Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)

Written, directed, and produced by James Nguyen, this is a tale of romance and, well, software development as birds descend on humanity. He’d also direct the films Julie and JackReplice and Birdemic 2: The Resurrection. There were plans to make the third film in the series, Birdemic 3: Sea Eagle, but it only raised one percent of its goal on Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

This film cost $10,000. Before you see it, you may wonder how that was possible. After you watch it, you’ll wonder where the money went.

Rod, a Silicon Valley software salesman, and Nathalie, an aspiring fashion model, are living a charmed life. His bonus allows him to start his own business, she’s become a Victoria’s Secret model and they both are in love with each other. However, the signs of the end of the world are all around them, with unexplained wildfires and dead birds washing up on beaches.

After a night of passion, Rod and Nathalie wake up to find that their town is under attack from acid-spitting and constantly exploding eagles and vultures. Joining up with an ex-Marine named Ramsey, his girlfriend Becky and two orphans named Susan and Tony, they go from town to town battling birds.

Finally, Rod and Nathalie make their way to a small beach, where our hero battles the birds one more time until doves show up to drive them off. It turns out that the birds want to have peace and decide to give humanity a second chance to fix the environment.

It’d help if the birds weren’t all the same bird, just endlessly and lifelessly rotating in space, oblivious to reality. Then again, no moment of this film feels rooted in the world that we live in.

During filming, Nguyen instructed Whitney Moore (Nathalie) not to socialize with her costar Alan Bagh (Rod) after filming. He also shot without permits and the crew was often kicked out of locations while in the middle of scenes. Nguyen would often flip out at people while filming, which led to Moore telling him not to yell and him refusing to talk to her or direct her for three weeks.

To promote the finished movie, Nguyen took the movie to Sundance, handing out flyers from a van that was covered with stuffed birds and a paper sign that read BIDEMIC.COM (yes, he spelled the name of his own movie incorrectly) and WHY DID THE EAGLES AND VULTURES ATTACKED before premiering the movie at a bar. This caught the eye of Severin Films, who distributed the film. You can grab a copy at their site, while you’re at it.

Tippi Hedren — from the original version of The Birds — appears in the film, but only on a TV via footage from Nguyen’s Julie and Jack.

This is an absolutely ridiculous film and as such, I love it. It’s pretty amazing that one man’s vision — of birds attacking the world as inspired by Hitchcock and Al Gore — went this far.

If you want to watch this, its on Tubi and Amazon Prime. It helps to watch it with Rifftrax help, though. You can also find that streaming for free on Tubi and Amazon Prime.

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