- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

Also known as:
Poultrygeist (Shortened title)

Year: 2006

Genre: Comedy / Splatter / Horror / Musical

Language: English

Runtime: 103 min

Director: Lloyd Kaufman

Writer: Gabriel Friedman, Daniel Bova & Lloyd Kaufman


The American Chicken Bunker, a fried-chicken chain, builds a restaurant in Tromaville right on top of an ancient Indian burial ground. Arbie starts working there as a protest against his vegetarian now-lesbian ex-girlfriend who is protesting outside, but will soon regret his decision. The dead will rise in this restaurant. Not the bodies buried below, but the chicken in the restaurant. And it will spread to anyone who eats there.

Our thoughts:
I remember the excitement when "Poultrygeist" was first released. It seemed like it had been forever since Troma had made a movie. It really wasn't that long, but it sure felt like it. I went into it filled with joy, but that could only happen if you really love Lloyd Kaufman's style. His movies have taken a turn for the more ridiculous from the 90s and on, but we can still find a lot of "The Toxic Avenger" and even his older sex comedies in the movies he make still today. But one thing is for sure, you can either stand his movies or you can't. I usually hate this kind of stupidity, but the movies made by Lloyd Kaufman always manage to entertain me more than anyone attempting to imiate his extreme Tromatic style. "Poultrygeist" takes all of that and makes a musical out of it.

The popular fried-chicken chain American Chicken Bunker, a military themed chain, is building a new restaurant in Tromaville. People are outraged and are protesting outside before its grand opening. Arbie's ex-girlfriend, now a vegetarian lesbian, is one of the protesters along with her new lover. In a protest of his own, Arbie applies for a job at the new restaurant and starts working day one. It opens with great success with mile-long lines, but the success is quickly turning into a fried-chicken nightmare. The restaurant was built on the site of an ancient Indian burial ground, and now the dead chickens that go through the kitchen and into the stomachs of the hungry Tromavillians are now coming back to life - and turning whoever has eaten them into zombie chickens.

There is one thing you need to know about "Poultrygeist". It's fucking insane. It's just as hyper as "Terror Firmer", but brings even more splatter. This is truly a Troma splatter movie, moreso than many of their titles. And the movie is incredibly (stupidly) creative in its gore and mayhem - everything from full-blown chicken transformations to male breats turning into hatching eggs. One thing I remember and enjoy a lot about the effects in the movie is that anyone was allowed to send in their chicken zombie effect, and it would be used. You can tell, there are a lot of different designs of varying quality, but in a Troma movie that just adds to the fun.

As you might suspect, it's extremely politically incorrect. Lloyd Kaufman is a vegetarian himself, and him making a movie about fast-food chains is not gonna let us meat-and-fast-food eaters down easy. Nor do we want to, I'll rather be furiously raped by Lloyd Kaufman's satirical, immature humor than him making random shit for no reason. That's a big difference with his movies and filmmakers attempting similar ridiculous splatter - Lloyd actually has a point. Sure, he might show you feces, naked fat men, zombie chickens and some of the most absurd comedy you can imagine, but he's building it on political ideas. You don't watch the movies to educate yourself or to find deep meanings, but the fact that there's some brain behind the crude laughters makes it all the better.

As I said earlier, this is a musical. I was hesitant to a Troma musical (unless it's "Cannibal! The Musical", I don't want it - which doesn't bode well for my upcoming visit to "Mr. Bricks") but kept my hopes up still. Today, after many revisits, I still find the songs in the movie to be of pretty high standards and very amusing. It doesn't feel like it was turned into a musical as a gag, but actually because they wanted to and felt they could handle it. It might be in wrong key and not be musically groundbreaking, but within the guidelines of Troma? Fuck yeah it's good!

This isn't a perfect movie, but you don't go into Troma expecting that. This is crazy, however, and you will never have seen anything like it before. If you like splatter then this isn't gonna let you down, nor will it force you take it seriously. It's outrageous to the point of absurdity while going through essentially anything politically incorrect you can think of. There are a ton of familiar things from the Troma universe (such as Lloyd Kaufman in one of the more entertaining roles in the movie) so if you're a fan but for some reason hasn't watched this yet... well, just go watch it.

Yes, I have a soft spot for the Lloyd Kaufman directed Troma movies. I know they are ugly, gross, immature, tasteless and over-the-top, but it's in all the right ways. There's a reason their movies are entertaining still today, and that is because they're passionate, smart and funny. "Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead" is everything that the title tells you it is. Odds are that if you picked it up for the plotline or thte title, you will love it. Thanks to Njutafilms it is now easily available in Sweden along with a number of other Troma titles.

Positive things:
- A fun musical.
- Splatter galore!
- Crazy and over-the-top, just like Troma should be.
- Creative effects.
- It's one of those movies you show your friends to see their reactions.

Negative things:
- I don't understand what you're asking of me. It's a Lloyd Kaufman film, you either enjoy it or you don't!

Gore: 4/5
Nudity: 2.5/5
Story: 2/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 3.5/5

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