RiffTrax mocks BIRDEMIC – Live

On October 25, the RiffTrax crew will unload a shotgun full of barbs, quips, and putdowns, aimed at BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR, the 2006 camp-fest that earned itself a not-so-distinguished place on the all-time-worst films list – a distinction that, ironically, earned the film a nationwide series of screenings a few years ago. The riotous riffing will take place during a live screening, broadcast to theatres across the country by Fathom Events. The live screening starts at 8:00pm on the east coast and 7:00pm Central Time; it will be tape delayed for presentation at 7:00pm Moutain Time and 8:00pm  on the west coast.
Whether the RiffTrax comedy team of Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy can possibly surpass the unintentional hilarity of BIRDEMIC is an open question, but you can listen to a sample of their recorded commentary by watching the embedded video.
This is not the first time they have taken their patented brand of irreverent humor to theatres: they have live-riffed on such films as THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1959), JACK THE GIANT KILLER (1962), and MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE, the execrably bad horror film previously lambasted on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000.
Click here for a list of theatres where you can see RiffTrax take potshots at BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR.
Read more details from the press release:

Centennial, Colo. – August 20, 2012 – NCM® Fathom Events, RiffTrax and IGN present “RiffTrax Live: BIRDEMIC” in movie theaters for only one night on Thursday, October 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT and tape delayed at 7:00 p.m. MT / 8:00 p.m. PT. The famed comedians from the cult classic “Mystery Science Theater 3000” (MST3K)—Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett—will reunite on the big screen to fire off their wisecracking commentary on “BIRDEMIC,” a modern classic in the pantheon of so-bad-it’s-good cinema. The hilarious riffing on this spine-tingling “thriller” will be broadcast LIVE from Nashville to participating movie theaters across the country—just in time for Halloween.
Tickets for “RiffTrax Live: BIRDEMIC” are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change). The event will be broadcast to more than 550 select movie theaters across the country through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network.
“I don’t know what it is about ‘BIRDEMIC’—terrible acting, terrible sound, terrible directing, terrible editing—and yet there’s some sort of secret bad movie ingredient I can’t put my finger on that makes this simply one of the most fun bad movies of all time,” said Michael J. Nelson, RiffTrax creator and former host of the Emmy-nominated, Peabody Award-winning “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
Directed by James Nguyen in 2006, “BIRDEMIC” is the story of Rod, a young software salesman on the brink of launching a solar panel business in Silicon Valley. Things really seem to be going Rod’s way, especially when he reconnects with beautiful high school classmate Nathalie, a model who Victoria’s Secret chooses out of the blue to be their new cover girl. Their unbelievably perfect world is shattered by a sudden, unexplained bird attack. The vultures team up with the eagles, and begin dropping caustic liquids and exploding like bombs (really!). Rod and Nathalie find themselves on a terror-filled ride up and down the coast, fighting off the vicious birds with their wits and…coat hangers. Yes, coat hangers.
Previous successful Fathom and RiffTrax events have included “RiffTrax Live: ‘Manos’ The Hands of Fate” in August 2012, mocking what many think is one of the most terrible films ever; “RiffTrax Live: Jack the Giant Killer” in August 2011, a hilarious riff of the cheesy 1962 fantasy epic featuring giant rubber monsters and a leprechaun in a jar; “RiffTrax Live: House on Haunted Hill” in October 2010, which took on the Vincent Price horror classic just in time for Halloween; “RiffTrax Live: Reefer Madness” in August 2010, parodying the legendary cult classic; “RiffTrax Live: Plan 9 From Outer Space” in August 2009, skewering what is widely considered to be the “worst film ever made”; and “RiffTrax Live: Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza” in December 2009, featuring “Weird Al” Yankovic.
“For fans of RiffTrax and MST3K, there’s nothing like experiencing Mike, Kevin and Bill live on the big screen,” said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of NCM Fathom Events. “Having the guys back again for this specially produced ‘BIRDEMIC’ event should take ‘riffing’ fans to a new level of laughter in theaters across the U.S.”

Birdemic: Shock and Terror: Critics Roundtable Podcast

Fear Has a New Name, and It's BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR.
Fear Has a New Name, and It's BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR.

It’s the rare film that comes along and totally redefines the medium, but such a film is BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR. From its striking visual style to its Oscar-worthy performances to its dazzling special effects to its powerful, environmental subtext, this tale of a small, California town enduring the wrath of a vengeful Mother Nature — in the form of merciless attacks by flocks of deadly birds — is no mere light entertainment, but a truly life-changing experience, as immersive as AVATAR, as revolutionary as 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.
Andrea Lipinski and Kevin Lauderdale join Cinefantastique Online’s Dan Persons in a sober, critical analysis of this landmark film, analyzing how director James Nguyen has taken the lessons learned from his spiritual mentor — Alfred Hitchcock — and exceeded the master in every regard. Click on the player to hear the podcast, and discover how the pantheon of cinema greats — from Griffith to Scorsese; from Eisenstein to Kubrick — will soon have a new name added to its ranks.


