An interview with Alan Bagh, star of cult B-movie Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Birdemic is currently the number 2 bottom film on IMDb's infamous "Bottom 100 Movies" list.
by Patrick Coffey
Recently, a friend of mine turned me on to a movie called Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Well, I'm sort of an old school kind of movie fan. You know, mostly stuff from the 70's and 80's, so, needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive that someone would recommend a more current movie, let alone from this decade, plus one that's chock full of CGI, when I freaking hate CGI. But, the guy that suggested it is a good friend and we share a lot of the same passions as far as B-movies go. I eventually gave Birdemic a chance (about 3 months after he recommended it).
What a waste of 3 months waiting! This movie is awesome! Its CGI is on the same level as the intro to the old Amazing Stories TV show from the 80's, so I had no trouble with it right off the bat. I'm serious, the flying CGI birds are just sort of static on screen, hovering in one place, or going across the screen like the flying toasters from my Windows 95 screensaver, which I'm still using. The heroes of our tale improvise weapons against these CGI birds from coat hangers, of all things. What a combination!!!
It's more than just delightfully campy production value that makes this movie special. No, saying that would completely nullify the best part of the movie. Alan Bagh is incredible here. His performance is so unique; so special, I liken watching Alan on-screen to watching the star football player at your high-school getting the lead role in the school play. No matter how the scene turns out--warts and all--you just can't keep from freaking loving the way he plays it. I think within the same week as watching the movie I tracked Alan down on Facebook and sent him a friend request, which he accepted. When I approached him about an interview, he agreed without hesitation.
This is what I've learned about Alan Bagh. Alan Bagh's warmth to his fans should be every bit as legendary as his performance in Birdemic. Not only did this guy accept my friend request on Facebook without even knowing me from Adam, but recently I got a notification that he had a birthday. Well, I thought: "that's cool and all, I'll send him some ‘happy birthday’ wishes." Well, the next thing I know, this guy's invited me and everyone else of his 3000 FB friends to his birthday party. Well, Hell I live in Texas so it wasn't like I could go but, I mean, the first question I have to ask is:
Patrick Coffey: How wild was that party, man?
Alan Bagh: The party was fun. I had many friends show up and we celebrated my birthday.
PC: What do you think this year holds for you?
AB: Well I hope this year I get to be in more films.
PC: I've read that you got the leading role in Birdemic partially due to utilizing social media sites. Do you think other people in the industry should take note of where modern social networking and your accessibility has gotten you and where it may take you in the future?
AB: Yeah, I was found on nowcasting.com and that's how I got the role of Rod in Birdemic. I think every actor should be using social media to promote themselves and network with other people in the industry. It's helpful and free.
PC: Recently I read an article by Jim Vorel that listed Birdemic as #3 on his top 100 B movies of all time. To quote a mutual friend of ours: "The ingredients that make up a great cult movie are a mixture of silliness, seriousness, and unintentional humor." For me, these ingredients came to their zenith during Birdemic's now infamous "Solar panel sales pitch" scene, where your pronunciation may have been just a bit off. Watching that scene and laughing with it, (not at it.) I felt like I was really just watching one of my friends in a movie, the experience became way more organic than anything a polished Hollywood turd could produce. I knew from that point I would forever be an Alan Bagh fan. So the question I have for you is, what happened that led up to that scene being what it is? I mean, you pronounce words really well from the best I can tell
AB: [Laughs] I was very tired that day. I had been on set the day before for 17 hours and I got the script that morning and tried to memorize it, and that is what came out. Also I was a bit nervous because I had to do the scene in front of strangers I met that morning so it was a bit awkward for me.
PC: Alan, you are one of the nicest, most positive people I have ever come across (seriously, if you're reading this and don't believe me, just look at his Facebook page) Tell me, what's the greatest thing about being Alan Bagh?
AB: I guess the greatest thing about me is that I have a great sense of humor. I like to make people laugh on and off the screen.
PC: Being a cult film actor must be great, and given your youth and toolbox, what type of character do you see yourself playing that will help launch your career over the whole "cult status" thing?
AB: I really love action films. If I could play a hero type that shoots first and then ask questions later, then that would be awesome.
Personally, I see star quality in Alan. But, after getting to know him a little better, I don't know if I see him so much as an "action" star. I think given his obvious screen presence and general likability, I see him doing a part like Jon Favreau did in Swingers; something that lets his already visible warmth shine. But, hey, what do I know? Swingers is a good movie and I like shitty ones.