Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Birdemic - Shock & Terror (2010)

“Enough things wrong with it to fill a PhD thesis”

In 2010 future GODZILLA director Gareth Edwards made a film with very little money, creating the impressive special effects with the aid of his laptop. That very same year, Vietnamese director James Nguyen used the same principles to make his own monster movie, utilising a tiny budget and home-made computer generated effects. The difference between Mr Edwards' MONSTERS and BIRDEMIC is that Mr Nguyen got it all horribly, unbelievably, breathtakingly wrong. If you’ve never experienced the unique motion picture event that is BIRDEMIC, now’s your chance because Severin Films are bringing it out on Blu-ray.

Uncanny special effects
For some mysterious reason birds start to attack the residents of an American seaside town. Well, they’re not really birds, more the CGI animated version of cardboard cut-outs that can barely manage a flap let alone pose any serious threat to anyone. Oh, except that they explode. I don’t know why. I don’t think anyone else does either. It all turns out to be due to that “damned global warming”. There probably a message here, and if you can make it all the way through the film BIRDEMIC will certainly leave you thinking, just not necessarily about environmental issues.

This ain't no SUMMER HOLIDAY
If nothing else, James Nguyen’s BIRDEMIC should stand as an inspiration to all aspiring film-makers out there. Because with this in the world, the chances are they're going to come up with something better, if perhaps not necessarily quite so entertaining.

More very special effects!
Where to start with the wrongness of BIRDEMIC? The sound track recording is as amateur as me and my brother interviewing our cat when I was nine; the camera frequently can’t frame what little action is going on; scenes unnecessary to what little plot there is, like a man filling his car with petrol, seem to go on forever. After forty seven minutes of BIRDEMIC’s painful and meandering romantic subplot we finally get our first view of the killer birds. And yes, you really will never have seen anything quite like them before. BIRDEMIC is a film that makes Ed Wood and his counterparts look like genius film-makers, and how much you’re going to enjoy this will depend directly on your tolerance (or curiosity - this is indeed a very curious film) to such low rent rubbish.

Lessons in promoting your film No.1 - Can you see what he's managed to get wrong here?
Severin’s Blu-ray comes with plenty of extras, including two commentary tracks, one from James Nguyen himself and one from the two leading actors. There are a couple of deleted scenes (if one was feeling unkind one could argue that the entirety of BIRDEMIC is just one long scene deserving of being deleted). You also get Nguyen’s tour of American cities and some British ones too! This extra is one of the best bits as you get to see audiences experiencing the film for the first time, and the subsequent raucous reception BIRDEMIC received at these premieres. There’s also a Severin trailer reel that one presumes promises forthcoming Blu’s of GWENDOLINE, BMX BANDITS and (yes!) PSYCHOMANIA!

Severin Films are releasing James Nguyen's BIRDEMIC SHOCK & TERROR on UK Blu-ray and DVD on 15th February 2016, right after Valentine's Day 

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