Squawk and aw­ful

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images - Rob DeWalt

Bir­d­emic: Shock and Ter­ror, low-bud­get en­vi­ro­men­tal com­men­tary meets ex­plod­ing avian killers, not rated, CCA Cine­math­eque, onion

The new­est film by Viet­namese-born Amer­i­can screen­writer-di­rec­tor James Nguyen is de­scribed in a pro­mo­tional video by the film’s dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany, Sev­erin Films, as “a horror ac­tion spe­cial ef­fects-driven love story about a young cou­ple trapped in a small north­ern Cal­i­for­nia town un­der siege by homi­ci­dal birds.” But there are a few things you should know be­fore you start think­ing, Great, I love the oc­ca­sional homage to Hitch­cock films like The Birds. Where do I sign up?

While Nguyen is in­deed a film buff (he is the founder and CEO of www.moviehead.com, which is cur­rently un­der re­con­struc­tion, and he runs his own film-pro­duc­tion com­pany), he is de­cid­edly more at­tuned to the work of Ed Wood than that of Al­fred Hitch­cock. Ac­tu­ally, stat­ing that does Ed Wood — the mas­ter of trashy, low-bud­get cin­ema — a dis­ser­vice. Bir­d­emic is aw­ful. To his credit, how­ever, Nguyen has cre­ated some­thing that could eas­ily be repack­aged and sold to col­lege cam­puses as a cau­tion­ary ex­am­ple for trusta­far­ian film stu­dents who are con­vinced they un­der­stand the craft af­ter the first se­mes­ter.

While the ti­tle of the film prom­ises an avian catas­tro­phe, there isn’t an at­tack­ing bird to be found un­til more than half­way through the pic.

The feath­ered fiends of

Bir­d­emic: Shock and Ter­ror

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