Terror Birds, as the ad poster indicates in entry level Photoshoppery, is “hatching soon.” As you can see, there is a monster bird claw coming out of a giant egg. And hatching is what giant eggs do. So that makes it a clever turn of phrase, yes?
No. It’s Art Institute™ grade advertising at best. But I digress. The real reason for griping is that Terror Birds, an obvious cash-in to Jurassic World’s (2015) rampaging box office success using once-thought extinct dino birds as the movie’s antagonists, has already been done. Several times, in fact.
One example: Pterodactyl, starring “terror birds,” was released in 2005 and had rap star Coolio shooting machine guns at the prehistoric monsters. (Not a fan of rap music, but Coolio is pretty dang cool.) Terror Birds stars a bunch of generic, scrubbed and polished white kids straight outta Scooby-Doo™ and/or Disney™. There’s your target audience right there.
On top of this, Terror Birds even steals concept art from Pterodactyl to the point of plagiarism. But that’s the least of anyone’s worries, as you can see by the plot:
“When Maddy Stern discovers her father has gone missing during a routine birdwatching excursion, she and her college pals trek out into the wilderness to find him, only to end up in a wealthy scientist’s desolate ranch aviary, where they encounter a pair of giant, hungry terror birds believed to be extinct for centuries.”
Now compare that to the plot of Pterodactyl: “A dormant volcano deep with the Turkish forest holds within it a deadly secret. Perfectly preserved, a nest of pterodactyl eggs are ready to hatch…”
Couple that with Coolio, steaming piles of pterodactyl droppings, machine guns, a volcano, and you have quality sci-fi entertainment. (Note to anyone who gives a dropping: stick it out to the end; there’s a final scene that’s pretty coolio.)
P.S. For all you hard-core pterodactyl fans, seek out The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (aka, Les Adventures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec/2010): “A popular (and supermodel hot) novelist flies around 1912 Paris on the back of a pterodactyl, dealing with her would-be suitors, the cops, and monsters.” Fun movie, but unfortunately no machine guns. Or Coolio, who wouldn’t be born for another 51 years. Pitié.