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YMMV / Birdemic

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  • Angst? What Angst?: No one in the film seems particularly upset a few seconds after watching someone die. Even the orphaned children seem more interested in their next meal than what happened to their parents.
    Kevin Murphy: Man, these kids are hardcore. I once cried for nine hours because my mom wouldn't let me watch Bozo The Clown.
    • The only exception is Ramsey when his girlfriend is killed. He is shown to be angered by her death, and it's implied to be the reason behind him trying to save the people on the tour bus.
  • Anvilicious: Preserving nature is the moral of the story, and it is delivered with the subtlety of a sledgehammer upside the head, in the form of seemingly out-of-place propaganda posters and Character Filibusters that reek of Author Tract.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Ramsey's guns, which he apparently kept in his van. He says that he used to be a Marine but he quit because he was tired of killing, which only sort of explains why he's always armed to the teeth. Arguably it raises even more questions.
    • Rod suddenly finds fishing equipment in the back of the van they've been using to escape the birds.
      Rod: Hey, look! A fishing rod! I can go catch some fish! [...] Oh look, a stove! We can cook it!
  • Awesome Music: "Mirage", which plays during the "Treehugger" scene, is quite beautiful.
  • Crazy Awesome: The Treehugger. Needless to say, he's one of the most-remembered parts of the movie.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • Rod doesn't bother cleaning the fish when plopping it in a bucket of water to cook. No wonder the kids are squicked.
    • There's also the ornithologist who refers to himself as an "orthologist", which means someone who speaks correctly or who makes the correct use of words. The irony is delicious.
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    • There are many serious ecological concerns associated with global climate change, from abnormally short or long seasons to widespread flooding to powerful hurricanes to more poison ivy. Exploding mutant birds is not one of them.
    • The mutated birds all sound like bald eagles, which is ironic considering that bald eagles are almost always dubbed with another species of bird with a more impressive screech.
    • When the group stops at a gas station, Rod tries to use the phone, but the attendant tells him that the phones are down cause of the eagle attack. Rod then proceeds to use his card to pay for gas! Did James Nguyen not realize that, at least at the time of filming, card payments still require phone connection, so that the card can make contact with your bank!?
    • James Nguyen obviously had no idea how big a deal being a Victoria's Secret cover model is in terms of money or prestige and makes it seem like just another model job. To put it in perspective, a Victoria's Secret model being paid at the LOW end of the scale is still making several million dollars per year.
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  • Designated Hero: Rod. He's not strong. He's not charismatic. In fact, he barely seems to have the intelligence to dress himself.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: Don't expect any pro-environmental groups to add this one to their top-10 movies list.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Nathalie's Mom, played by Patsy van Ettinger, is frequently praised for being so sincere in her role and for being a loving, supportive mother. Even JonTron considers her to be the film's saving grace.
    • Dr. Jones and the Treehugger are both standouts despite only appearing in one scene each.
  • Faux Symbolism: In James Nguyen's director commentary, he draws attention to many examples. For instance, the man who steals Rod's gas is wearing a cowboy hat, as a reference to Dr. Jones' warning about "playing cowboy with nature."
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Invoked by James Nguyen in his director's commentary. He predicts that some of the issues in the film, like out-of-control gas prices or the endangered status of polar bears, will get worse in the years to come.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The opening theme is stock music that gamers who played Hollywood Mogul would recognize is one of the available tunes for their fictional films.
    • The fact Rick's actor can do a dead-on Ash Williams impression makes one wonder what Bruce Campbell would have been like in the lead.
    • More so from another Nguyen film that came before this; Julie & Jack (which plays on the television during the motel scene). The story of Julie & Jack is about a couple dating in virtual reality. When they reveal that it is virtual reality, Jack points to some birds (played by real ones), and notes that they're fake. This line can be considered amusing by those who have seen Birdemic, considering how fake looking the birds are there.
    • A hybrid Mustang that gets 100 miles to the gallon doesn't seem all that unplausible since Ford revealing an upcoming fully-electric Mustang SUV in late 2019.
  • Idiot Plot: Swarms of eagles are attacking people everywhere, yet the main characters drive out to the country, repeatedly getting out of the car for impromptu picnics. Any time anyone is inside a car, they leave the windows rolled down. The entire movie could have been resolved by staying indoors.
  • Memetic Mutation: Half of the dialogue, but some of the standouts are...
    • "I have to go... I hear a mountain lion!"
    • "... such as seals".
    • "My Mustang, which is a plug-in hybrid."
    • Rod's extremely robotic manner of walking.
    • "That was a good movie, An Inconvenient Truth."
    • "Hangin' out with the family, havin' ourselves a party!"
    • The "Birdemic driving music" is starting to reach the memetic heights of the "Tender Peeping Torgo Theme".
    • Coat hangers as an Improvised Weapon against bird attacks.
    • " Where's Becky?" "She's taking a shit."
      • Which probably caused many viewers to say "Did he really just say that?"
    • "Slrpnls"
  • Narm Charm:
    • This is the rare movie where there's so much Narm that it goes all the way back around to being charming.
    • Rick's creepy "Really?" to Alan stands out.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Dr. Jones and the Treehugger.
