Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)

One clucking good movie

Poultrygeist

Not only am I a cinema connoisseur; I also consider myself to be a chicken connoisseur. I enjoy poultry in many different forms – nuggets, fingers, breasts and balls. Thanks to the fine folks at Troma, I am now able to enjoy chicken in another form, that being the 2006 horror/comedy/musical Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.

Troma is an independent movie studio that produces “B-movies.” I assume that the “B” stands for brilliant. The Toxic Avenger, Surf Nazis Must Die and Chopper Chicks in Zombietown are just some of the classics that have been produced by this company. Sex and violence aplenty are usually found in these films, and Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead is no exception.

At its core, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead is a love story about high school sweethearts Arbie and Wendy, who are reunited after a year apart. Arbie plans to visit an ancient Native American burial ground, where the two made love the year before… or at least attempted to before being interrupted by a masturbating man, who goes on to be killed by a zombie.

Arbie is in for a bigger surprise than that this time around. You see, the cemetery has been replaced by a chicken restaurant, and its parking lot is filled with angry protesters who are crying fowl. Among the protesters is Wendy, who has returned from college, and is now romantically involved with another young woman.

Heartbroken, Arbie takes a job with the chicken restaurant out of spite, but it soon becomes clear that there are more than 11 herbs and spices added to the product at this particular establishment.

While the proprietor of the American Chicken Bunker took great care in moving the corpses from the cemetery into a dumpster, the spirits of these men and women still remain, and they are pissed. They take possession of not only the food being served, but those who are consuming it. Before long, men start growing chickens eggs out of their chest, which hatch chickens. Some customers turn into human/chicken hybrids. Heads are severed, and people are ripped apart, much like one would rip apart a delicious chicken wing. The climax of this film is more chaotic than a Saturday night shindig at Justin Bieber’s pad.

The good folks at the Guinness Book of Records have to take a look at Poultrygeist, as I am sure this film would be immortalized in their publication. It absolutely has to be the bloodiest movie ever made. It gets to the point where an hour into the film, someone’s testicles are ripped off, and thrown in a deep fryer. I didn’t even bat an eyelash. In any other film, that would be a major talking point. Just imagine if Jennifer Lawrence did that to Christian Bale in American Hustle. That would surely be a scene that people remembered. In this film, it doesn’t make the top 10 most gruesome moments.

It would also challenge for the record for the most fecal matter ever displayed in a motion picture. Eating possessed chicken will wreak havoc with one’s digestive tract, and as a result, this film is filled with so much shit that I had to double check to make sure Michael Bay hadn’t directed it.

It also features perhaps the most topless musical numbers ever performed on film. Though to be fair, it has been a while since I watched Mary Poppins or The Sound Of Music, but I have no memories of mammaries being on display while Julie Andrews was belting out some tunes.

If for some unfathomable reason the thought of gratuitous violence/ nudity/excrement just isn’t appealing to you, then you probably shouldn’t watch Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, as I understand it is a film that might ruffle some feathers. However, if you are open minded enough, I cock-a-doodle-doo think that you will love Poultrygeist, and that you will come bock-bock-back for more viewings. And let me reiterate: at its core, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead is a love story, so you should think about watching it with your sweetie this Valentine’s Day.

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Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead

Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead (2011)

Excellence meets flatulence

Zombie Ass

Each year, hundreds of films are produced that feature things being inserted into asses. However, for whatever reason, very few films about things coming out of asses see the light of day.

Enter writer/director Noboru Iguchi. The creative genius behind such influential movies as Beautiful Girl Excretion School, Celebrity Signorina, Take Your Shorts Off! and Veterinary Pet Beauty Big Bust W Cast Teacher also saw a disparity between ass input/output motion pictures, and put crayon to paper to rectify the situation. The resulting masterpiece, Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead, may be the most unique film I have ever had the pleasure of viewing.

