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By Doug Brunell | March 10, 2008

This short film is — and this is the first and most likely last time that this phrase will ever be used — an experimental piece about a man who can communicate with chickens. Said man developed this power after witnessing his father beat and yell at the farmhouse fowls. The concept is about as interesting as the film.

In my teen years, my friend Eric and I would take late night drives, and when we weren’t busy raising hell we would tune into AM radio stations. We were in the Poconos (that’s Northeastern, PA, for those without a sense of geography), and we would pick up stations from Boston, Virginia, Ohio and even Canada. These wayward signals carried some of the strangest night time call-in shows we had ever heard, with people discussing all manner of odd things from the creepy to the sympathetic. “The Chicken Whisperer” seems like the life of one of those callers. It’s offbeat, but thoroughly plausible. (I’m not saying that the ability to communicate with chickens is viable, but I’m sure there are people who believe they can do that very thing.)

Unfortunately, it’s pretty darn hard to sit through eight minutes of utter nonsense involving close-ups and twangy voice-overs no matter how bizarre it is. Filmmaker Jon Aley gets some points for trying, though. I’m sure it amused him to make this, and there are probably more than a handful of people who will find charm in its insanity, but I am not one of them.

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