Birds start to attack the town, pecking and clawing people to death and acting as suicide bombers, flying headlong into gas pumps and other locations susceptible to exploding upon bird contact. Rod and Nathalie team with another couple, Ramsey (Adam Sessa) and Becky (Catherine Batcha), to fight through the carnage, aided by Ramsey's conveniently accessible stash of guns in his van.
The birds, it seems, have been driven crazy by global warming, pollution, gas-guzzling vehicles and other stuff the director saw in An Inconvenient Truth. (Seriously. Rod and Nathalie even go to see the movie in the movie.) Our heroes drive out of town, but the epidemic is too widespread to avoid. They rescue newly orphaned kids Susan (Janae Caster) and Tony (Colton Osborne), remarkably unscarred from seeing their parents pecked to death, and the group does their best to survive, but what can be done to fight a birdemic?
The End Result
As a filmmaker, though, he has no business being behind a camera. His so-called "romantic thriller" Birdemic is dimwitted and utterly amateurish in all aspects, from the script to the cast to the direction to the dirt-cheap special effects -- and yet, that's what makes it so mesmerizing. If Nguyen had been a better filmmaker or had had any training whatsoever, Birdemic likely would never have been picked up by a distributor, and if it had, it would've been just another sub-SyFy creature feature cluttering Blockbuster shelves. As it stands, Birdemic is an epic showcase of hamfisted moviemaking that would make Ed Wood wince.
Within the first post-credits minute, the ineptitude begins: abrupt cuts, awkward silence, stilted dialogue, the production value of an HR sexual harassment video, actors who seem like the only English they know is what they memorized from the script. One scene features a different angle for almost every line of dialogue. Another sequence just shows Rod driving, getting gas, waiting in traffic, arriving at work and walking into his office. Inside, a follow-up scene features 75 seconds of applause (with looped audio). Later, one of the group's "adventures" is walking around yelling "Tony!" after the boy wanders off. They find him. He's fine. End scene.
But while such scenes make Birdemic awful, what pushes it into craptastic territory is, of course, the birds -- or should I say, the CGI blobs that vaguely resemble birds. The bird attacks consist of what look like free animated GIF stock images copied and pasted across the screen, the barely mobile birds just hovering as their victims scream or, in one ridiculous moment, hit them with coat hangers.
It's enough to make you wonder if it's all one big gag or a viral attempt by a studio -- especially when a Los Angeles screening was presented by the stars of the Adult Swim show Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, whose humor intentionally mines the same sort of low-tech awkwardness that characterizes Birdemic. However, seeing interviews with Nguyen and reading articles like this unflattering account of the behind-the-scenes chaos convinced me that the movie is indeed legit.
Still, that doesn't eliminate the possibility that Nguyen is secretly a cinematic genius who realized his own shortcomings as a filmmaker and decided to slap everything together as haphazardly as possible, hoping that people would recognize its camp potential. Could it be that he hired inexperienced actors not just to save money, but also to feed into the awful spectacle of it all?
If so, he certainly hit the mother lode with Alan Bagh, an actor so bad, he's hypnotic. He's like an automaton, seemingly incapable of human emotion as he plods through his dead-eyed, mumble-mouthed performance, delivering lines like "Hey, those people on that bus are being killed by birds" like he's saying "Hey, look at that cow." He's the William Hung of actors, and if it turns out that he's actually pretending to be a bad actor, he deserves an Oscar, stat.