Friday 6 November 2009

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)

Director: Lloyd Kaufman
Stars: Jason Yachanin and Kate Graham
We're at the Tromahawk Burial Ground next to the grave of the Indian chief from the Village People. If that doesn't tell you what's coming, then you're either not paying attention or you've never seen a Troma film. A couple of high school graduates are getting it on when they get attacked by zombies, but being a Troma film these are pretty perverted zombies. Arbie and Wendy don't get torn to shreds but they do get felt up by these zombie hands coming out of the ground and if you ever wanted to see a broken off zombie finger work as a buttplug then this is the film for you. We do get some tearing asunder though as the pervert with an axe who turns up to attack them gets his instead, in a very painful and graphic manner.

A year after promising to wait for Arbie forever, Wendy has become a lesbian protesting the opening of an American Chicken Bunker fast food restaurant on the site of the ancient Indian burial ground, a military themed version of KFC run by former Klan member General Lee Roy. Wendy's with CLAM, which stands for College Lesbians Against Mega-Conglomerates and her girlfriend Micki is the scary epitome of the overtly forward bull dyke. If you've been turned off by the review thus far, then this movie is certainly not for you, but there's another opportunity coming right up: this turns into a musical. Arbie gets the first song, given that he's back to be with Wendy and on discovering her change of direction in life he decides to piss her and her college lesbian buddies right off by signing up for a job at this very American Chicken Bunker.

We've already hit a number of taboos during the first song but we soon find more. The cooks are a Muslim girl in a burqa called Humus and a gay Mexican-American called Jose Paco Bell. If you're seeing a trend in these names, you're not wrong. There's also Carl Jr, a pro-bestiality retard and the whole place is run by a black guy called Denny. The first customer ACB gets after Ron Jeremy is Jared, probably because the writers couldn't find a way to use Subway in someone's name. He's as large as he ever was but after eating a pulsating egg thing he rushes to the bathroom and in a grossout scene full of body fat and projectile diarrhoea that puts Black Devil Doll to shame, he implodes.

This may be the world's first grossout comedy horror musical but if it isn't then it's certainly the grossest. In fact too much of the first half of the film concentrates a little too much on the grossout and we get to see far more male ass than is really warranted, especially when you consider what it's all doing. Over time we shift away from grossout to more traditionally outrageous comedy horror and that's a good thing. I'd much rather see zombie Indian chicken massacres in a fast food franchise than what comes out of Jared's back end when he really really needs to go.

I did include 'outrageous' in that description, right? Soon Paco, after masturbating secret sauce into the chicken feet and beaks he's grinding up, gets pushed into a grinder by a chicken seeking revenge and Humus and the kitchen are truly drenched in blood and gore while she's praying to Mecca. You know you've deliberately limited your audience when you get the black guy and the former KKK guy teaming up to call the burqa clad Muslim girl a murderer. 'If it's not the Jews or the Americans, it's the chickens!' cries Denny. 'The chicken has declared jihad on us all!' replies the bloodsoaked Humus.

Over the course of the next five minutes we get ninja jokes, camel jockey jokes, gay jokes, bestiality jokes, tampon jokes, Roman Catholic jokes and Scientology jokes. This film really doesn't have the faintest idea when to quit and would probably sodomise such an idea to death if it had the guts to turn up. It's too busy having Paco turn into a talking Sloppy Jose and Carl Jr get his pecker eaten off by a frozen chicken that he's busy making love to, only to be replaced by a mop that saves him the hard way. We haven't even got to German Style Luft-Waffles yet.

There's much to enjoy here, if you can last past the opening scenes in the burial ground. The songs and choreography are variable in quality but there are clever lines and rhymes all over the place. The gags and movie references are variable too, probably because there are so many of them and they deliberately plumb every depth they can find. 'You had me from 'hello'' becomes 'You had me from 'shit covered mongoloid'', for example. There are definitely more hits than misses, though there are certainly plenty of the latter, especially coming up to the halfway mark.

The acting is surprisingly good for a film that works with this sort of subject matter. Jason Yachanin in particular is excellent as Arbie and I'm amazed at how he kept his face straight delivering so many outrageous lines, songs, dances, you name it. He spends most of the film in a counter girl skirt. Allyson Sereboff is truly scary as Micki but somehow turns awesomely cute after a plot twist. Troma chief Lloyd Kaufman, who also directed the film, plays Mature Arbie, so that Arbie can go through the classic meet your future self scene, though it's played here as a traditional German song and dance routine. Ron Jeremy's cameo is great and there's Debbie Rochon in there somewhere too.

There are things to dislike as well, outside the obvious deluge of offensive material which just dares you to dislike it but does so with such gusto we can't help but laugh heartily instead. One thing is that the girls in this film, excluding a couple who are scarily fat, are all scarily thin and we get plenty of opportunity to notice. The only girl who isn't at one extreme or the other is one of General Lee Roy's dancing companions who gets her implants ripped out in the massacre at the finale. This massacre is as inventive as it's bloody, as almost everyone finds some way of turning into both a chicken and an Indian at the same time. How many ancient Indian chicken zombie massacres have you seen this week? That's what I thought.

In fact the film includes what might just be the most truly awesome scene I've ever seen in a zombie movie. The parking lot is filled with Indian chicken zombies, deterred only by Wendy turning the Open/Closed sign round, and Micki tries to find her escape through them by dressing up in the American Chicken Bunker mascot costume. After all they wouldn't attack a fellow bird, right? This goes beyond all the military gags at American Chicken Bunker, 'Semper thigh!' and Cluckwork Oranges and yes, even German Style Luft-Waffles. If you made it all the way through this review, I salute you, but remember: 'America isn't ready for a gay Mexican chicken sandwich.'

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