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 You see, the cemetery has been replaced by a chicken restaurant, and its parking lot is filled with angry protesters who are crying fowl.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.

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.

The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger (1984)

A toxic environment

The Toxic Avenger

It is Environmental Awareness Week, the time when we turn the spotlight on Mother Nature. Sadly, an alarming percentage of the population would rather simply drop their coffee cups and candy bar wrappers on the ground than walk a block further to dump them in a garbage can. However, more and more people are getting the message.

Twenty years ago, the only time you ever saw a blue box was when someone drew some inappropriate sketches of Smurfette. Now it seems everyone is using them to recycle. Hollywood bigwigs are spreading the word as well. Films such as 2012, The Day After Tomorrow and The Lone Ranger show just how easy it is for a disaster to occur. There is only one film, however, that can truly claim to be a frontrunner when it comes to broadcasting the message of environmental responsibility out to the masses.Way back in 1984, The Toxic Avenger burst onto the scene and cleaned up at the box office.

The Toxic Avenger tells the tale of a man named Melvin, who by name alone you can tell is a nerd. Apologies to anyone who has that name, but you never hear about Mila Kunis or Katy Perry making a sex tape with some dude named Melvin. Poor Melvin is bullied to no end by the members of the Tromaville Health Club, where he works as a janitor. At one point they even force him to wear a pink tutu and make out with a sheep. Things go from baa-d to worse when Melvin falls into a vat of toxic chemicals as he tries to escape from the bullies.

Motion pictures have taught me that when people fall into a barrel of toxic materials, they generally turn into superheroes or supervillains. In some rare cases, they die. But usually it is one of the other two options. In this case, Melvin goes from zero to hero. Hideously scarred, Melvin cannot return home, and instead sets up residence at a junkyard. After a period of feeling sorry for himself, he decides to once again pick up his janitor’s mop, and clean up the city’s crime. And boy, does this city have a lot of that.

Nasty characters with monikers such as Cigar Face, Knuckles and Nipples terrorize the residents of Tromaville, running over children in the street like it was a sport. Melvin, or the Toxic Avenger as he soon becomes known, takes out the trash in a ridiculously violent manner. Spiderman, Superman, Batman and their ilk would not have the stomach to perform some of the deeds that The Toxic Avenger does in the name of justice. Like crushing a drug dealer’s face with a weight-lifting machine. Like ramming a milkshake stirrer into another two-bit con’s throat. And last, but not least, ripping out the intestines of the town’s crooked mayor. The scene alone would be enough to steer even the shadiest politicians to walk the line.

I know what you are thinking. “This sounds like a very gruesome film, maybe it should be turned into a children’s television show.” Well, by golly, somebody already had that idea! In 1990, Toxic Crusaders hit the airwaves, delighting youngsters, and hopefully leading to their discovery of the film. A Nintendo Entertainment System game based on the characters was developed, and a live musical was also produced. Plus there were three sequels. The characters who inhabit Tromaville will get their biggest spotlight in a few years when a remake is released, starring none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m all for this film being recycled.

The Toxic Avenger is a brilliant film that not only entertains, but it truly makes you think. Topics such as bullying, political corruption and our impact on the environment are handled in such a classy way, especially the scene where the Toxic Avenger kills an elderly female dwarf by throwing her into a washing machine. It’s okay, she was a slave trader. My feelings about this film can be summarized by these lyrics from the great Britney Spears: “You’re toxic I’m slipping under/With a taste of a poison paradise/I’m addicted to you.”

Troll 2

Troll 2 (1990)

Troll 2 lacks nothing – except a troll

Troll 2

Whether you are filming a $200 million epic, or simply Kim Kardashian getting it on, producing a motion picture is no small task. Sometimes you have to deal with temperamental actors (like a certain Caped Crusader). The project can go ridiculously over budget, such as the 1995 film Waterworld. Or maybe your star might get too busy trying to convert the other cast members and crew to the Church of Scientology instead of focusing on the task at hand.

The film I will be taking a look at this week, Troll 2, was plagued with many issues. Among them:

– Almost no one involved with the writing or production of the film spoke English – which isn’t always a problem, except for when you are making an English-language film.

– Most of the cast had no previous acting experience. Those who showed up expecting to be extras (including a dentist and a mental hospital resident) were given large roles.

– Last, but not least, the film, despite being named Troll 2, contains exactly zero trolls.

All that said, Troll 2 still manages to be one of the finest films ever produced.

What can be said about Troll 2? Well, for starters, it is not a sequel. At first this had me confused, much like after I watched the disaster flick 2012 and tried to track down the previous 2,011 installments. The film was originally slated to be released as Goblins, which is appropriate, since it is about goblins. However, it’s all about the Benjamins in the end, as the powers that be decided to rename it Troll 2 in order to capitalize on the prestige of the 1986 film Troll.

