Quite possibly the world’s first horror-musical-sex-comedy, the strangely impressive originality of Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead doesn’t come even close to compensating for its everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink midnight-movie awfulness. Part Peter Jackson gross-out fest, part shapeless political commentary, cult director Lloyd Kaufman’s film is grindhouse schlock without form or content, the shadow of an idea somehow granted the resources and manpower necessary to manifest itself in the feature-length cinematic medium. When the latest in a line of fast-food chicken shops is built on the former site of a Native American burial ground, the offended spirits of people and chicken come back to seek their revenge, killing off employees (usually by means of dismemberment or genital mutilation), possessing anyone who ingests the contaminated fast food, Evil Dead-style, and triggering excessive bouts of diarrhea that result in, among other things, the implosion of the victim’s body. To say the least, the image of countless chicken zombies overwhelming the film’s fictitious food chain is a freakishly inspired and disturbing one, but such perverted creativity proves more regressive than inventive given the film’s shrill ideas about what constitutes subversion (vegetarian protestors declare their love for poultry via signs that read “I love cock”), soul-crushingly obvious irony (while being torn to shreds, a customer cries out, “This restaurant is terrible!”), and Z-grade song-and-dance numbers that provide exposition for an equally lame-brained plot involving a geek attempting to recapture his now-lesbian ex-girlfriend. The filmmakers have an obvious bone to pick with purported liberal hypocrisy (after decrying conglomerate greed, a crowd of protestors sip their Starbucks in unison), but whereas South Park‘s Matt Stone and Trey Parker know how to effectively build on even the most ass-backward of political ideologies with scabrous grace, the one-note Poultrygeist smacks of one-sided bias devoid of discourse or competence, too caught up in rote chaos to instill even the broadest of its cultural slams with point or meaning. Gays, hillbillies, terrorists, Mexicans, and BJ-giving chickens all get thrown into the mix of this rancid jambalaya, so superficially turgid and nihilistic that, by the time the film’s central fast-food joint gets blown to kingdom come, the only thought that comes to mind is “What took so damn long?”
- Troma Entertainment
- 103 min
- Lloyd Kaufman
- Daniel Bova, Gabriel Friedman, Lloyd Kaufman
- Jason Yachanin, Kate Graham, Allyson Sereboff, Robin Watkins, Joshua Olatunde, Khalid Rivera, Rose Ghavami, Caleb Emerson, Joe Fleishaker, Ron Jeremy, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Debbie Rochon, Lloyd Kaufman
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