Monday, October 22, 2007


Director: Lloyd Kaufman (Toxic Avenger, Tromeo and Juliet)
Writers: Daniel Bova, Gabriel Friedman, Lloyd Kaufman
Starring: Jason Yachanin, Kate Graham, Allyson Sereboff, Robin Watkins, Joshua Olatunde, Rose Ghavami
MPAA Rating: NR
Running time: 103 min
Country of Origin: USA
read my spoiler disclaimer

reviewed by Andrew James
at Toronto After Dark Festival

     As a critic, Poultrygeist is an easy film to review. It would be simple to just rip apart every aspect of the film for it has little redeeming qualities. As a fan, the review process is complicated by the fact that the screening and experience of Lloyd Kaufman's latest feature is well worth the price of admission and makes for a fantastic addition to any midnight madness screening.

      A young couple returns to the site of their first sexual experience (an ancient indian burial ground) after being away from each other for a college semester. They find a fast food fried chicken franchise in its stead. He has returned to reminisce; she has come as part of a group protesting corporate greed and cruelty to animals (specifically chickens). This particular protest group also happen to be lesbians and the boy is miffed by her sudden change in lifestyle as she promised herself to him. The young man decides to take a job in the chicken shack in which, because of an ancient indian curse, the frozen chickens have started to take on a new life of undead chaos.

      Leaving out the details, people start to change into zombie, flesh-eating, giant, killer chickens. Eggs are layed (sort of in the style of The Alien films). As the body count rises and the chickens kill more and more, the fried chicken becomes infected which in turn, of course, infects all who ingest it. It becomes up to the young couple to ward off these killer chickens and do whatever they can to stop them before it is too late and they take over all of humanity. Yes, it is silly and stupid, but did I mention it's also a musical?

      As I said, critically speaking, there is very little here to praise. Some of the effects and props used are laughably poor and look to be molded out of playdough. Although, the ways in which these props are used outweigh the poor quality. You'll be so swept up in the surroundings involved in the props that it won't matter. The jokes (and there are many of them - almost every line is supposed to be a joke or at least a funny one-liner) are extremely hit or miss and the ratio of hit to miss is about 1 to 10. Couple all this with fairly boring musical numbers that do have their moments, but basically just bored me and aren't really all that funny in the slightest.

      Now, put all this garbage in a packed theater, late at night and the ride becomes incredibly fun. Some of the gross-out tactics are unlike anything I've ever seen (or wanted to see) and the jokes that hit their mark, hit their mark dead on and really hard. I think there were probably more groans and "ooo's" in blissful disgust than there were actual laughs, but sometimes the groans can be just as fun. Toilet cams and broomsticks up the ass aren't the usual fare to attract normal people, but with this kind of audience, it works wonders.

      As a satire, it sort of makes fun of everything. The "limosine liberals," the corporate industry, the fast food franchises, the demoralization of society and by using overly insulting stereotypes (particularly Native Americans), it shows how ridiculous these stereotypes and political campaigns can be.

      Fans of Troma (the indie production company) and Lloyd Kaufman sort of know what they're getting into here. It's sort of a cruder version of a Kevin Smith picture with about a third of the budget. I know that's hard to imagine, but that's exactly what this was.

      So again, if you like to be knocked out by over the top satire and unbelievably warped and insulting humor, Poultrygeist is definitely your thing. The more guests you pack into your screening the better it will be. If you want production value, a plausible story that doesn't seem to go on and on and if truly dumb humor (dumber than Airplane! jokes) is okay with you, you'll probably have a total blast with Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead. I think the title says it all.

Press "PLAY" to watch the trailer:


Links: - full cast and crew
Official Site
FLIXSTER profile for Poultrygeist
Posted by Andrew James in

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