The Birds and Birdemic: Shock and Terror
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The Birds and Birdemic: Shock and Terror

A while back we wrote about a new montly screening series dubbed Re-make/Re-Model, which pits/pairs/positions an original film with a re-vision thereof, be it re-made shot-for-shot or, well, re-modelled. (The series is aptly named.) The films are introduced by A.V. Club editor and Torontoist alum John Semley who this month has paired Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece of terror The Birds with James Nguyen hot mess Birdemic: Shock and Terror.

When asked about this month’s programming choice, Semley explained it in laymen’s terms: “Hitchcok’s The Birds is a classic revenge-of-nature film, that the avian attacks on Bodega Bay are never explained only adds to its terror. Even more inexplicable however, is James Nyugen piece of crap classic, Birdemic: Shock and Terror.”

For those who have managed to escape a viewing of The Birds, and thus don’t duck or flinch every time a seagull swooshes by during a day on the beach, the film follows Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) out to the aforementioned Bodega Bay, as she seeks out the strapping Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) whose witty banter and gibe at her ego rankle her enough to buy him a pair of love birds as a prank. The birds in the bay, however, have other plans, and begin to attack and eye-peck all over town. Cold War subtext and mother issues abound; you’ll never look at sparrows the same way again.

Then there’s Birdemic, which is rapidly gaining a reputation for being the best-of-the-worst. Here, as the IMDb page says: “A platoon of eagle and vultures attack the residence of a small town.” We didn’t know birds could form platoons. And based on the trailer it is evident they cannot—however, animated clip art can. “Nyguen’s film is the superlative in what not to do. This, of course, makes it hilarious,” says Semley. The A.V. Club has boldly ranked it worse than The Room, which is reason enough to come out for the screening. Watch out Tommy Wiseau, it looks as though death may come from on high.

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