I’m sure we have all seen movies where a group of young people go out to a cabin in the woods, and things go horribly wrong. Usually there will be a slutty girl, a nerdy guy, and a reserved girl who manages to outlive all of her companions. Well, that also happens to be the basic outline of Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead. However, this film strays from the formula in such wonderful ways that it ends up bearing little resemblance to other films in the genre such as Cabin Fever and Cabin in the Woods. This is not so much a tale of cabins or the horrors lurking outside of them. No, it is primarily about asses.

I will do my best to explain what happens in this film, and rest assured, I am not making any of this up. Five young people set out on a carefree trip, but things take a dramatic turn for the worse when Maki, who has modeling aspirations, ingests a parasite which she believes will make her skinny. She begins to experience some major bowel issues, and then the poop really hits the fan… and everything else for that matter! Fecal-drenched zombies emerge from a porta-potty hole while Maki is attempting to relieve herself. But there is no relief in sight for Maki and her companions as they find themselves being pursued by stool-stained stalkers.

These dead do not merely walk; they are filled with more gas than a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Farting zombies – nothing could be more terrifying than that, right? Wrong! Not only do these creatures break wind, they break new ground in the zombie genre when parasites begin emerging from their rear ends. Can you imagine the creature from Alien bursting out of someone’s backside? Well, you don’t have to imagine it, because this film pretty much shows you what that would look like. Again and again!

The onus (or should I say anus) for dealing with these flatulent creatures falls on Megumi, a shy schoolgirl who not only can kick some major butt, but do some major damage with her own derriere. This all leads to an ass-tonishing final battle between Megumi and a giant parasite that has emerged from her friend’s gluteus maximus. Who emerges victorious, and who brings up the rear? You’ll have to watch the film yourself to find out.

I had high expectations going into my viewing of this film, and I must say, Zombie Ass is everything that it was cracked up to be. The script, the acting, the music, the visual effects, everything was simply ass-tounding. No if, ands or butts about it, you will certainly want to tap Zombie Ass.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1998)

Cross-country Claus chaos

I'll Be Home For Christmas

The holiday season is upon us, and many students will be making it home to join their family to celebrate, well, whatever it is that their particular family celebrates. Christmas. Hanukkah. Kwanzaa. Winter solstice. Milla Jovovich’s birthday. Hopefully each student’s journey is a safe and relatively uneventful one. Maybe you’ll have a run-in with a rude flight attendant. Maybe your luggage will get damaged. I pray, however, that you don’t run into as many obstacles as the main character does in the film that I will be examining this week, I’ll Be Home For Christmas.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Home Improvement) stars as Jake, a somewhat selfish young man who is currently attending college in California, along with his girlfriend Allie (Jessica Biel). He plans to take Allie to Cabo San Lucas for the holidays, but she puts the kibosh on those plans. She wants them both to head home to New York to spend time with their families. Jake gives in, but not to please Allie, but rather because his father has made him an offer he cannot refuse.

Gary Cole shines as Jake’s father. Cole is best known however for his role as Bill Lumbergh in Office Space. Basically, he tells Jake, “Ummm, I’m gonna need you to go ahead come home before 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. So, if you could be here around 6, that would be great, mmmk… oh oh! And I almost forgot, ahh, I’m going to go ahead and give you a Porsche if you make it here on time, ’kay?” I’m paraphrasing a bit, but that is the gist of his message.

It sounds pretty straightforward, right? Jake just has to get his and Allie’s patooties across the country, and he’ll land a sweet ride. Well, that wouldn’t make for much of a movie. Luckily, shenanigans ensue. Jake’s rival Eddie and his buddies take Jake (who is wearing a Santa suit) out into the middle of the desert and leave him stranded there. This allows Eddie to swoop in and save the day by driving Allie home.

So while Allie fumes the whole way home thinking that her boyfriend has abandoned her, Jake engages in a series LOL escapades as he makes his way across the country dressed as Santa. He manages to win $1,000 cash by competing in a Santa Claus race, and it looks like he will make it home in time. But things get complicated when he learns that the runner-up was the mayor of the town, who has won the race every year, and uses the money to buy turkey dinners for needy families.

