31 Days of Horror: Day 28 – Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2008)

birdemicshockandterror2008a

Director: James Nguyen

Cast: Alan Bagh, Whitney Moore, Janae Caster, Colton Osborne, Adam Sessa

Screenplay: James Nguyen

105 mins. Not Rated.

 

Sometimes, on very rare occasions, a movie comes along that it so good that it changes the way you look at every other movie you will ever see; it becomes a comparison to everything that came before and everything that will come after. On the flipside of that coin is Birdemic: Shock and Terror, a movie that is so bad that, for the rest of your life, any film you ever see will be followed by a comparison as to how bad it really is under Birdemic’s light.

birdemicshockandterror2008c

Rod (Alan Bagh) is a sales man for a very stupid company that isn’t even entirely described but he just made them a million dollars. Nathalie (Whitney Moore, A Horrible Way to Die, The Theater Bizarre) is a model-in-training who has just been given a chance to work for Victoria’s Secret. The two have a chance encounter that drives them together. Unfortunately, a bunch of freaking birds start attacking Half Moon Bay, and Rod and Nathalie are called upon to save the day…or whatever.

Writer/director James Nguyen (Julie and Jack, Replica) is a terrible filmmaker who got the idea for Birdemic from watching the movies The Birds (he is a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock) and An Inconvenient Truth (he must also be a big fan of Al Gore) and thought to himself, “Huh. I could put these things together and it will be brilliant.” His version of brilliant is different than ours. He has a pointless movie bogged down by an awful screenplay and a hand with being completely oblivious to editing software. His cinematography makes found footage look Oscar-worthy. His lighting is something that you might get from a couple of flashlights found at a dollar store. His music…well, I can say that you need to get this soundtrack from itunes (it only costs about two bucks). His special effects…wait, they need their own section…

His visual effects are GIFs. Literally, the birds are on the screen cawing and flapping but not actually moving. They make plane sounds and explode on impact. They spit acid. They emit smoke like a helicopter going down. They turn impossibly. They…are just terrible and wonderful and…actually quite indescribable. You just need to see them.

birdemicshockandterror2008b

This movie is garbage. Nguyen actually put Ms. Tippi Hedren (of The Birds) in the credits and the video case when she had actually appeared on a television set featuring scenes from Nguyen’s other film Julie and Jack. He made up names or put friends’ names into the credits to make the film look more impressive than it actually is. Yeah, I’m serious here. A terrible movie.

 

1.5/5

Wait, I’m not done here. This movie is terrible, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it. I’ve seen it several times now and it is so bad that it is worth watching at underground midnight showings in old dusty theaters with callbacks and cheers and food and booze and fun. This movie is so terrible that it is actually a lot of fun to watch it in groups. Seriously. Watch it (it is worth the extra .5 points), but perhaps get a few beers first. For safety.

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For more 31 Days of Horror, click here.

31 Days of Horror: Day 24 – You’re Next (2011)

yourenext2011a

Director: Adam Wingard

Cast: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, A.J. Bowen, Joe Swanberg

Screenplay: Simon Barrett

95 mins. Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity.

Man, I did not want to see this movie. The trailer just completely turned me off. I remember sitting in the theater thinking, “Yay! Someone made The Strangers again. Blegh!” I didn’t like The Strangers.

yourenext2011c

When I finally did get around to watching You’re Next, I was blown away. This movie essentially kicked ass. It comes down to your basic home invasion movie, except that I was actually engaged fairly quickly by it. I found the plot to have twists and turns that, while often unrealistic, still kept me in.

It is all about the Davison family. Patriarch and matriarch Paul and Aubrey are celebrating a major anniversary and the family has gathered at the homestead for a get-together. Little do they know that they are about to become prey to masked assailants guerilla-style invading the home and trying to do away with them one at a time. However, the assailants and the Davisons do not anticipate son Crispian (A.J. Bowen, The Signal, The Sacrament) to have a new girlfriend with a particular skill set in this film from director Adam Wingard (V/H/S, The ABCs of Death).

I liked this movie. I feel like I am surprising even me by saying. I had a good time watching it. In hindsight, that shouldn’t bother me, as I loved Wingard’s work in V/H/S and even his short Q is for Quack in The ABCs of Death.

Sharni Vinson handles her roles nicely as Erin, the girlfriend with the past. Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies, V/H/S)  also gives good work as Drake, Crispian’s brother who harbors ill will for past events.

The action here was pretty excellent and I actually felt unsure of how this whole situation would play out. The only major flaw was that we had characters at the beginning that we knew would die based on how little we knew about them. The madness begins fairly early on during the family dinner, and I felt as though that was a real loss as we were just beginning to unravel this family as individual characters as opposed to pieces of meat to be picked off.

yourenext2011b

That being said, Wingard handles the script, from writer Simon Barrett (The Guest, A Horrible Way to Die) very well, and the pacing never once falters throughout the entirety of the film. As I finished the film, I wanted more (in a good way)! I feel like the film has been set up for a sequel, which doesn’t make sense considering the events that take place, not to mention the difficulty in treading any new ground, but for now, I’ll be content with this movie. It was a hell of a lot of fun and a solid thriller to boot.

4/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

For more 31 Days of Horror, click here.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