Birdemic 3: Sea Eagle (2022) Review
I can’t say I ever thought I’d be writing a review for Birdemic 3: Sea Eagle. Back in 2010, I couldn’t believe the original Birdemic: Shock and Terror got a release that didn’t involve writer/director James Nguyen burning copies of it on his PC. It was fun in a “What the fuck am I watching” sort of way but that was it, And after Birdemic 2: The Resurrection failed to repeat the first one’s success I thought that was it.
But then nine years later Severin Films, who released the original, stepped in and put up the financing without even seeing the script. And now, not only is Birdemic 3: Sea Eagle a reality, it’s debuting at Fantastic Fest.
It designs conventionally enough as Evan (Ryan Lord, The End) drives into Santa Cruz with a pop song playing on the soundtrack. However the moment he exits it the film goes silent. No song, no dialogue, not even the sounds of the crowd or ocean. And it stays that way until he walks up to Kim (Julia Culbert, 13 Reasons Why) and asks her why she’s pouring seawater into containers.
She’s doing research into the amount of CO2 in the water. It seems there’s so much of it due to global warming that it’s giving the sea lions and whales cancer. A word of advice now, if you’re a climate change skeptic you may want to skip this film because you’ll be hearing a lot about that subject.
In fact the first half of Birdemic 3: Sea Eagle is almost entirely devoted to various characters expounding on the threat it poses, usually in the most ham-fisted way possible. At one point Evan looks at a house he’s considering buying and all the paintings in it relate to climate change. I do believe it’s a major problem and I was sick of hearing about it long before that point.
It doesn’t help that everything about Birdemic 3: Sea Eagle is as inept as it was in the first two films. The dialogue and performances are dreadful. Evan and Kim have no chemistry whatsoever as they walk around Santa Cruz talking about climate change and, occasionally, Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo. It’s about as unromantic as it gets. The sound volume and light levels constantly vary, even within scenes, just to add to the viewer’s annoyance.
This was perversely fun in the first film where it was a surprise just how poorly done it all was. The third time around it’s neither surprising nor amusing and it feels the same as any of the intentionally bad movies designed to become cult films. I was hoping Nguyen had learned from the failure of the first sequel and taken a somewhat different approach here but sadly he went the “so bad it has to be good” route again.
Around the fifty-eight-minute mark, and shortly after our happy couple runs into Rod (Alan Bagh, Cyborg X, The Book of Boba Fett) the only returning character from the original films, we see some cartoon sea eagles flying around and the attack begins. The cheesy effects and action scenes that look like an ancient hunting game are somewhat amusing, but by this point, most viewers, except maybe those who repeatedly watch The Room and/or Troll 2, will be far beyond caring.
I was hoping for some enjoyably cheesy fun from Birdemic 3: Sea Eagle but sadly there’s almost none to be had. Severin Films would have been better off spending their money on restoring a couple more of Al Adamson’s films, they actually were enjoyably bad.
Birdemic 3: Sea Eagle made its debut at this year’s edition of Fantastic Fest, you can get information on the remaining screenings on their website. You can check for other appearances on the film’s Facebook page. And FilmTagger can suggest some similar nature on a rampage films.