Theme I Wonder If God was Sleeping by scottaltham

Birdemic: Shock and Terror review

Birdemic: Shock and TerrorThere are the classics of bad cinema – PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, THE ROBOT MONSTER, THE GIANT CLAW – and the contemporary examples – BATTLEFIELD EARTH, HOWARD THE DUCK, TROLL 2, and everything by Uwe Boll.
The art of making a bad film is akin to paving the road to hell: it starts out with the best intentions and leads us to perdition, due to hubris or delusion or lack of talent or, ideally, all three. The auteurs of these “masterpieces” are mostly oblivious to the horror that they have unleashed, totally lacking the insight or objectivity to look beyond their own ego and their crazed desire to become the next Spielberg.
No Spielberg here, or even Ed Wood, BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR ‘s director James Nguyen stands alone in creating the perfect storm of badness. While most other bad movies have some redeeming features – a good soundtrack, cinematography, tight editing or a passable performance by an actor, his film has none of these.
BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR is unrelentingly bad in every aspect. The audio mix is horrible with sound cutting in and out constantly and dialogue that is often unintelligible. The cameraman can barely keep things in frame and constantly uses crane shots and dolly moves just to remind us he is there. Not to mention the pointless pans across restaurant walls and empty vistas. The editing is beyond sloppy, with shots clipped before they are over and others left pointlessly long.
BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERRORThe music is an odd mix of library tracks that are totally out of sync with the action on the screen; sounding at times like the score of a 1950’s social hygiene film and at other times like a 1970’s porno film. The “terrifying” special effects are clip art animations of flocks of birds which appear to be on an endless loop. Some effects, such as a forest fire, actually end before the action on the screen does.
Imagine our excitement as our heroes fight off a bird attack with coat hangers – which has to be the most thrilling use of a cinematic coat hanger since Faye Dunaway wielded one in MOMMY DEAREST. Or how about one of the heroes constantly firing a machine gun that magically never runs out of ammo? Or the fact that there appears to be an apocalypse going on that has not affected the background traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway? Or a film that doesn’t conclude, it just stops? BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR has all of this and more.
For the first ten minutes of BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR, Nguyen appears to have a fetishist’s obsession with the blue Mustang the hero drives, and drives, and drives, and drives. Of course, this is out of sync with the film’s overall message of global warming. Once the credits have ended and the blue Mustang is safely parked, we finally meet our hero, Rod, who then burns up the next few minutes walking and walking and walking… Of course, after meeting Rod (played by Alan Bagh – in a performance that redefines inept) I began to wish we could go back to Rod driving or walking again, anything to relieve the pain.
Now it doesn’t help that the script by Nguyen is crammed with dialogue so wooden you could fashion an ark from it. Rod, you see, works as a high level salesman in a billion dollar software company, something we instantly believe when we see Rod’s tacky work cubicle. Rod is also a lonely guy, hardly surprising once you see him coming on to his love interest Nathalie (played by Whitney Moore). His romantic style is a cross between a stalker and a serial killer, and he couldn’t be any more sinister if he carved a cross into his forehead with a razorblade and invited his best gal out for a night of creepy crawling.
Moore appears to be a more capable actress, though her focus seems to be “get this over with”. The rest of the cast is just as wooden and even more forgettable. There are a couple of doctor types who pop up to warn us of the dire effects of global warming, after the birds go crazy and start pecking eyes out and slashing throats.

Romantic leads Ron and
Whitney Moore and Alan Bagh

BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR is half over before the bird action begins, so that we can experience in excruciating detail the budding romance between Rod and Nathalie. Guess which half of the film is more horrifying.
Now, to be fair, this is a bad film, and it shouldn’t be subjected to the standards that you would apply to the latest Hollywood megaplex product – JONAH HEX, anyone? No, a different standard applies here, and the audience knows it. They savour every bad piece of acting and dialogue, plot absurdity, and amateurish camera move.
BIRDEMIC SHOCK AND TERROR has to be seen with an audience, preferably a large one, lubricated on beer and weed. It felt like a flashback to the midnight screenings of my youth, watching THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.
Or maybe the Toronto audience I saw it with just needed a release after a very strange week of earthquakes, tornados, and G20 rioting in the streets. We needed the hilarious badness of BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR to calm us down and refocus us on what is really important in life: a deliciously bad movie that delivers more laughs than Adam Sandler’s latest.


BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR (2008). Written and directed by James Nguyen. Cast: Alan Bagh, Whitney Moore, Tippi Hedren, Janae Caster, Colton Osborne.

