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FX SFX Special Effect

And Now (unfortunately)...Birdemic!

Having gotten burned once, the Earl makes it a habit of zipping through all his movies acquired for potential Smitheeness to see if they indeed actually work. So thus, when he had a copy of Birdemic - Shock and Terror in his Earl-y hands he did just that. Then, because the special effects were so very special, he had to show a few choice scenes to the rest of us or explode from the infusion of so much bad. I kid you not, screening a Smithee candidate film in its entirety has its risks.

We watched the whole kit and caboodle in all its horrific GCI bird rendered glory which I can sum up thusly: Environmentally conscious = good, Money grubbing capitalism = bad, birds go batshit crazy and randomly try to kill everyone until they don't. Sorry I spoilered it for you there but this is one of those movies which fall smack dab into experienced Smithee film watching territory and I didn't want to draw in any neophytes accidentally.

No really, Birdemic is not a good movie. It is an entertaining movie for the few definitions of entertaining which include "clunky writing", "poor acting", "abysmal CGI", "Heavy handed messages" and "Giant plot holeness". Let's talk GCI first. The scene that first grabbed The Earl's attention was one where our heroes are in a hotel when the birds go crazy and start attacking everyone (OK, not "the birds" but just all the turkey vultures and eagles because apparently the film maker could only afford two bird models. Let's gloss over the fact that of all the wild birds in the Silicon Valley area, only the turkey vultures and eagles are pissed enough to go after humans and gas stations). Our hero and his lady must run from the room to the van of a randomly met other couple while avoiding the birds! Which are attacking! SCREE! SCREE!

And the rest of the scene plays out like somebody firing up a bird moded Alien Invaders superimposed over four actors running about having spasmodic fits and wildly brandishing coat hangers. Oh, and of course SCREE! SCREE! It's not just the one scene either, who knew that turkey vultures and eagles formed two neat attack formation rows and only had two wing positions (up, down, up, down) while attacking? They attack a lot too and let me warn you: Silicon Valley area turkey vultures and eagles are not to be trifled with; they get a claw, claw, bite, acid spit attack with a special one time use Kamikaze incendiary attack. No wing buffet though, since they only fly up and down and I understand wing buffet needs a follow through.

And that was just the "special" effects. This whole movie felt like it was cludged together by some arcane gaming system rules which never really worked in the first place. 'You are creating a film. You have to have a central idea and a scene from each of the hidden events piles before you. Now flip over your tiles and go.' Birdemic got 'Movie Theater' 'Tourist Trap' and 'Beach' and by golly, the film had a movie theater scene ("That was a good movie, An Inconvenient Truth"), a tourist trap scene (with a double decker bus no less) and a beach scene (where everyone stops for a picnic during bird-ageddon). The overarching message came through loud and clear (like a sledge hammer to the face) but the connecting bits felt pieced together and wedged in.

Icing the cake of badness is the dialogue and acting. I can't tell if the actors are bad or if they were a solidly C cast poorly directed and given badly written dialogue (the above Inconvenient Truth quote is pulled directly from the movie) because...wow. Perhaps the arcane movie making gaming system has a trite line checklist built into it, that would account for some of the bad.

But if you want to puzzle this out yourself, you can now own it on Blue-ray and see it all in pretty, pretty hi-def bad.


That's still to be decided. If we'd watched it a month or two earlier (before we put a whole bunch of work into settling our nominations)....

Personally, this fits alongside Exterminator City as unexpectedly, jaw-droppingly, share-it-with-as-many-people-as-possible bad.