Birdemic: Shock and Terror is the story of a successful software salesman and a struggling fashion model who meet, fall in love, and are attacked by crazed, exploding seagulls. The "romantic thriller," which promises "a new breed of terror," looks so terrible that the two-minute trailer must be seen to be believed. Comedian Rainn Wilson calls it "perhaps the greatest trailer ever." The plot, an apparent warning about the dangers of environmental destruction, clearly cribs Alfred Hitchcock's classic, The Birds. But between the acting, the special effects, and software salesman-turned-writer/director James Nguyen's apparent obliviousness, Birdemic became something greater. Here are the dropped-jaw reactions of film critics.
- A New Category Of Bad Brand X's Richard Metzger calls it "one of those so bad that it's good films that, surprisingly, rarely come along that often these days. Of course Hollywood routinely releases dreck that's simply so bad that it's... boring, but Birdemic is in another category entirely." Metzger writes, "Birdemic is a movie so dumbfounding that it ends up being compelling viewing, especially when seen in a theater full of folks who have partaken in some herbal 'entertainment insurance,' if you catch my drift."
- How Birdemic Got Picked Up USA Today's Whitney Matheson charts the film's strange road to a distribution deal. "Nguyen didn't get Birdemic into Sundance, but that didn't stop him from cruising the festival's streets 'in a van covered with fake birds, frozen blood and Birdemic posters, while loudspeakers blared the sounds of eagle attacks and human screams.' The tactic worked: Severin Films acquired the rights and plans a theatrical release later this year."
- Inside Nguyen's Brain LAist's Edward Yerke-Robins looks past the terrible movie to its earnest creator. "Nguyen is a true auteur, and Birdemic is his passion project. The only word he used more often than 'lucky' to describe it was 'love,'" he writes. "That Birdemic even exists is a small miracle, and a testament to Nguyen's dedication to his craft. Filmed over a period of 4 years, Nguyen wedged Birdemic shoots in Northern California in-between shuttles to Hollywood for business deals and a 40-hour work week back in Silicon Valley."
- Birdemic Also on Twitter James Nguyen, the software developer who wrote and directed the film, is tweeting up a storm. He has retweeted every bit of the publicity he comes across, some of it less than complimentary. He beams, "the LA premiere was a success!"
- The Weird, Hilarious, Sad Premiere Videogum's Alex Blagg tells the strange and hilarious story of attending the L.A. premiere. "When Gabe first sent me the Birdemic trailer and asked if I’d like to go see a screening of it, I thought, 'No, because this looks terrible'. But then I remembered that, according to Internet rules, things that are terrible are actually hilarious and amazing." In Blagg's description of the film, "woefully inept actors drive around in a blue Mustang for what seems like eternity while occasionally fumbling their way through a few lines about Global Warming while poorly animated .gif-birds float motionlessly and make terrible screeching noises." He calls the stars "people I did not recognize but would come to deeply pity in a matter of minutes," saying the lead "should be given a restraining order from cameras."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.