Birdemic: Shock and Terror on screen

In case you haven’t heard, BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR is this year’s – oh, I don’t know – REEFER MADNESS, maybe, or PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE? Perhaps “this year’s TROLL 2” would be more apt, what with the TROLL 2 documentary BEST WORST MOVIE currently making the rounds of art houses. In any case, BIRDEMIC, is one of those movies that, almost inexplicably, becomes embraced because of – rather than in spite of – its cinematic ineptitude (which includes laughably bad CGI that wouldn’t pass muster in a kid’s videogame). The difference between BIRDEMIC and its camp movie precursors is that, whereas REEFER MADNESS, PLAN NINE, TROLL 2, and others of their ilk took years, even decades, before their badness was recognized for its entertainment possibilities, BIRDEMIC has been embraced right out of the gate.
Picked up by Severin Distribution, writer-director James Nguye’s 2008 debut effort – basically a riff on Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS – has been screening to enthusiastic crowds for several weeks, eliciting derisive howls in cities across the country, and it is now expanding its reach to Canada and the U.K. (Let’s hope this doesn’t hurt international relations any.) The no-name cast includes Alan Bagh, Whitney Moore, Janae Caster, and Colton Osborne. Somehow, THE BIRDS’ Tippi Hedren was persuaded to make a cameo appearance.
If you want to see what all the screaming and laughing is about, check out these screenings:

  • May 21st & 22nd — COLUMBIA, MO — Ragtag Cinemas (encore screening)
  • May 28th & 29th — SAN FRANCISCO — The Roxie Theater (SF encore screenings)
  • May 28th — LONDON, UK — The Curzon Soho (Official UK Premiere! James Nguyen in attendance)
  • May 28th & 29th — OTTAWA, ON — The Mayfair Theatre
  • May 28th – 30th — SPRINGFIELD, MO — The Moxie Cinema
  • June 2nd — PORTLAND, ME — Space Gallery
  • June 4th — NOTTINGHAM, UK — Broadway Cinema (Director James Nguyen and star Adam Sessa in person)
  • June 4th & 5th — TEMPE, AZ — MADCAP Theater (4th encore screening)
  • June 4th & 5th — DALLAS, TX — The Inwood Theater (Landmark Midnight screenings)
  • June 4th-6th — BOSTON, MA — The Brattle Theatre
  • June 5th — BRADFORD, UK — National Media Museum (Midnight showing as part ofhte 9th Fantastic Films Weekend)
  • July 9 – London, UK – Prince Charles Cinema (encore screening)
  • July 10 Auckland, New Zealand – The New Zealand International Film Festival at the Rialto Newmarket
  • June 11th — DENVER, CO — The Esquire Theater (encore screening!!)
  • June 11th & 12th — CLEVELAND, OH — The Cleveland Cinematheque
  • June 12th — TORONTO, ON — The Bloor Cinema
  • June 15th/18th/20th — ATLANTA, GA — The Plaza Theater
  • June 16th — AUSTIN, TX — Alamo Drafthouse Ritz (Info coming soon!)
  • June 18th & 19th — SASKATOON, SK — The Broadway Theatre
  • June 18th & 19th — CHICAGO, IL — The Music Box Theater (Chicago premiere! Ticket info coming soon! Director James Nguyen in person)
  • June 25th & 26th — SEATTLE, WA — The Egyptian Theater (Landmark Midnight screenings)
  • June 25th & 26th — COLUMBUS, OH — The Drexel Theater (Encore Midnight screenings)
  • June 26th — TORONTO, ON — The Bloor Cinema
  • June 26th — LONDON, ON — Rainbow Cinemas (That’s London, Ontario, Canada)
  • July 7th — AUSTIN, TX — Alamo Drafthouse Ritz (4th encore show)
  • July 9th & 10th — OMAHA, NE — The Dundee Theatre
  • July 10 & 13 Auckland, New Zealand – The New Zealand International Film Festival at the Rialto Market
  • July 16 & 22 – Wellington New Zealand – The New Zealand International Film Festival at the Paramount
  • July 16th & 17th — WASHINGTON DC — E Street Cinema (DC encore shows)
  • July 16th & 17th — TUCSON, AZ — The Loft Cinema (Birdemic returns to AZ for late night shows & midnights)
  • July 23 & 24 – Albuquerque, New Mexico – The Guild Cinema (encore screening with Q&A by star Whitney Moore)
  • July 24th — SAN DIEGO, CA — The Ken Cinema (Special Landmark Midnight screening during Comic Con)
  • July 30 & 31 – New York, New York – IFC Center (two midnight shows)
  • August 6th & 7th — ST. LOUIS, MO — Tivoli Theater (Landmark midnight screenings)
  • August 6 & 7 New Orleans, LA – Prytania Theatre (midnight showings)
  • August 11th — AUSTIN, TX — Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
  • August 20 – London, England – Prince Charls Cinema (encore)
  • August 21 – Edinburgh, Scottland – The Fix presents the Scottland Premiere.
  • October 1 & 2 – Madcap Theatre in Phoenix, AZ
  • October 8 – Carousell CInema in Greensboro, NC (midnight screening)
  • October 15-16 – Chicago, IL – The Music Box Theatre (encore midnight shows)
  • October 16 – Cleveland, OH – Cleveland Art Institute (encore)
  • October 23 – Leeds, England – The Hyde Park Picture House
  • November 19 & 26 – Cosford Cinema in Miami, FL (midnight screenings)

Check for screening updates here.