Poultrygeist: Night Of The Chicken Dead (2006)

DVD Cover (Troma Entertainment)
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Overall Rating 67%
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Ranked #4,054
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When the American Chicken Bunker, a military-themed fried-chicken chain, builds a restaurant on the site of an ancient Indian burial ground, local protesters aren't the only ones crying fowl! The previous tenants, fueled by a supernatural force, take "possession" of the food and those who eat it, and the survivors discover that they must band together before they themselves become the other white meat! Film lovers have been starved for sustenance. The relentless diet of predictability and pretense Hollywood has been serving up just doesn't cut it. Poultrygeist is hearty food for thought. In Poultrygeist, Troma takes on the the fast-food industry-skewering the soulless restaurateurs-in the world's first horror-comedy film to feature zombie chickens, American Indians and a bit of singing and dancing! It's Poultrygeist! --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: March 27, 2008
Troma has always been a love 'em or hate 'em type of company. On the one hand, you've got people who are positively rabid about keeping up with everything that the company produces, and when it comes to people "in the biz", things are no different: some people - including some high-profile names - will gladly work for peanuts just so that they can say that they appeared in a Troma release. On the other hand, there are people who will pick up a DVD off the shelf thinking that it looks interesting before immediately putting it back when they see the familiar Toxie logo that has come to represent Troma. While I can't say that I've enjoyed everything that Lloyd and crew have licensed for release under the Troma banner, I can say that I have enjoyed all of their in-house productions to a certain extent. Yes, I'm a fan, and while The Toxic Avenger will always remain their most famous movie, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Poultrygeist tops that and every other Troma release to date. Blasphemy? Maybe, but this movie was one hell of a good time.

The storyline is incredibly goofy, but would you expect any less from Troma? It all begins when fried-chicken mogul General Lee Roy (Robin Watkins) decides to open the doors of his American Chicken Bunker franchise in Tromaville, and although that may not be a huge deal in most cases, it turns out that they decided to plop their building squarely on top of an ancient Indian burial ground. You can already see where this one is going; the spirits of these long-deceased Indians come back to possess the partially-thawed chicken carcasses, the people of Tromaville eat them, and... well, the Night of the Chicken Dead part of the title should clue you in as to where it goes from there.

Prior to all of the chicken-plucking carnage, we meet young Arbie (Jason Yachanin) and his girlfriend Wendy (Kate Graham). These two have a great relationship, but all of that changes when she goes off to college as she meets a young lesbian named Micki (Allyson Sereboff), dumps Arbie, and takes up protesting certain fast food establishments with her new ultra-liberal girlfriend. In an effort to get back at the woman who broke his heart, Arbie decides to get a job at the place that Wendy is now protesting, but soon, he and the staff of this restaurant - black militant Denny (Joshua Olatunde), Muslim and potential suicide bomber Humus (Rose Ghavami), inbred animal-fucker Carl Jr. (Caleb Emerson), and gay Mexican Paco Bell (Khalid Rivera) - will have to set aside their personal problems and prepare to make a stand against the chicken dead. Oh, and the film is part musical, so everyone breaks into a little song and dance at random intervals.

Where to even begin with this one? For starters, let me just get this out of the way up front: like most Troma movies, Poultrygeist will offend you if you've got thin skin, but this one takes this way of doing things to a whole new level. Every race, every sexual orientation, every walk of life, and just about every major issue is poked fun at throughout the running time: whites, blacks, Indians, Mexicans, Muslims, gays, lesbians, Southerners, liberals, conservatives, and plenty of others receive their fair share of abuse here, and the United States Army, the "War on Terror", and hell, even Barry Bonds are all fair targets as well. Suffice it to say that if you can't laugh at yourself and others, this is not a film for you.

What makes this work so well is the fact that it's not offensive just for the sake of being offensive; no, these jokes and ribs are actually funny, and yes, they actually work their way into the plot rather than being silly sight gags. Watch as it's teased time and time again that the Muslim lady is a terrorist, wait until you see the payoff for the redneck's bestiality tendencies, and then there's the lesbian... well, I've said too much already. Suffice it to say that this was certainly a step up for Troma, and I couldn't have been happier with how this sort of thing was handled here.

As an added bonus, Poultrygeist features some of the slickest production values and general polish ever seen from a Troma release. It's still true to its independent roots and it'll never be mistaken for a big-budget Hollywood release, but it's a big step up even when compared to Citizen Toxie (a film that certainly didn't slouch in this regard). The gore and makeup effects are more realistic, the acting is much better, the sets are more detailed, and everything looks better than what you'd expect from a Troma release. They may have a reputation for putting out "cheap" movies, but that reputation will be quickly forgotten with a few more releases like this.

With all of that said, this is still a true Troma movie that will not disappoint the fans. The gore and kills are still extremely over the top, the T&A is still served in large helpings, the gross-out style of comedy is still prevalent, the cameos still come fast and furious, and all of the various scenes and appearances that you'd expect from the Troma universe are still on display (wait until the final scene of the movie for the ultimate in fanservice). It's all done more professionally this time around and will have a wider appeal whenever it hits DVD, but it's still Troma at its core.

To wrap things up, let me just say that Poultrygeist is damned funny. Wait, scratch that: Poultrygeist is hilarious. Let's just go one better and say that Poultrygeist is the funniest movie that I've seen in a very long time, and as of this writing, it's my pick for the number one movie of the year. 10/10.
Tristan #1: Tristan - added 03/28/2008, 10:14 PM
Not only was this one of the funniest movies I've seen in recent past, but it was so chock full of hilarious special effects, I could not stop laughing. I noticed a little Zombina and the Skeletones in the soundtrack, which gets an immediate thumbs up from yours truly. I can now only count down the days until the DVD release. 10/10
Christopher #2: Christopher - added 04/04/2008, 11:54 AM
If I was still a young teenager, I would have found this entire movie wonderful in every way. But since that age is long gone, the boob and poop jokes just didn't do it for me. The songs were easily the lowest point of the film. Which left the last thirty minutes of the film to be graphically incredible due to there only being one song (the shortest one of the whole movie, no less). Hopefully after Troma gets this released in the states in 2010, Lloyd Kaufman will try his luck on a non-musical film once again.
Andy van Heel #3: Andy van Heel - added 01/25/2012, 04:57 AM
It was ok, but I didn't like the fact that they sang ALL THE TIME. I like horror movies, but I really don't like musicals (Cannibal was OK, but still, it was a musical). Honestly, it put me out of my buzz. The idea was good, but I expected it to be better. Nevertheless I like the 'reel independence' philosofy and anarchic humor.
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