Title: Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)
Director: Lloyd Kaufman
Cast: Jason Yachanin, Kate Graham, Lloyd Kaufman
So I’m quickly gaining lots of respect for Producer/Director/Actor Lloyd Kaufman. Why you may ask? Well, I’ve been seeing a lot of Troma films lately and I have to admit I’m having a blast checking them out. They are trashy, they are cheap and gross to the max, but they are also fun. This is my mantra when I watch Troma films. But other then that, Lloyd Kaufman is to me the embodiment of true independent cinema, the kind you make simply because you want to, without all the restrictions, bureaucracy, bullshit and snobbishness that comes from making a studio production. Kaufman just makes his movies. He gathers his friends; he gathers a crew, and shoots the damn thing! Most of the people that work on this film do it for free, just because they want to be in a Troma film, the extras, all worked for free! Of course situations and complications always arise in a low budget production like this one, but at the end of the day, everyone has a grand old time and the result is a film that simply emanates pure fun. I recently had a chance of checking out Kaufman’s Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead. Was it as fun as the rest of Troma's repertoire of films?
Lloyd Kaufman prepares to shoot a scene while in full wardrobe!
Hell to the yeah my friends! Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead is every bit as zany and crazy as you might expect a Lloyd Kaufman film to be with an added bonus: the film has a message! And it’s dead on! The film is all about this chain of fast food restaurants called ‘American Chicken Bunker’ and they’ve just opened a new restaurant in Tromaville! Complications arise when we learn that the restaurant was built on an ancient Tromahawk Indian burial ground! The shit really hits the fan when we learn that the chickens (and those who eat them) are being possessed by the spirits of angry Indians hell bent on revenge! It isn’t long before we have a restaurant full of zombie chicken people! You have to see this to believe it.
Troma films have always had a subversive angle and a message in the midst of all their projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea. Yeah the films are juvenile and repugnant in many ways, but deep in the heart of it all, they always have something to say, a critique on society. Take for example the Toxic Avenger movies, the villain in those movies is a gigantic corporation hell bent on world domination. This evil corporation is looking to privatize everything and kill small businesses, its name? Apocalypse Inc. How about Class of Nuke ‘Em High (1986)? A film that speaks about the dilapidated state of education in the
school system. And all of these films I’ve mentioned also speak about a fear people
suffered from during the 80’s: the fear of nuclear meltdown, of nuclear power. So
it comes as no surprise that Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead also has a
message attached to it. What did surprise me is how clear and resonant that
message was! Fast Food is Poison!
So yeah, Kaufman aims his guns this time at the fast food industry and my hats down to the man for that because I agree with him 100%; fast food is poison! It’s not the kind of food that might be detrimental to your health in a small way, no, the crap they sell you at Mc Donald’s, Burger King or KFC (and other fast food restaurants) is pure poison for your body. I have personally stopped going to these kinds of places because every time I went, my body would react in negative ways. In Kaufman’s film we see people getting explosive diarrhea and vomiting violently after eating at the American Chicken Bunker, which in my book is not that big of an exaggeration of what can happen to you if you eat at these places. Of course, this being a Lloyd Kaufman film, he cranks the volume to 11 and so we get a restaurant full of people vomiting green slime! Be ready for some extremely gross images on this film, if you can’t take that sort of thing, well then don’t bother! But this one gets really graphic with its depictions of bodily fluids! In my book it’s all justified considering the subject matter. American Chicken Bunker is an obvious allusion to KFC, the worst of all the fast food joints in my opinion! In my book, it is the most poisonous of all, so hurray to Kaufman for aiming his guns at these merchants of death.
Kaufman not only attacks the idea of eating in these fast food places, but he also attacks the idea of working in them. The film focuses on this young kid who decides to work in the American Chicken Bunker because he wants to get back at his girlfriend, who dumped him for a lesbian. Kaufman himself plays an aging employee who’s worked his whole life at the American Chicken Bunker and ends up realizing he’s led a terrible life because he decided to go career with American Chicken Bunker. They even have a whole musical number on the subject of wasting your life working for places such as these.
But don’t be fooled by the films message my friends, this film will be one of the most offensive, gross out films you will ever see! I’ve seen a lot of weird films, but damn, this one really went far! We get gay Mexican employees who die shredded by a meat grinder; another employee who enjoys making love to dead chickens! One of the employees is a terrorist! I mean, these guys went all out crazy with this movie! We get possessed chickens! Talking hamburgers! A restaurant full of people vomiting! The walls of the restaurant get splattered and sprayed with diarrhea, vomit and blood! And last but not least, we get chicken zombie people! Don’t ask! Just rent or buy this b-movie masterpiece! The last half hour of this film is pure unadulterated dementia! Craziness and cartoon gore are amped up to their maximum expression! The gags you’ll see are too numerous for me to number here, so rest assured you will not be bored for a second! If you like movies that don’t take themselves seriously at all and indulge in irreverence and social critique then this is the movie for you! Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead is in my opinion Lloyd Kaufman’s finest film to date, kudos to the man for that.
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5