Review: Poultrygeist – Night Of The Chicken Dead


The latest and the last I believe, of Kaufman’s Troma releases - and what a swansong it is.

I swear I heard about the concept, including title of this movie about 4 or so years ago and when it was finally released I was desperate to get my hands on it. Troma have really gone balls out on this one releasing the movie in a beautifully presented 3-Disc pack which includes the movie, extras and a soundtrack. Apparently, from reading the literature accompanying the film it was a right ball ache to make; the release really does it justice.

The plot, and those familiar with Troma releases will know that this term is used loosely, surrounds an amalgamation of circumstances all set in fast food restaurant ‘Chicken Bunker’ whose choice of location, atop of an ancient burial ground, becomes somewhat problematic when the chickens become possessed by the ghosts of the displaced. Meanwhile, outside, C.L.A.M., a dyke protest group are giving it the usual about cruelty to animals and how large corporations are sinking the honest economy of the USA. These tenuously linked sub-plots are enveloped by a romance between a geeky fast-food worker and his love for new-discovered lesbian protester. All confusing, and all part of the joke.

As with previous Troma release ‘Terror Firmer’ the ironic ‘bad’ plot is all intrinsic to what makes the movie so effective. Despite being considered by most critics as ‘dumb’ film making ‘Poultrygeist’ is actually cleverly effective at achieving its objective; to offend, repulse and entertain. Whilst the story has to be taken with a pinch of salt, the scenarios within are varied and hilarious. The jokes come thick and fast, some cynical and some just plain old slapstick; some of the sketches are plain hilarious. To give it an extra comic boost, Poultygeist is peppered with a variety of songs (all of which are included on the bonus CD) most of which are pretty funny and most of them spattered with porno and such references.

Naturally, accompanying the comedy is the gore, which is both excessive and gross. Again this is pretty typical of Troma, but should be respected none the less. There are far too many grotesqueries to list here, but rest assured all are shown in their full glory and all effects are top notch. Impalements, dismemberments, explosions and one demon shit are amongst the best on show. The zombie effects are not bad either. There are some possessed chicken puppet zombies as well as some chicken/man hybrids which admittedly look a bit dodgy, but do the job. The transformation from man to un-dead chicken was quite amusing too.

Overall this movie is an essential purchase, and every horror fan should have a copy. They really don’t make them like this often, and with this being the last release (although only time will tell on that) they might not make them like this any more; the DVD release being limited edition further enhances the urgency to own this genuine piece of horror history! For fans of splatter you will not find better than this.

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