By THOMAS F. JOHNSON
“Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead” is the best zombie chicken movie you will ever see, and that is not damning it with faint praise.
It starts when Arby takes a job at Uncle Clucker’s Chicken Bunker (funded by the KKK) to get back at his former girlfriend, Wendy. She is a lesbian who joined a group known as College Lesbians Against Murder, or CLAM for short.
Building the restaurant on an Indian burial ground has created a disease that turns people into disturbing zombie chickens by a process that can best be described as body horror.
This is likely the only zombie film in which the infection first spreads via “Patient Zero” having sex with a frozen chicken.
Said chicken becomes possessed and bites the man’s donger off, which results in him spraying people’s fried chicken with a mix of infected pus and penile blood.
I won’t play spoiler and reveal the vulnerability of the zombie chickens. Suffice it to say that the weakness ties back to their origin in a way that is well foreshadowed, incredibly hilarious and unbelievably offensive.
The film is obviously a comedy with horror elements, and the actors do an excellent job conveying this. But the horror elements work quite well with the surprisingly well-done special effects.
The transformation sequences are pure nightmare fuel, and some scenes are beautifully nauseating. (Especially the one with “Jared” literally crapping his way to skinny.)
The film’s look at fast food in America provides an excellent satirical edge that is far better than the “Fast Food Nation” movie. “Poultrygeist” even contains a scene skewering corporate America’s co-option of rebellion to its own ends.
The film has several musical numbers, including one by a secondary villain who turns into a Tokusatsu-style chicken monster.
While the musical numbers aren’t particularly good, aside from the aforementioned villain song, the fact that they’re included is jarring enough to be funny.
I had the good fortune to see “Poultrygeist” when it premiered at the Loft Cinema with director Lloyd Kauffman. Seeing it again, I remembered why I loved it the first time.
Even with its relatively low budget, it’s obvious that lots of love went into the film. Give it a watch if you want a great comedy and aren’t easily offended.
Watch “Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead” for free on Troma’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/watch?v=2jVhcfiVDAw.