Bad Movies Beware!
Of all the crap, and I do mean CRAAAAP, that I’ve watched, this movie…THIIIIS movie…
Okay, so it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen. It’s up there, though.
Keep in mind: I sat through The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror.
This one was swimming around in my DVD drawer like a floater after a Taco Bell binge, and I had to take a moment to remember where it came from. As it turns out, G2K Games here in town is a pretty decent source for current S**t-Stain Cinema. While not a Camcorder film, it’s still indie, still low budget, and still just plain bad.
That’s right. I said it.
The movie opens with two hunters wandering out of their cabin early one morning to do a little hunting before breakfast. We have the clean-shaven one who can kind of act, and the bearded one who REALLY can’t act at all whatsoever.
Early into their hunt they’re besieged by giant bird-like bat monsters with a nasty disposition.
Baby-face gets away with a scratch on the neck, but Beardy McPhee ends up getting tackled and eaten by the bird monsters. Baby-face runs towards the road and collapses, is picked up by Garret (the park ranger), and carted off to the hospital.
Back in the woods, we meet our central group to the story. These kids are juvenile delinquents who are out camping for the weekend with their counselor as part of their reintegration into society. We have Johnson, the long-haired “dangerous one”; Lola, the token group slut (no, really, she got pinched for solicitation); Gordon, the white gangsta that would make Eminem facepalm; Hank, the token black guy; and Eva, the strong female lead with a heart of gold.
Oh, and along for the ride are a blond-haired no-name and Porky, the token fat kid. Well, his name is James, but everyone calls him…yeah, you get it.
The bird-creatures attach the group, and Porky ends up being scratched in the fight. The counselor gets eaten, and we get to see a good bit of gratuitous gore in the first of many disembowelment sce-WTF?! IS THAT SPAGEHTTI!?
That is totally Chef Boyardee.
The group flees, dragging Porky with them. The scene immediately cuts to the hospital where Garret has taken Baby-face to get looked at by his ex-girlfriend/wife/life partner, Dr. Hale. In truth, they never really go into detail as to what was going on between these two, and it’s probably for the best anyway.
The script is bumbling enough without a ton of backstory.
As it turns out, Baby-face is sick and getting worse. The doctors discover that it’s an extreme version of Avian Flu that they’ve never seen before.
Back in the woods (yeah, it jumps around a little), the group is split up. Eva, Gordon, and Porky are hiding when Gordon decides to handle his nerves by busting out killer rhymes. I sit on the edge of my seat and wait for Eva to clock him with a large rock.
Instead, she tells him to shut the hell up. I’ll take it.
They find Johnson, Hank, and Lola, and Johnson forces himself into command over the group and tells them to go into hiding inside the nearby fort. The birds chase them in and wait outside for them to come back out. The blond kid no one really knows or cares about startles Johnson, who shoots him with a flare gun and burns him to death.
No one really cares or reacts.
So let’s make sure we’re on the same page, people. You just watched a person get burned alive by a sadistic kid who’s put himself in charge of your group of survivors, and you do nothing? Really? It doesn’t help matters that Lola is very attracted to Johnson and follows along willingly while the others struggle with having to deal with Johnson constantly putting a gun in their faces or threatening to feed them to the birds.
Johnson decides to feed Porky to the birds as a distraction while they get away. Porky is sick and getting weaker and is holding them up. Lola quickly agrees, since she’s still trying to get to Johnson’s johnson at this point.
Gordon, on the other hand, spends the entire movie trying to impress Eva and goes along with her, including when she votes against feeding Porky to the birds. They lose out when Hank votes to let Porky go, and the group tosses him out and makes a run for it while the birds feast on another round of pasta-filled human.
Back at the hospital, the Feds show up in fabulous cliché fashion after Hale calls the CDC about the flu virus. Do the Feds know what’s going on? OF COURSE NOT. Why would they? So the birds pretty much came out of nowhere. Kind of like Judas’s white bolts of lightning (for my fellow Priest fans).
The Feds lock down the hospital, and Garret and Hale are trapped. Baby-face now looks like a zombie from the spread of the mutated Avian Flu. I’m willing to bet that his make-up is where a large portion of the budget went for this movie.
Hale finally convinces the head Fed guy to let her and Garret go search for the kids after Eva finds a radio in the counselor’s bag and calls him begging for help. They leave, and the hospital story arc is pretty much abandoned after a final scene where a guard shoots down the doctor in charge for trying to leave.
We get a couple of scenes between Hale and Garret driving around the forest searching for the kids before the kids end up at the cabin where the two hunters from the beginning of the movie were staying.
Talk about going full circle.
It gets revealed that Hank has been scratched and is sick. Johnson tries to shoot him, but Gordon finds a gun and stops him. They all decide to escape by luring the birds to the shed out back and running while the monsters are distracted.
The plan goes south quickly, and Hank ends up sacrificing himself while the others get away. It’s a lot of cat and mouse from that point on once they run into Garret and Hale, and the crowd ends up back at the Fort.
I guess shooting locations were few and far between.
Johnson gets the idea of luring the birds into the Fort and blowing them up with the dynamite. The rest leave, and the birds enter and attack Johnson as he pulls the trigger and ends the movie.
No, really. Once the fort blows, there are a few vague and mundane lines, and the credits roll.
VERDICT: Polly wants a Xanax.
This movie has haunted my collection for a month or so, and I’ve been neglecting my DVD lineup while doing some homework for a panel that I’m collaborating on with Bill Mulligan at ConCarolinas next year.
I knew I couldn’t dodge this bullet forever.
Let’s keep it routine and hit the acting like a ton of bricks because, Lord knows, that’s how the f**king line delivery hit my delicate senses. As a former actor, I get how hard it is. Been there, done that. But I, at least, like to think I didn’t sound like I was just reading my lines and pulling a Shatner every time I was doing a scene.
With dialogue as haphazard and random as this movie has to offer, it doesn’t help the actors who seem to already be struggling with basic character choices. It’s almost as if they weren’t given any time to really flesh out their characters and come up with any amount of depth whatsoever.
Probably my least favorite was Gordon, the thug-life white kid from suburbia that everyone referred to as “Hip-Hop.” His character, his dialogue, everything about him was annoying. Ever watched a movie with a character that you wanted to open-hand pimp-slap the s**t out of but knew that you wouldn’t be able to stop once you got started?
The effects were typical SyFy computer-generated garbage, although the make-up on the characters who were infected was pretty well done. They would start to look like zombies before they died, and I found out later that it was because the original storyboards called for the infected to turn into more mutant birds. But, of course, the idea was scrapped due to budget cuts.
Another real issue was the overuse of stock footage in an effort to transition scenes or move things along. They actually use the shot of the hospital with extras walking in and out multiple times, and the sets are also reused in scenes where it was painfully obvious that they didn’t know where else to go with the story. I have to ask why the birds couldn’t break into the fort before, but then they have no problem doing it at the end of the film? Suspension of disbelief only goes so far, and this movie stretches it like Jackie Gleason’s waistband.
Normally SyFy movies are at least a little entertaining. This pile of high-powered monkey-doo, on the other hand, only manages to face-rape the unsuspecting viewer like a cloud of mace cut loose with a fire extinguisher.