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Birdemic: Shock and Terror  (2008)
Tagline(s):Who Will Survive?
Nomination Year: 2012
SYNOPSIS: Birds go batshit crazy and randomly try to kill everyone -- until they don't. Sorry I spoiled 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.

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 hole-ish-ness."

Let's talk GCI first. The scene that first grabbed Kevin's attention was one where our heroes are in a hotel when the birds go crazy and start attacking everyone (OK, not ALL "the birds" but just 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! [See "Worst Special Effect" clip for further details]

It's not just the one scene, either. And that was just the "special" effects. This whole movie felt like it was kludged 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) [My vote is for the solid C. --Kevin] 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 Blu-Ray and see it all in pretty, pretty hi-def bad.

Jeannette Quirk
Smithee Award Nominations
Smithee Award Winner!MegaMetaSmithee Award Winner! Worst Special Effect
Attacked by a 1980's Screensaver!
The scene plays out like somebody firing up a bird-modded 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?
Smithee Award Winner! Deus Ex Machina
It Was a Drive-By Birding
Desperado with a gun wants to force our heroes to sell him some gas...yes, sell. He gets them out of the truck, and -- BIRD TO THE NECK. You kind of expect the Dog from Duck Hunt to jump up and giggle at some point.
So, the birds ... dive-bomb gas stations ... making airplane crash noises ... and exploding on contact. Because? Because They Just Do.
Crummiest Ending
Good-bye, Cru-el Birds!
The birds stop attacking. Just because. Rod and Nathalie and some random kids that they found lying around under a van all get out and wander down to the ocean, and watch the birds fly away.

And watch the birds fly away.

And watch the birds fly away.

And watch the birds fly away.

And watch the birds...

Smithee Award Winner! Worst Acting
Bagh = "Bad" + "Argh"

Rod (played by Alan Bagh) and Nathalie are having a date at a restaurant. Just normal conversation at the mercy of a script written by a non-native English speaker. But they're both at the mercy of the same script, and where Nathalie comes across as a woman who has trouble with English, Rod is clearly a wooden robot with a speaking problem.

In addition to his slurred, mushmouthed delivery, the conversation is so banal (at one point he regales her with talk of stock options for Chrissakes) that long before it's through, you're dying for the birds to just come crashing through the restaurant windows and start pecking out their eyes and jugulars.

Smithee Award Winner! Worst Picture
A Movie Truly for the Birds
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.
Director Claim to Fame
James Nguyen Has a soft spot for "romantic thrillers" - - like the Birdemic series. Uh-huh. 
Actor Character Claim to Fame
Alan Bagh Rod Rod of the infamous Birdemic series, he would have been in Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws, but his scenes were all deleted...which should tell you something. 
Whitney Moore Nathalie Was apparently able to parlay her stint in this turkey to a busy career. Was Michelle Larson in Satanic Panic and voiced Stargirl on "Young Justice." 
Rick Camp Dr. Jones Oddly typecast as weird doctors and, strangely enough, dockmasters (In the Eyes of a Killer, Blindsided). 
Stephen Gustavson Tree Hugger Played the "No-Emitting" Tree Hugger in the Birdemic series. 
Tippi Hedren (Archive Footage) Main character of Hitchcock's The Birds and the titular Marnie
Laura Cassidy TV Anchor No relation. 
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