Hold the phone! Up until this point in the film, the writing of Michael Allin, Tom Nursall and Harris Goldberg has been absolutely perfect. But clearly they spent so much time researching college students, family dynamics and the racing abilities of mall Santas that they didn’t know a darn thing about mayors. Let’s get this straight. Mayors divert taxpayer money for their own personal use. They smoke crack cocaine. They inexplicably sprint across the room at council meetings, knocking down any grandmothers in their path. They make inappropriate remarks about their wife’s genitalia. They most certainly do not feed the hungry. Frankly, it would have been more realistic to have had the mayor transform into a helicopter during the race.

Once Jake hears about this preposterous scenario, he feels guilty, and drops the money off at the mayor’s home. The mayor invites Jake in to partake in Christmas dinner with his family, but Jake realizes that he has more than enough to eat at home, and makes one last ditch effort to join his family for their holiday feast.

Does Jake make it home? Does he win back the heart of Allie, and earn the keys to the Porsche from dear old Dad? You’ll just have to watch the film and find out for yourself. The film is available on Netflix, and according to Wikipedia, it has aired on CBC every Christmas season since 1999. Consider that information my Christmas gift to you, and yes, I do expect something in return.

I guarantee you will love this motion picture. Despite the terrible characterization of the mayor, I still feel that I’ll Be Home For Christmas is the greatest holiday offering since a wise man brought myrrh to baby Jesus 2,000 years ago.

Suburban Commando

Suburban Commando (1991)

You won’t regret going Commando

October, the scariest month of the year has come and gone, so now it is time for the hairiest month of the year. Movember, formerly known as November, is a wonderful time of year when men let their appearance go to hell in the name of charity. That’s not to say that all moustaches look hideous. Particularly not the moustache that stars in the film I will be taking a look at this week, Suburban Commando.

Suburban CommandoHulk Hogan and his moustache star in the hilarious and thrilling science fiction/comedy/fish out of water/action/Bollywood romance/adventure tale Suburban Commando. Hogan portrays Shep Ramsey, an intergalactic warrior who crash lands on Earth after his latest battle. Ramsey must bide his time while his space vessel recharges, and ends up renting a room from suburbanites the Wilcox family. Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future) and Shelly Duvall (The Shining) star as the heads of the household, Charlie and Jenny.

Charlie is instantly suspicious of his hulking new tenant, who displays amazing feats of strength, but very poor social graces. For example, Ramsey encounters a mime, and not familiar with Earth customs, attempts to free him from his invisible box by punching through what he believes to be an invisible force field. The poor street entertainer is knocked out cold. Ramsey also picks up a sofa when he is told to take a seat in a waiting room. It is scenes like these two that really make me think Hogan missed his calling. Sure, he had a great career in the wrestling business, but I really think he could have become a big deal in the comedy world. His moustachioed face could have been up on comedy’s Mount Rushmore with Bob Hope, Groucho Marx, Bill Cosby and Carrot Top. As great as Hogan is in the film, it is hard to believe he was not the first choice. The film was originally written for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. Thankfully, it worked out for everyone (except Arnold and Danny) in the end. Lesson learned – whatever the job is, Hulk Hogan should always be offered first crack at it. I called him last week to see if he wanted to drywall my basement. He declined, but I could tell he appreciated the offer.

Charlie eventually discovers that Ramsey is not from France as he initially claimed. In the process of his investigation, he ends up alerting some bad apples from a planet far, far away as to the whereabouts of Ramsey. Mild-mannered architect Charlie Wilcox must tag team up with the seasoned soldier Shep Ramsey to lay the smackdown on a gang of space villains in order to save not only the Wilcox family, but Earth as a whole.

Suburban Commando is a terrific film that, if not for typical studio politics, would have enjoyed a bigger legacy. Personally I feel that it is a better film than Star Wars, but 22 years have passed, and no sequels or prequels have been produced. I also have yet to see one child wearing a Shep Ramsey backpack.