  • Padding:
    • The number of times people enter cars, leave cars, pull to the side of the road or merge back onto the road. You will eventually reach the point where every time a character enters a car your body will tense up as though your torturer has just returned with heated pliers.
    • Even when they're on foot, there's an excessive number of scenes showing people walking to different places. As though we'd have no idea how Rod got from his parking spot to the restaurant if they didn't show every step of the way.
    • Who could forget the infamous clapping-scene?
  • Retroactive Recognition: Danny Webber, who played "A day without sex is a day wasted." Rick voices Ash Williams in Poker Night 2. He's also a talented music composer who's done the score for several episodes of Workaholics.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: The film is basically "What if The Birds had an Anvilicious Green Aesop and no quality filmmaking whatsoever?"
  • So Bad, It's Good: It makes The Day After Tomorrow look like a subtle warning about, and a realistic portrayal of the effects of global warming. The entire cast, crew, writers and editors turn in performances that wouldn't just get them kicked out of any film school, but land them a restraining order as well. And it's glorious.
    "Through all the putrid editing, horrible special effects, non-existent sound editing, cinematography of a toddler, droning music, cardboard characters, preachy-as-fuck environmental message, and everything else wrong with it, there’s just something charming and lovable about it." Jon Jafari in his review of the film.
  • Special Effect Failure: Oh, Dear God, yes.
    • A dead bird is a cartoon clip art of a bird superimposed on the screen.
    • Most of the "flying" birds are just superimposed animated .GIFs of the same bird.
      Kevin: Pff! The birds in Galaga look more realistic than those things.
    • The birds don't so much "fly" as "hover while slowly flapping their wings". They look worse than the aerial mounts in World of Warcraft. Far worse.
    • Enjoy the "television news set" on the news program Rod watches at home. The video clips they show still have the Getty Images watermark on them!
    • The spontaneous forest fire consists of several small fire and smoke animations randomly stuck on trees.
      Kevin: Help, it's a strangely localized forest fire!
      Bill: With small pinpoint blazes that are not spreading in the least! Help!
      Mike: And which are handily contained to tiny patches off the road itself making safe passage quite easy! Help!
    • The guns' recoil, muzzle flash, and sound effects are almost never timed so that any two of them occur at the same time. And instead of making the birds an unseen, mysterious enemy, which would have worked on their budget, the birds are always shown in broad daylight, for long, extended takes, revealing every possible flaw in their looping animations.
    • A minor one, but extremely bizarre: Nathalie's cell phone was apparently on vibrate, but Nguyen decided to add a ringtone in ADR. Said ringtone is a ringing mechanical bicycle bell. Yes, it's technically possible in 2008, but is that really the best Nguyen could come up with?
    • The film was basically edited in camera, which means that Nguyen shot a scene, then changed angle, and shot again from the new angle. He didn't shoot the entire scene from various angles and then edit them. One result is there's no room tone taken, so the background noise keeps changing. In the case of the boardroom applauding scene, instead of having them clapping contiguously, it seems like they start and stop clapping with each cut.
      • Seemingly every single conversation is shot as a one-person shot of the person speaking, then a similar one-shot of the other person speaking, continuing that way until the conversation ends. This gives every conversation an odd, separated feeling between the characters that’s made worse by the pace of the editing and the wildly inconsistent audio. Employing the occasional conversational shot with two or more people would have cut down on all three problems at once.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Sometimes the score will sound suspiciously like Vangelis' theme to Chariots of Fire then John Lennon's "Imagine" (shamelessly called "Imagine Peace") at the most inappropriate times.
  • Tear Jerker: The one legitimately sad moment in the film is when Susan is crying over the birds killing her mom.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Rick Camp, the actor playing Dr. Jones, delivers his lines with total conviction. The actor said in an interview that this was the strangest script he'd read, but he still felt it important to give a serious performance.
  • Wangst: When Becky is killed, Nathalie's screams, "Oh my God! She's dead! Rod! ROD! BECKY! SHE'S DEAD! I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING! SHE'S DEAD!"
  • What an Idiot!:
    • During a massive bird attack, the first thing you want to do is have a nice picnic on the beach. Hey, they're extremely lucky that birds hate picnics and beaches.
    • The trapped people in a bus don't bother to hide when two fellows with automatic rifles start firing wildly trying to shoot birds. Rather, they keep their heads exposed screaming and pounding on bus windows. These same people then leave the safety of the bus and STAND STILL in the open waiting to be attacked, although Ramsey sort of forced them out of the bus, and had no real plan on what to do next.
    • At one point, a man tries to steal gas from Rod and the other survivors at gunpoint. After getting the gas, the man is killed by a bird. Rod drives off, and leaves the gas can, as well as the abandoned weapon on the side of the road.
      • And the guy "stealing" the gas from Rod and the others gave them money for the gas at gunpoint. He basically forced them to sell him the gas.
    • The birds are reportedly making particular targets of cars on the highway. So of course, loads of people are driving down the highway with the windows rolled down.
      • And people whom Rod and Nathalie found dead in the car also had their car window rolled down.
    • Special mention goes to Becky's decision to go number two in the middle of an open field, when she could have just used the bathroom at the picnic area like Nathalie did. Sure enough, it gets her killed.


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