I want you to read that blurb from Fangoria. Now realize that they could have cut it at "Amazing!" but chose not to, I will explain why that is important.

Making movies is hard work. Very hard work. In fact, I would go on record as stating that making a movie, especially when you are doing it on a shoe string budget and without the backing of an experienced producer, is one of the hardest things you can do. As a movie maker, you have to coordinate every aspect of the film, normally dozens of people with their own input, ideas and goal, into a team that will not only work with you to finish a project they have but a passing interest in, but to trust that your vision is the right one for the project. Not only that, but you have to impress potential investors with your success every step of the way, because if the money dries up, so does your film. All in all it is a long, painful process that tends to get glamorized in the media. And when all of it is done, when you finish everything, you release it,  no one outside of your family, and the families of the cast and crew will give half a damn.

With that in mind, I sometimes wonder why certain movies get made. With all the sacrifice  and sweat and tears, and blood, and often the loss of relationships, money, property, trust and sanity that is normally associated with making an independent movie, why do we see movies like "Birdemic", terrible, wretched piles of poor decision making that leave movies like "The Room" look like "The Godfather"...well OK, maybe not "The Godfather", maybe it makes "The Room" look like "Panic Room", which is still a pretty big step up, even if the latter had a young Kristin Stewart in it.

For those of you who have never had the dubious "honor" of watching the original "Birdemic," which, hopefully, is a great many of you, permit me some back story  James Nguyen watched "An Inconvenient Truth" and it got him all riled up, now he was a young and up and coming (snicker snicker) filmmaker (haha~sorry). He had earned his nickname of "The Master of the Romantic Thriller" by making a few films, one of which starred Tippi Hendren, of "Birds" fame, and by coining and trademarking the title himself. Do you remember that episode of Seinfield  where George wanted to get a new nickname, so he tried to make one up himself, and everyone laughed at how sad and pathetic he was? I'll just leave that there.

So Nguyen tried to mix the suspense of Hitchcock's "The Birds" with the environmental message of "Truth", which on paper could work. But there is no paper to be seen in this outcome, not even for scripts. "Birdemic" is a bumbling, terribly made schlockfest that bills itself as, and I am not making this up, a "Romantic Thriller", but in actuality, is about birds attacking people because of global warming. That's the only reason given too, global warming, like that is the answer to everything. 

"Hey, did you notice those birds killing people?" 

"Yeah, but they aren't killing me, because I don't global warm."

"OK, bye."

The birds themselves are about the lowest looking special effect I have ever seen, consisting of not one actual prop, and tons of poorly animated, not-to-scale GIFS flapping around. Take a second and do yourself a favor if you don't know what a .gif file is; go Google it. I'll wait. Go on.

You see how it is a low resolution, choppy animation that, while fine for internet purposes, would look downright stupid in any other facit of ones life? Now imagine if that was the driving force of a movie. Imagine an army of .gifs.

Or just watch this.

Moving ahead in our story, "Birdemic" is picked up y RiffTrax, which, for the uninitiated, is the pseudo sequel to Mystery Science Theater 3000, and became a cult favorite. Which for most filmmakers would be the best thing ever. Hell, if the story had ended there, I would be in Nguyen's corner, seeing as, despite it being terrible, there was a lot of heart and passion put into the film of Birdemic, and I like to see the underdog win.

But, as is often the case, Nguyen mistook instant celebrity with instant talent, and began to think that people enjoyed "Birdemic" for his passion and skill as a film maker. I am not joking. His press release for "Birdemic 2" literally states that millions of people were amazed by is passionate storytelling. The problem is, no one, not one person, was impressed with "Birdemic," we were laughing at it, not with it. And therein lies the problem with "Birdemic 2".

In the beginning of my review of "Return of the Killer Tomatoes" I said that it was wonderfully self aware. As a film, "Tomatoes" knew it was terrible, and it ran with it. Being self-deprecating is essential for comedy, and is essential for growing as a person and as an artist. Take me for example, if I thought that everything I did was wonderful, I would still be writing at a second grade level, which would be not good none how. We need to be able to recognize the faults in what we do and say, so that we can grow past doing them. If you can joke about those faults  it allows you to see them far easier, and in seeing them, correct them.

James Nquyen lacks self awareness to an almost scary degree. I am almost certain that, when pitching the idea for "Birdemic 2" Mr. Nguyen told investors that his film was seen and loved by millions, and touched people's lives, which is fine and dandy at an investor meeting, you are supposed to bullshit those guys, but he actually believed it.  He honestly believes that just having passion is enough to excuse having no actual talent in his chosen field. Which I guess is true, as I sit here polishing my Super Bowl rings...

"Birdemic 2" doesn't just make the same mistakes as the first film, it compounds them. For every wooden performance in the first, we now have several more, all acting simultaneously in one big orgy of stiff lines. For every bad effect in the first, there are a series of bad effects. And for every long, pointless, poorly thought out cut, there are 10 longer, pointless-er cuts in this. Also zombies for some reason. Aaand cavemen.

I don't have enough space to go over all the faults, although I think I will do an audio commentary for the film, going into some deeper criticisms and ways that it could be improved on for the eventual sequel. I will say this though, for 80% of the film I thought that the movie was self aware and James Nguyen really had learned a lesson  there was just no way the movie could compound on his previous mistakes this severely without it being a laugh. But as time went on I realized that I was giving the film way too much credit. This was not a movie trying to be bad, this was a movie that was, totally and completely terrible, made by a man who thinks that he is amazing. Rather than being funny, at this point everything just gets really sad.

"Birdemic 2" while making me laugh at it's ineptness more than once, it at it's core a massively depressing movie. A movie made by a guy who thinks that he is making the Citizen Kane of bird attack movies. For every minute that brought joy to me, there was a whole movie just waiting to take it away. Fly away "Birdemic 2" fly away and please don't come back.

Oh, I will be watching it again soon to record the audio commentary, so keep an eye out for that. And wish me luck.

Rating - F just a big ol' floppy F

Don't trust the tone put forth in this, I think the trailer was made by someone who still had joy in their lives.

Leave a Reply.