Now I don’t want to start this review in a negative fashion, because I truly did enjoy this film. But I am not a fan of misleading titles. When I watch RoboCop, I know that I will see a cyborg that enforces the law. When I watch Hobo With A Shotgun, I rightfully anticipate witnessing a dishevelled man with some firearms. And this weekend when I gather my children in front of the TV to watch Magic Mike, I fully expect that we will be treated to the tale of a kindly magician who delights audiences by pulling rabbits out of hats and other such illusions.

So I’ve covered what Troll 2 isn’t, which is a film about trolls. So what is it? Well, it is a statement by director Claudio Fragasso and his wife, writer Rossella Drudi, against those who are vegetarians. Apparently several of the couple’s friends had decided to stop eating meat. I myself eat meat at every meal. In fact I am eating a rack of lamb while typing this. So I commend the duo’s efforts in creating what might be the only anti-vegetarian propaganda film ever produced.

In Troll 2, the Waits family decides to take a trip to the remote farm town of Nilbog. Lots can go wrong when you go on vacation, as the films of Chevy Chase have taught us. But the Waits family doesn’t simply lose their luggage or run into a language barrier. What they do run into is goblins. Not just any goblins, though; these are vegetarian goblins who turn people into plants before consuming them.

The Waits family’s battle with these evil goblins is a non-stop thrill ride. Think Rocky vs. Apollo, the Empire vs. the Rebel Alliance and Kramer vs. Kramer all wrapped up in one, and then throw in some goblins. I cannot do justice to the intricacies of the plot. I will whet your appetite though by telling you that one of the characters urinates on a vegetarian feast prepared by the goblins, and corn on the cob is used in an attempt to seduce another character. I can only imagine this led to a new genre of film called corn porn.

Troll 2 is a remarkable achievement. Despite overwhelming obstacles, the meat-loving filmmakers and cast composed of dentists and mental patients managed to produce a film that has stood the test of time. If I haven’t sold you on the film yet, let me just tell you that a bologna sandwich plays an important role in the film’s thrilling final act. Troll 2 is a film that will terrify you one moment, and have you laughing uncon-Troll-ably the next.

Vampire Dog

Vampire Dog (2012)

Vampire Dog’s bark, bite equally good

Vampire Dog

Halloween is upon us. As an avid cinema fan, this is one of my favourite times of year. There are so many spooktacular films to watch, about chainsaw-wielding maniacs, brain-munching zombies and, of course, 600-year old vampire dogs. And that last genre is celebrated in the film I will be taking a look at this week, Vampire Dog.

For the slim minority of Interrobang readers who have yet to see Vampire Dog, I’ll give you a brief synopsis. A teenage boy named Ace and his mother move to a new town after the mother lands a job as a music teacher. Moving and starting at a new school are generally big adjustments, but even more so in this case. Despite being a talented drummer, Ace cannot perform in front of others, and ends up making a fool of himself the first day at his new school when he tries to show off his percussion skills. Lesson to the kids out there: don’t try.

Ace’s abilities could sure come in handy, as the school is earmarked to be closed, unless they finish first in a battle of the bands competition. There is a school on my street that has been fighting off closure for years. Instead of holding rallies and getting people to sign petitions, maybe they should just teach the kids there to play some damn instruments.

But this movie isn’t called Vampire Teen Drummer. It’s Vampire Dog, so I should mention something about Ace’s fourlegged friend Fang, voiced by Norm Macdonald. Fang, originally from Transylvania, is passed down to Ace from a distant relative. Unlike most dogs that can simply sniff other dog’s hindquarters, this one has some incredible skills, including the ability to talk. We learn that one of his previous owners fought the legendary vampire Vlad the Impaler, and while trying to save his master, Fang himself was bitten.

Now if a 600-year-old talking dog can’t inspire you, I don’t know what else will. And that’s just what Fang does for young Ace, giving him the confidence to stand up and shine. Norm Macdonald is famous for his ability to make even the most mundane material humourous with his delivery, so you can only imagine how funny he is in this one when given A+ material.

Macdonald is one of my all-time favourite celebrities. However, as brilliant as he his, his career has not soared to the heights it should have. It has been one setback after another. In the mid-1990s, he was in the midst of a terrific run as the Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live when he was unceremoniously canned. He went on to star in some very funny television programs, The Norm Show, A Minute With Stan Hooper and Sports Show with Norm Macdonald, all of which were axed in short order. But the darkest hour is just before dawn, and after landing the role of the voice of a vampire dog in a direct-to-home-video film, Norm’s career is sure to reach new heights.

The creative team behind Vampire Dog combined the best elements of The Twilight series, School of Rock and Citizen Kane. The result is a treat that does the trick for anyone looking for a film the whole family can watch together this Halloween season.