Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)

Arbie: I’ll believe in the supernatural when I see it, talking sandwich.

So I sat down at my chair, popped in the movie and sat prepared to watch another shit fest from Troma. I’m somewhat of an anti-Troma pusher, so I was not looking forward to this. And my eventual reactions were a varying degree of disgust, horror, disbelief, and amusement. I laughed. And I laughed a lot. I’d even go so far to say that “Poultrygeist” is quite excellent. It’s something of a demented twist that it took Native American chicken zombies to finally get me to like a Troma movie, and trust me I had no intention of enjoying “Poultrygeist,” so much. But from the ridiculous opening to the horribly catchy musical numbers, Lloyd Kaufman has created a very memorable bit of horror comedy that may just lure more anti-Troma individuals like me.

Arbie and Wendy split up for the semester to take their shots at college and Arbie returns to find that Tromaville has been invaded by American Chicken Bunker, a fast food join that’s plowed over the Tromahawk Indian Burial ground. He signs up to work in the place when he discovers his girlfriend Wendy is now a lesbian and a protestor, and soon the chicken shit hits the fan. With Troma, you either get it and hate it, or get it and love it, and I’m firmly in the former category, but “Poultrygeist” is a strong horror comedy that presented such a firm tongue in cheek and breaking of all boundaries that I was surprised to have found some genuine raucous moments of laughter that also bring together the style of Troma that fans have come to know and love. There’s always a crowd of gawkers to something hideous occurring, there’s the Toxie references, and Lloyd Kaufman steals the show as an obvious symbol of the future Arbie will have if he continues his stint in fast food hell (which ultimately means nothing), all of which work when violent diarrhea begins to birth demonic chickens from disgusting vein covered eggs.

And it’s offensive. Very offensive. A movie is only as good as its cast, and “Poultrygeist” introduces two excellent comedic talents who made the film a constant laugh riot. Jason Yachinin is hysterical as young Arbie, a young man so insanely stupid, he realizes the chicken eggs are turning people into monsters at the last moment, and lord help us, he’s Tromaville’s only hope. Yachinin delivers the sharp dialogue and off the wall musical/dance numbers like a pro and turns a potentially obnoxious hero into a cartoon character you can laugh at and with. The scene stealer though is Kate Graham who is an absolute scene stealer as the sexually confused Wendy who is just as inept and moronic as Arbie, but can’t quite figure it out yet. From her ridiculous crossed eyes, to her dim witted declarations of: “Wha’ ha-a-appened?” she and Yachinin provide a raucous balls out chemistry with their exchanges a constant source of amusement, and both actors never afraid to look ridiculous.

One of my favorite running jokes involves Humus (Rose Ghavani probably the only sane person in the bunch), the Afghani cook who is a walking racial stereotype constantly blamed for the random deaths and is always confused for a ninja or ghost. There is also the Mexican homosexual Paco Bell, and the militant black owner Denny, all of whom throw in their fair share of laughs whenever Graham or Yachinin aren’t on screen. I never thought I’d say this, but there’s an inherent intelligence to Kaufman’s horror comedy with attacks on everyone from Liberals, to elitists, to corporate conglomerates, and this ridiculous string of events leads into a considerably wise attack on every bit of hypocrisy in society. And there are of course the beaked zombies, violent diarrhea, and inevitable zombie rampage that lead to an orgy of cannibalism that’s pure Troma. Plus, you won’t believe how they keep the zombie chickens from getting into the restaurant. And yet, for some reason… I enjoyed it. Alot. Why? I’m asking. Why did I love this so much? I’m as shocked as I am pleased that “Poultrygeist” may end up being the first and only Troma film that I really enjoyed and watched twice. From catchy music, goofy gore, offbeat comedy and originality seeping from the butt hole, I had a blast, and I’m truly glad Troma has convinced me to give them another chance.