Perhaps the film will experience a renaissance during this Movember season. I assume that most people, like me, plan to watch nothing but movies featuring moustachioed men in the lead role all month long. If that is what you are planning, then for your first viewing of Movember, please watch this film. You will not regret going Commando.

Cheerleader Camp

Cheerleader Camp (1988)

Campy thriller will have you cheering

Cheerleader Camp

Ripped from today’s headlines, the Cinema Connoisseur’s Halloween Spooktacular Fright Film Festival concludes with a film featuring plenty of spirit – not the ghost kind of spirit that we think of this time of year, but school spirit.

Recently London made front page news across the country when a group of Western Mustang cheerleaders were fined for performing a street cheer on the way to the Western’s homecoming game. When I first heard of this development, I immediately sat down and penned a script for Bring It On 2 Fast, a mashup film about the illegal world of street cheering, starring Kirsten Dunst, Vin Diesel and The Rock. I’ve contacted all three of them through Twitter, and it is just a matter of time until we begin production.

Until my film is completed, the title of “greatest movie ever on the subject of cheerleading” belongs to the 1988 classic Cheerleader Camp.

The lovely and talented Betsy Russell leads the cast of Cheerleader Camp. You may recognize Russell for her work in the Saw horror series. She portrayed Jigsaw’s ex-wife in Saw parts 3 through 87, except for Saw 23: Assignment Miami Beach, where she instead played a sassy crocodile hunter. Russell shines as Alison, one of the most popular girls at her high school. Despite this, she is plagued with feelings of jealousy, as her boyfriend Brent (Leif Garrett) has a wandering eye.

Alison heads off to Camp Hurrah, where she will compete against other cheerleaders from all across the country. The competition is intense; it is like the NFL combine or an Olympic trial, amped up by a factor of a 1,000. On a bit of a side note, did you know that cheerleading is the only major sport where the competitors commonly use pompoms?

Unfortunately, Alison has little to cheer about. Her boyfriend Brent has also come to the camp, and is like a kid at a candy store with all the other cheerleaders around. Soon Alison begins to have intense nightmares about the deaths of these other women. Worse yet, the murders actually do happen. Alison must wrestle with the fact that she may in fact have a split personality, and that she might be the killer!

Cheerleader Camp is a campy thriller that delivers scares, sex, silliness and surprises. If you are on the fence about whether or not you want to watch Cheerleader Camp this Halloween season, I should point out that the whole film is up on YouTube in one part (just search for cheerleader camp full movie). If you are like me, however, you will be so guilt-ridden after watching it for free, that you will feel obligated to write a cheque and send it to film’s producer Jeff Prettyman. And yes, that is actually a real person’s name, and he went on to produce a film called The Magic of the Golden Bear: Goldy III, starring Cheech Marin and Mr. T, so I have a feeling I will be writing about him again.

Monster Brawl

Monster Brawl (2011)

Monster Brawl a must see for all

Monster Brawl

Monster Brawl

October is finally here, and I am so excited! Contrary to popular belief, I have always felt that October is the most spook-tacular month of the year. Most people feel that June holds this title, while some feel it is February. But I think I speak for the small but vocal minority when I ask, how can any month be more spook-tacular than October? I mean it is the month Halloween takes place in, for Pete’s sake!!!! Sorry, spook-tacularity rates of different months is a bit of a hot button issue for me.

What I love most about this part of the year isn’t the candy or costumes. It’s another c-word, cinema. For the next several weeks, I’ll be taking a look at some of the greatest horror films ever produced, and boy do I have doozy for you this week.

If WWE head honcho Vince McMahon and legendary author Stephen King ever procreated, their love child would be the 2011 Canadian horror/comedy movie Monster Brawl. Now I’m not sure if it is scientifically possible for two men to have sex, and for one of them to be impregnated, and for that man to give birth to a film. If any members of the medical community are reading this article, please leave feedback to clarify.

In Monster Brawl, eight of the most legendary creatures that copyright laws will allow assemble for a one night pro wrestling/mixed martial arts event. The creatures are Frankenstein, Cyclops, the Mummy, Werewolf, Zombie Man, Lady Vampire, Swamp Gut and Witch Bitch. Oh, how I remember staying up late in my youth, watching the old black-and-white Witch Bitch films.

