Birdemic: Shock and Terror is a bit of an enigma. When it burst onto the bad movie scene, full of bad acting, worse editing and clip art animations of murderous exploding birds, we all thought it must have been a joke. But then, while all the actors seemed to be having fun, director James Nguyen was taking things deadly seriously. Yes, even the coat hanger battle. Birdemic’s popularity with cult audiences guaranteed a sequel. and the result was even more bizarre, and brilliant.
Birdemic 2 is interesting, because while the first film was simply hopelessly inept, Birdemic 2 seems intentionally so. There’s a mocking humour throughout the script, such as when Tommy, the little boy rescued by Rod and Nathalie in the first film, explains in perfect deadpan his absent sister by claiming she got sick from eating the seaweed Rob cooked on the beach. Or another extended applause scene to parody the office scene from the first film. The fact that Birdemic 2 is supposed to be a satire on Hollywood is obvious, but is it also a satire on Birdemic itself? It would seem unlikely, given James Nguyen’s belief in his own vision, but there must be some awareness of his terrible brilliantness there, as he’s taken to mocking himself with more gusto than, say, Tommy Wiseau.
The biggest mystery of Birdemic 2 is just how much of this was intentional. Are we still looking at the same hopelessly idealistic dreamer that James Nguyen began as, or has he embraced schlock with a gung-ho attitude and found his true calling? Birdemic 2 falls somewhere in the middle: inept enough to be considered a bad film, but with too many clever jokes and references for it to be as straightforward as that.
Bring on Birdemic 3!