Describing “Poultrygeist” is a lot like describing the man-bear-pig (or is it pig-bear-man?). It’s complicated and pretty much open to all interpretations, but however you choose to explain it, it’s guaranteed to grab the attention of anyone you come across. “Native American Zombie Chickens” has been my primary hook that grabs skeptics and turns them into interested viewers, and Troma has committed an interesting feat of taking said hilarious hook and tricking people into seeing a flick that’s much smarter than it looks. It will assuredly appeal to almost anyone still unfamiliar with the infamous indie studio.
It’s a musical, it’s a romance, it’s a zombie movie, and yes… it even tackles racial dynamics, corporate conglomerates, liberals, xenophobia, homosexuals, lesbians, Native Americans and pretty much everyone under the sun, leaving no particular interest group from the scorn of Kaufman’s offensive humor. After cringing through this, I think even chickens may be picketing Troma studios.
The “American Chicken Bunker” has taken over Tromaville and demolished the Ancient Tromahawk Native American Burial Ground to make room for one of its restaurants. Discovering his ex-girlfriend is a part of the Lesbian Liberal group “CLAM” protesting the fast food place, bumbling fool Arbie angrily signs up to work at the restaurant and soon the eggs begin to hit the fan, as demon eggs discovered and devoured by inept customers slowly turn them and the immigrant staff into undead chicken zombies by way of vicious bowel movements.
Kaufman takes this time to gradually build up to the zombie mayhem while lambasting corporate restaurant chains which are willing to do whatever it takes to make money off of American gluttony and human misery… and then there are also songs about getting your salad tossed. Troma’s horror comedy is the antithesis of every zombie movie ever made with the fine talents of duo Jason Yachanin and Kate Graham as the moronic heroes of the piece who ignore all the obvious omens (including bloody diarrhea, talking sandwiches, and Ron Jeremy) until it’s too late. They then must rely on their wits (or lack thereof) to stop the plucking menace.
When the zombie carnage does finally begin, it’s one of the most unusual spectacles ever placed on film, with attempted irony that’s a bit clunky if fun. “Poultrygeist” will even please the belly-achers bitching about the over abundance of zombie movies and the people who once wrote off Troma as trash. Love him or hate him, Lloyd Kaufman simultaneously composes a very catchy musical and an original horror comedy, making “Night of the Chicken Dead” one of the most entertaining flicks I’ve seen all year.
It is, I repeat: A motherclucking good time.