The resurrection of a nightmare film, perhaps, but the latest addition into the weekly column known as DOA Reviews, the films so bad in the horror genre, that this reviewer, took his time so that you, the fans, can save your vision and mind for something much better. Like what – a test pattern, watching C-Span or fascinating subject painting drying all find themselves more incredible that this creation from director, writer and producer James Nguyen, who incidentally created the first movie (which is only slightly better than this one) and that he considers this a new wondrous franchise hit, seriously. For those unaware of this abysmal movie, and even less knowledgeable of the storyline, per the director it is all homage to the classic film The Birds (1963) from the legendary Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock (and it really hurts to type his name to in this review and putting a connection to these flicks), but it’s the truth. Therefore, you the horror fans now aware it deals with birds, sadly the birds in the movie suck big-time, though the first film, Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2008) actually garnished a cult following, for the laughs and insane film-making, this sequel cannot live up to that status, which earned one tenth less favorable than the processor. These films, earn a certain reputation, a bad movie, which knows it is, nothing more have the laughter built-in, and succeed for a one-time hit, but a part two, with stranger script borders on bizarre. In addition, Nguyen still hunts for the big financial payoff of $10 to $20 million and a named studio to back a reboot of the first film, thereby recreating his franchise, but for now the real flight of part 3 exists on the horizon.
Nguyen’s script, if one permits the stretching of the definition, clearly shows early on the disjointed understanding of the method, applying words to paper only part one, which sometimes might come from a confused concept initially. Nevertheless, the follow-up steps include rewrites, sometimes many, sadly all of it overlook by the director, and jumps right into the storyline, with some returning cast, maybe seeking to strike it well with popularity again. Therefore, starting with a long noisy laborious walk of Bill (Thomas Favalaro) on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a visit to Tippi Hedren’s star, then into an eatery where waitress Gloria (Chelsea Turnbo), their dialogue exchange contains a dead tone of flatness, suggest the lead role for her. Next Bill sits and has a discussion with a friend, on his film ‘Sunset Dreams’ who becomes the executive producer Rod (Alan Bagh, of first film, and also stars in Cyborg X) and his budding actress girlfriend Nathalie (Whitney Moore) again Bill thinks lead role for her; too. The title of his movie gets repeated often, hence no way to ever forget, in fact it’s like Titanic (1997), and repeating Rose and Jack’s names over 200 times, we’ll never leave our minds. Later in a conference room, the films get the $1-million funding and the celebration starts, awful high-fives and awkward fake smiles, laughs, and repeat often, along with the silliest dancing (cringe-worthy moments). The filmmakers appear on a beach and enter the oddest CGI scene a woman’s legs in the fakest scene possible (wait the movie will top it, in a moment) and a large jellyfish blob attacks her, as she emerges from the ocean, first no blood, and later on the beach she’s covered it in, and our gang saves the day.
Aside from a digitalized ambulance, our small group truly feels misplaced, confused, and wanting to scream “WHY?” at the director. The director adds in an awkward love scene, but all of ruined with both the entry of a third person, sorry not a threesome, rather sound tech person, appears in a mirror in room (remember kiddos watch your background) and part of film equipment showing.
Onward to the land of strangeness, results from a red rain falling only in front of the camera and nowhere in the background, and thanks to Indiana Jones learned scholar, Dr. Jones (Rick Camp) we understand more of this environmental horror scenario. As Dr. Jones informs one of La Brea Tar pits it consumed and trapped birds, and cavemen and women, the scene shows a nicely mowed lawn and a prehistoric cave couple attacked and killed by these dangerous birds moving horizontally and vertically across the screen. Hence, from the pits, these feather fiends emerge (no ripple effects in the tar, just presto instant bird) and so do the cave couple, all fully intact, and no wear and tear here, perfectly fine specimens. Ah, the first of many bird attacks, if one can call it that, all do to global warming, occurs in a studio where the filmmakers put together their Oscar winning movie, a ridiculous scene, the cast pretends to fend off and shoot at the birds, with pistols holding endless rounds of ammunition. This flows into another scene at the same building of a weird rehearsal of slasher film, all to show some bare breasts, and more awful birds. One must note, in the first film, the mistakes and goofs all worked, it came off well, and sadly, it now all adds into a confusing mess, of hurried moments misplaced intentions, the laughs replace with groans. The troop of filmmakers finds themselves on the backlot of Jaws (1975) and more birds, which resemble Nintendo’s early form of space invaders in how they appear on the screen. These actors physically move the pistols in an up and down motion for each shot, showing recoil and more cheapness of the whole scene. Nyguyen’s birds just sort of float in the air, flap their wings in unorthodox or even unrealistic manner, when shot they split in half, blow-up all as a video game, our heroes, use kickboxing skills to defend themselves, and when they, the birds attack, it appears as a blood filled water balloon explodes shedding blood on the victims.
If fact, the other favorite word aside from Sunset Dreams, global warming, “Dead”, actual a sequence occurs when everyone utters it, to each other with no panic in the delivery. But wait, kiddies, there’s more horrific moments for you future filmmakers to avoid, such as a bird attack in a movie theater, no blood, just more computer videogame birds and then of course zombies. Yes, zombies from the strangest shortcut in a cemetery that their RV takes them through, the red rain raised an isolated group of staggering so-called undead, why – no reason. As for those clean pesky risen cave dwellers, from the tar, they have a brawl with the gang of victims of this production on a city side street perhaps in an industrial park area, of Los Angeles. The scene makes no sense and by now it all fits a pattern of disjointed dialogue deliveries dooming this damning film, all lacking the proper emotional responses and infliction.
One of the keys in filmmaking, aside the strong script and character driven storyline, falls on the cinematography, lighting and sound, well Birdemic 2 got the lighting correct for the most part, however the other two key elements all dismal apart with many goofs and continuity issues (look for sunglasses). Such as, the RV circling the same block (where they just fought the cave folks) while filmed from a vehicle in the front (the cheap version of a camera truck) but the camera captures both the spare tire and the hair of the camera personal. Now, in addition, when filming, one needs release forms signed, or at least clear the area, Nyugen’s solution blur the faces and license plate numbers no one will notice in this epic movie all in honor of Hitchcock. The visuals all sadly find very poorly done, and while the credits don’t reveal the individual responsible, however likely Nyugen and the sound sometimes feels as recorded separately and then layered into a scene. A note on the ending, over a minute of this computer birds flying away, switching size passing by the Hollywood sign, definitely like to earn that minute back in life.
Birdemic 2, a film one should avoid, most horror fans saw part one, and why not it had a cult following, however most won’t dive into the muck and mire to waste their time with another erred movie. This movie needs to reward those who survive the watching with their sanity intact. At least no eagles, vultures and crows died during the production, just good taste.
Imdb rating: 1.7/10
DOA Reviews: 1.5/10