Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)

One clucking good movie


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 You see, the cemetery has been replaced by a chicken restaurant, and its parking lot is filled with angry protesters who are crying fowl.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


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.”