‘m cheating a bit with this one, since it’s about an extinct clade of carnivorous flightless birds from the cenozoic period, going by the scientific name of Phorusrhacidae, vulgarly called “terror birds”. So, dino birds, pretty much.
If anything, i don’t regret fitting this one in a proper Dino December… because the plot reminds me of Raptor Ranch, as yet again we have scientists cloning extinct animals in fuckin Texas ranches of all places.
Then again, what do i know, maybe there the demand for dino beef is high. Yeah, this time isn’t about raptors and company, but about these prehistoric apex bird predators, and the usual group of teenagers (with her ex-boyfriend who she’s gonna hook up later, because dumb b-movie script) that stumble upon the “dino ranch”.
This time there is a reason for it, because the father of one of the girls, Maddy, went missing during one of his usual birdwatching excursions.
Characters are boring, as intelligent as the birds themselves, lame as hell, forgettable long before the movie is over, dialogue is lame but not even so bad that i need to quote some of the worst, cringiest lines.Acting is pretty much the same, pretty subpar but not really that bad to warrant getting irritated or angry at, nothing worth noting.
Outside of the digital gore effects, which are the definition of “digital shit”, sometimes the terror birds just peck hard at someone, ripping some flesh from their victim.. but it’s shown in a way the actor is unfazed by the digital gore, as of course their shirt is unfazed by CG effects. The practical effects aren’t really better, the most stand out one is the fake “roaster terror bird foot” at the end.
With ultra-cheapo dinosaur or monster movies, you gotta also have easily avoidable audio issues that were never addressed, even in the DVD releases. This time around isn’t about barely hearing what the actors are saying, but some of the recorded dialogues for some characters (and just some of them) that seems to come a mic no one really cleaned or moved close enough to the scene, it sound like when you start up an audio-log item in a videogame… but with far worst sound quality.
The only nice thing i can say it’s that it could have looked easily worse, production values are a tiny bit higher than you would expect, just a touch above that point where you wonder if this was actually intended as a movie that you show to people, instead of burying into a box into the attic for the next 2 decades and forget about it all together. It doesn’t look THAT bad, it’s more competent and overall presentable than some of the stuff i’ve seen in this stratum of low budget monster flicks, Yes, the “terror birds” themselves look as you would expect, low quality CG, but i’ve seen far worse, at least they seems to move in a kinda believable way, instead of doing “crocodile Vladimir Putin” wide legs movements or looking like they struggle to even stand.
Beyond reason itself is that i find myself still kinda preferring Raptor Ranch, there was some fun despite its awfulness and cheapness, its total incompetence. Here the incompetence isn’t absolute, but there’s still a lot of it to be found. Definitely. Maybe i was a fool to expect anything more than garbage from Terror Birds, but the director’s previous dino movie (Jurassic City) was actually kinda alright, definitely watchable and apt to kill some time with dino shenanigans.
This is boring, really boring, sorry but it’s the long and short of it. Not boring enough to make me just put the dvd at 1,5 speed out of desperation, but still damn boring to sit through.
If you watched enough of these movies, i recommend just going to IMDB’s page for the movie, read the synopsis and the plot summaries, and don’t bother watching the film. You just can imagine it fairly well without any need to see it. I watched it all and i really could have stopped there, or when, 20/30 minutes (in a 80 minutes movie), i already felt “done” with it. So much i took a break and ended up reading taxonomy of the “jurassic bird” featured, much more interesting material.
There were two more eggs left, one hatches at the end, 4 minute of credits.
And no sequels, yet. If you care.