film stuff. If you have the time, she would love to watch a movie with you.