Nerd Confessions Podcast: We brace ourselves for the Shock and Terror that is James Nguyen’s Birdemic film on the podcast this week! How did a film like this ever make it’s way to actual theaters?! What possessed the man to invest $10,000 of his own money into this film concept?! Does it live up to Alfred Hitchock’s Birds or Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth? What drama occurred on set with the actors/actresses? Is Alan Bagh really a robot? Why was Whitney Moore, the main actress of the film, ignored by the director for three weeks?! Was there any diddling? We cover all this and more! Watch or listen along as we discuss!
Our friend, Santos from the Fresh Squeezed podcast dared to join us this week amidst the birds. You can find more about his podcast at: http://www.freshsqueezedoc.com
During Listener Confessions this week we are featuring @thebenmilton and his social media aspirations in addition to our own confessions for the week.
You can see some of our first reactions of the film by watching with us in the 360 video below:
Birdemic: Shock and Terror
What is Birdemic: Shock and Terror?
Birdemic: Shock and Terror is a low budget, indie film by James Nguyen. The film’s poor acting, cinematography and effects have resulted in it being proclaimed the worst film ever made. After a limited theatrical release the film has gained a cult following and was eventually picked up for distribution.
The movie follows Rod, a software salesman in silicon valley as he meets and hits off his relationship with a high school crush, Nathalie. Everything was going just right for Rod, until, a horde of mutated birds invades and begins attacking and killing everyone! James Nguyen was inspired to create the film from Alfred Hitcock’s “The Birds” and Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” The whole film has a strong message about global warming and how humans need to change their ways.
Birdemic: Shock and Terror was written, directed and produced by James Nguyen who had previously filmed and funded two other films, “Julie and Jack” (2003) and “Replica” (2005).
James Nguyen was struck with the genius to write this movie after staying in Half Moon Bay just south of San Francisco. Much of the filming would later take place there.
Production began in 2006 and took four years to complete. Filming would occur on the weekends over the course of 7 months. The movie was entirely funded by James Nguyen’s day job and he invested a total of $10,000 into the production of the film.
There weren’t a lot of crew members on the movie, and the actors performed many of the roles that would normally be performed by crew members. They often held their own microphones, sometimes between their knees. They were even in charge of their own makeup, after the first two makeup women quit. The film uses fake names for crew members in the credits, in order to appear more legitimate.
Nguyen didn’t get permits to film at specific locations, instead just showing up, and sometimes getting kicked out.
In January 2009, Nguyen attended the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. His goal there, to promote the film! He handed out flyers passing by his rape van which was adorned with stuffed birds and paper signs that read, “BIDEMIC.COM” (incorrectly spelled) and “WHY DID THE EAGLES AND VULTURES ATTACKED?” He rented out a local theater to screen the film. This resulted in word of mouth and websites such as Dread Central and Bloody Disgusting covered the film. Sadly the film was also featured on the now dead show, “Attack of the Show.” while G4 still existed.
April 3rd, 2009, Moviehead Pictures (Nguyen’s company) self-released Birdemic DVD. The film was sold exclusively through Moviehead’s official website and manufactured on demand through Amazon.com. In early 2010 Birdemic was picked up by Severin Films and was released on home media DVD and Blu-ray Disc on February 22nd, 2011.
Severin Films was founded in 2006 and states that they have become “The foremost studio dedicated to rescuing, restoring and releasing the most controversial and provocative features from around the world.”
Alan Bagh as Rod the main character of the film.
Whitney Moore as the costar and love interest of Rod.
Patsy van Ettinger as Nathalie’s mom.
Rotten Tomatoes listed the film with a 19% out of 16 critic review and 26% out of 1,702 audience reviews.
IMDB holds a user rating of 1.8 out of 10 for the film out of 17,087 reviews.
A RiffTrax for Birdemic was released on February 22nd, 2011, featured commentary by Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame.
A sequel for Birdemic has already been released! “Birdemic 2: The Resurrection” and was also written and directed by James Nguyen. It finished filming in 2012 and was released April 2013.
James Nguyen’s first film, “Julie and Jack” had an appearance by Tippi Hendren who starred in Hitchcock’s, “The Birds.” In a scene Birdemic, her appearance in Nguyen’s previous film was playing on TV.
While filming on a public jogging trail, Nguyen started yelling at joggers who were getting in the shot. Whitney Moore told him not to yell at people who weren’t associated with the film, and he responded by refusing to talk to her for three weeks. He gave her direction using her costar Alan Bagh as an intermediary.
What are our overall thoughts?
Is the movie really funny or is it just bad?
- More bad than funny.
Was it entertaining throughout?
- Long transitions and takes with nothing happening.
What do we rate it? A 2 out of 10!
That’s it for this week!
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