Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006) 1 brainhalf brain

The first thing I should point out is that this is a Troma film. If you're a fan of Troma, you'll probably love this film. If you don't like Troma, stay away. If you're ambivalent about Troma, or have no idea who or what Troma is, please read on. Troma is a production company known for its cheaply made, unabashedly offensive, gory, silly movies. In my experience they run from badly acted snoozers to competently acted, creatively written (but still gory and unabashedly offensive) films. Do not watch if you don't like low-brow humor.

As you might guess from the title (and I suspect almost all of Troma's movies start with the title and go from there), this is a movie about zombie chickens. The soulless American Chicken Bunker restaurant chain builds a location on top of an ancient Native American burial ground, causing the restaurant's processed chickens to rise up and attack the staff and customers. Large, veiny chicken eggs also start to appear, and anyone who eats one turns into a zombie chicken! In the middle of this chaos is Bunker employee Arbie (Jason Yachanin), who took the job only to piss off his ex, Wendy (Kate Graham), who's part of a group protesting the restaurant for defiling the burial grounds. Wendy dumped Arbie for Micki (Allyson Sereboff), a militant feminist who's one of the leaders of the protest. (Every character is named after a fast-food restaurant.)

Although I'm used to zombie gore, Troma smashed through that barrier to gore that I had never imagined I would see in film. To my embarassment I found myself laughing, at the same time as I was thinking "Man, that is disgusting!" At other moments, though, the humor went wide of the mark for me, so overall it seemed hit or miss. The dialog was the same way. I had to pay attention to catch the humor in it, and sometimes it was really funny, but other times I just rolled my eyes. At the worst of it, I was reminded of Zombie Doom, the first movie on this site to get zero brains. It was just gore for gore's sake.

To add a little something to the film, occasionally the characters break into song! The content of the songs is no less crude than the rest of the humor, but they're well-written, and Kate Graham, at least, can actually sing. Yachanin can carry a tune, but he's passable at best. However, Troma films aren't made to showcase musical ability any more than they're made to showcase good acting, so this isn't that surprising.

Sometimes Troma is funny, and sometimes it seems like they're just trying to push all the buttons they can. Although this movie got some laughs out of me, most of the time I found myself thinking "I can see how that could be funny." Maybe I wasn't in the right mood, or maybe that kind of humor just doesn't work for me, but aside from the novelty of the premise, the movie didn't do much for me. If you're open-minded and have never seen a Troma film, you might want to give it a try, but don't say I didn't warn you.