Before each fight, we get a video illustrating the backstory of each monster, and then the monster cuts a pro-wrestling style promo telling us why they are going to emerge victorious. We are then treated to five thrilling confrontations, which see the creatures battle to the death, conveniently enough, in a graveyard.

While the monsters are certainly the feature attraction, the producers felt like the picture needed even more star power. Enter Kids in the Hall and Newsradio star Dave Foley into the equation as a drunken play-by-play announcer. But that’s not all! UFC referee Herb Dean makes the jump into the world of acting by playing a referee. This particular official has no problems with decapitations and knife attacks, but draws the line at groin blows. Dean was a revelation, and I hope that he continues to land acting gigs. Perhaps someday, he could portray a referee in a production of Macbeth.

Pro wrestling personalities Kevin Nash and “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart are also along for the ride. Nash stars as Colonel Crookshank, manager of Zombie Man, while Hart serves as hype man for the event, introducing all of the combatants with tremendous flair.

Of all the treats you may receive this Halloween season, none will be as satisfying as the treat you will bestow upon yourself when you track down a copy of Monster Brawl. Not only is it a great horror film, but it is also a Canadian production. With all due respect to maple syrup, the Wonderbra, insulin and basketball, Monster Brawl is beyond a shadow of a doubt Canada’s greatest export. This monster mash is a graveyard smash.

iSteve

iSteve (2012)

A-peel-ing Apple film is good to the core

iSteve

This week will mark the two-year anniversary of the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. When news of his passing first broke, the Internet went bananas. Take a look at some of these Tweets:

@Schwarzenegger (Arnold Schwarzenegger) Steve lived the California Dream every day of his life and he changed the world and inspired all of us.

@aplusk (Ashton Kutcher) We have all surfed on the wake of Steve Jobs ship. Now we must learn to sail, but we will never forget our skipper

My own reaction to the passing of Jobs was quite different. Basically I thought, iDon’tGiveaDamn.

Now don’t get me wrong, it is rarely cause for celebration when anyone dies. Thousands die each day, and that sucks. But this type of tribute and reverence should be reserved for the passing of truly historic individuals. Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi and Andre The Giant – these are the type of people I am talking about. Not a man who worked for a company that makes fancy electronic doohickeys, and happened to sell more of those doohickeys than other doohickey manufacturers. I’ll stop saying doohickey now, but I’ll continue by stating that I have never understood the reverence that certain people treat Jobs and his company Apple with. It is like a religion.

Before I wrap up this review, I should probably begin it. I recently had the opportunity to watch the film iSteve, the first feature-length film from the folks at Funny or Die. The aforementioned Ashton Kutcher recently starred in a serious, melodramatic take on the former Apple CEO’s life simply titled Jobs. iSteve was the first Steve Jobs flick to hit the market, and took a vastly different approach to detailing his life.

iSteve is a comedic and largely embellished take on Job’s rise to the top of the business world. Justin Long (who played the Mac guy in those famous I’m aMac/I’m a PC commercials) portrays Jobs, and does so with great comedic skill. It is truly his best work since his turn as Britney Spears’ love interest in Crossroads.

The film takes a tongue-in-cheek look at Jobs’ relationship with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (Jorge Garcia, best known as Hurley from Lost), and also his friendship with Microsoft head Bill Gates. This relationship in particular seems highly dramatized, as I was unable to find any information online about a love triangle between the two and Gates’ wife Melinda, or a fistfight between the two on the set of a commercial. That is not to say these events didn’t happen, however, as the two men certainly could have conspired to remove all such coverage off of the Internet.

iSteve is a classic rags to riches, back to rags, and finally back to ungodly riches story. While I am not a huge fan of the man the film showcases, I did enjoy this take on the life of a man who apparently touched a lot of people during his abbreviated time on the planet. He was here, and then he was gone in a flash. Not to be confused with Adobe Flash, which does not work on most of his products.