Reviewed by: Dave Murray
What's it about
A group of stereotypical delinquents at a lame summer boot camp get attacked by giant sock puppets...sorry, by birds mutated into huge, dinosaur-like killing machines by avian flu. They then proceed to run from here to there and back to here again while getting eaten, getting guns pointed at their heads by their tough guy wannabe "leader", following the cool, brooding alienated chick who's got it all together instead, waiting for a park warden and a really piss poor doctor to come and get them, while the U.S. Army (who are inexplicably all German) plans to bathe the valley with white phosphorus. Man, that's gotta suck. Almost as much as this movie does.
Is it good movie?
Seriously, with a premise like that, how could anyone screw up a movie like this. All you need are some killer effects, actors who don't take themselves or their roles seriously, and some talent behind the camera. Well, I don't know what kind of drugs are being taken down there at the production offices of SciFi, but this is some incredibly bad filmmaking that I would be ashamed to be associated with. How could they, in any way, shape or form, think that this was fit enough to release, either on cable or to DVD or whatever. The whole movie is a mess form beginning to end, and not even on the scale of being a fun and enjoyable mess to watch. This fu*ker is so painfully bad, with all of the above requirements missing and then some, that it would not even be worth your time as a rental or a freebie. This could have been so much fun, too, so it's too bad that their shit wasn't pulled together in any form at all that would resemble a movie.
From looking at the DVD cover, I was stoked! Killer crows looked awesome. But the biggest failure this movie squats out are the mutated flu birds themselves. Now, when you call your movie "Flu Birds", the birds better be a big damn showpiece, right? Instead of eye gouging crows bent on death, we get tube socks covered in shitty latex. These monsters are less anatomically correct than muppets! We get Reptilicus quality head insterts, and then are treated to full shots of these ugly buggers flying! They look like shitty clay-mation vultures! Sad, man, truly sad indeed. The rest of the effects are just as stellar. Who would have known that every part of the human body, when torn open, was filled with bright red spaghetti!?! Yes, the effects are that bad. The flick looks great, so I can see that some money was put into production. There just wasn't any put into effects, preproduction, scriptwriting or talent. It seems that despite shooting a decent looking film, the SciFi Channel dredged the bottom of the barrel in every other respect.
Which brings us to the true horror on the screen here: acting! Some horror movies take talented unknown young actors and pull off some amazing movie moments. Here we have unknown actors who clearly cannot act, and that's the end of the discussion. They are stereotypical, wooden, and obviously retarded, so there is absolutely no depth to the movie at all. From a professional standpoint, the hospital scenes are so inept that they fall below even the standards of crappy TV movie hospital procedures. And just because the Park Warden dude was in The Last Starfighter does not make him the cool hero type. The kid who tried so hard to bully everybody into following him as the leader of the survivors (his name is Jonathon Trent, and methinks some acting classes or a nice office job should be in his future...but no, he's going to be a bit player in Transformers 2! Good job, Bay.) was so annoyingly infantile that I wanted to grab the gun out of his hands and beat him to death with it! Why did he keep pointing it in people's faces, and why did he automatically assume that he could carry every gun in the world all at once? Dumb bastard. I would have liked a turnaround scene where someone points a gun at him and he pisses himself, but alas, they try to make him go out as a hero. Blah blah blah. The only bright spot here was Sarah Butler as the young female lead, but since for the most part she keeps her mouth shut, there's no way to guage her talent. As for the other girl in the group, well, the word skank just doesn't sink low enough, and not in a good way. The rest of the characters are just throwaway filler.
Which is, I guess, how you can classify the whole nasty, boring mess. There isn't even enough to make you laugh. I know that B-movies are bad, but do they have to get this bad? Sometimes bad movies are good. And then there are times like this, when they make you wish you were striken blind and deaf for 90 minutes. But considering that this is from the writing/directing genius behind such video classics as Dracula's Curse, Transmorphers, The Hitchhiker and Quantum Apocalypse. Yeah, I shouldn't have expected very much from the get go.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen - 1.33:1. Widescreen? Come on! That aspect is almost full screen, and we all know it!
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1) and subtitles in English. Now the deaf can experience really bad dialogue and pissy writing too!
There was not much here, just some Trailers, including what I'm guessing is the companion piece to this pile of crap, Ghouls (and the next victim on my list).
And while I'm at it here, why does the trailer for this, and even the attrocious Ghouls, make it seem like a damn fun movie that won't induce suicide? Hey, at least the people involved in these wastes of film have talent somewhere...they cut a mean trailer, seemingly while having nothing good to work from! Hurray for you!
To think that SciFi has pulled money from other projects (like the Pern TV series and other awesome fare) and instead has forked over the cash to make piles of STD crap like this, well, I can only imagine what the actual channel is like. This is so subpar as to give every other B-movie a bad name. If I had bought this movie, I would have been seriously pissed. I guess as a bargain buy it wouldn't be so bad, if only to watch an insane toddler use the disc to buff the sidewalk. I don't think I've watched a movie that has been this galactically bad in a while. The more I think about it, the more angry I'm getting. Hey, SciFi Channel, I want my bloody braincells back! Please stop making crap, fire your creative and marketing teams, do even just a little market research, hire some people who actually know what the f*ck they are doing behind and in front of the camera, and make something with a lot more brains, a lot more balls, and a whole lot more respect for genre fans. Trust me, this is a whole new way to piss all over Hitchcock, with sock puppets!