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By Steve Anderson | March 23, 2009

I thought I recognized the name “Unemployed Pictures” when I was leafing through the array of short films on the Chiller Dare 2 Direct 2 contest, and after watching “Chickenfut,” I’m really feeling the connection.

The combination of bizarre story and sheer maniacal bloodthirstiness was telling, and “Chickenfut” is a solid example of what Unemployed can bring to muster.

Gunter, a German exchange student who’s not being taken well by the rural farming community he’s in (possibly set in the forties or fifties, because they’re actually calling this kid “kraut”), has only one real friend so far: his chicken, Gisela. And when Gisela is killed, her spirit takes possession of Gunter the exchange student, sending him to run amok, taking murderous revenge on all those who killed Gisela. And it won’t stop there.

Freaky is not the word to describe this. Ludicrous might well be better if it weren’t so damnably creepy. I’m almost prepared to believe that this chicken is possessing a German exchange student, and that shouldn’t be scary. It’s a CHICKEN. Getting revenge on the killers of CHICKENS. If Gisela got within fifty feet of a KFC, it’d be a bloodbath. And that shouldn’t be scary, but it is. It should be funny, but it’s not – not really, anyway. Unemployed Pictures has managed to put together one of the most baffling little shorts I’ve seen in some time, and that’s saying something.

There’s even a variety of special features included with “Chickenfut”, including your choice of Italian or French subtitles, deleted scenes, a behind the scenes featurette, a trailer, an array of four songs called the “Chickenfut Symphony,” and a list of awards (which is surprisingly extensive – this was an official selection at eight different fests and it took best short at Salento Fear Fest).

So all things considered, I’m really very impressed by the sheer amount of unsettling punch Unemployed managed to throw into “Chickenfut.” I expected funny, I got creepy, and when a movie can throw you off balance like that it’s definitely one to watch.

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