Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead


When a fast food restaurant is built on top of sacred Tromahawk land, the disturbed Native American spirits begin to wreak havoc by brining dead chickens back to life and using them to infect the living employees and customers at American Chicken Bunker.

I wish we had fast food joints for the living dead. That would just be the greatest thing ever in the history of great things that have been, well great. Any undead union hall will have a store of human flesh for those zombies absolutely incapable of hunting due to injury, age, or simply having a bad week, but barring a serious incident like mob attack, you only get so many flesh rations a year. You have not experienced panic until you’ve experienced the panic of having run out of flesh rations for the year and knowing that the arm you just lost in a bear trap is going to make it real difficult to hunt your dinner. If there was an undead McDonald’s, only one with real meat instead of whatever that garbage they pass off as beef is, I don’t want to be eating something that’s five percent human meat and ninety-five percent “ingredients,” the life, so to speak, of a zombie would be so much easier. Of course, if things turn out to be anything like they are at American Chicken Bunker, I’ll just stick to union rations.

Our film takes place in the newest fast food joint to sprout up in Tromaville, The American Chicken Bunker, and not everyone is happy about the grand opening. The chicken based eatery was built over the sacred burial ground of the Tromahawk people, a Native American tribe that once owned the land where Tromaville now stands, and a protest has been organized in an attempt to force the restaurant to shut down. Of course, none of this matters to new employee Arbie as he only took the job to get back at Wendy, the girl who left him for a woman at college, since both Wendy and her new girlfriend are the leaders of this protest with their group College Lesbians Against MegaConglomerations (or C.L.A.M., someone was really desperate to make this joke work). Arbie might wish he’d joined the protest though because things at ACB aren’t all their cracked up to be. The employees are mostly unbalanced, the food is revolting, and the spirits of the Tromahawk people are possessing all the dead chickens for use in their cunning plan to turn the living into undead chicken monsters. When the chicken dead finally make their move and the people of Tromaville start getting a little feathery, Arbie won’t have much time to save Wendy, thereby proving he’s the better choice, and stop the clucking hordes from overrunning the city.


{Be prepared for a lot of cock jokes}

There was a time when I was a huge fan the company that put out Poultygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, Troma. I still remember seeing The Toxic Avenger for the first time as a kid and being immensely entertained by the extremely offensive humor, the over the top gore, and the nonsensical nature of the storyline. It was low budget horror at its finest to a young boy who was just starting his journey into horror, and when I found out they had a zombie film just as good, Redneck Zombies, I was hooked. I never expected anything more from Troma except what they’d made a name for themselves doing, namely producing outrageous movies with some of the most juvenile humor a person could find. Sgt. Kabukiman, Class of Nuke’Em High, Mother’s Day, and even one good sequel to The Toxic Avenger, Troma has a decent list of films for anyone looking for a fun splatterfest, a gross out comedy, or something ludicrously insane. The problem is that they’ve been doing the same thing for over thirty years now and they’ve become stale, almost like they’re stuck in the late eighties or early nineties, and the appeal has fully worn off. Poultrygeist just felt old hat to me, like I was watching the same Troma movie I’ve been watching for three decades with some of the exact same, extremely predictable jokes. How many times is Troma going to make a dick come to life and attack people? How many times is Troma going to make someone put their dick in some odd place only for it to be ripped off? How many times is Troma going to make someone use a dick replacement as a weapon? Yes, Troma really likes to focus on dick jokes, and you can see them coming a mile away, well, that’s true of all their humor, like I said, predictable.


{Wow, totally didn’t see that coming after seeing numerous times in Troma’s other flicks}

This isn’t anything new for Troma, they’ve always had easy to see coming jokes. Before I started playing this, I thought about timing how long it took before they made an “eating cock” joke. With a chicken restaurant in a Troma movie, it was fairly obvious they were going to do it. Same goes for the different stereotypical characters they introduce, you know the Muslim woman is going to be a walking terrorist joke, you know the redneck is going to have sex with an animal, and you know every time a gay character comes on the screen you’re in for the same type of insults you hear whenever a teenager gets on Call of Duty, so it’s not like I didn’t know what I was getting into when I decided to rent it as this is standard practice for a Troma flick. I’m just bored with it at this point. Gross out comedy isn’t what I see from Troma anymore, I don’t even see gross; I only see played out, but that might be because I spent so much time yawning. The musical side of Poultrygeist is just as bad. Yes, in case you weren’t aware, this is a horror musical with most musical numbers being about as clever as “Jingle Bells, Batman Smell.” Just because they’re singing the same lame duck jokes doesn’t make it any funnier, considering actress Kate Graham (Wendy) has an amazing voice, it actually makes it a whole lot sadder.


{Poop jokes, so many poop jokes throughout this thing}

It’s not that there isn’t anything of value in Poultrygeist, but the repetitive feel of the movie killed any sense of enjoyment for me. The ridiculously outrageous gore is on point, and though it isn’t anything I’d call amazing, it’s leaps and bounds better than a lot of the CGI garbage so many zombie films fall victim to, but since I’ve seen these scenes before in Troma’s other movies it fell very flat for me. It was like they were just recreating what they’d already done, at some points making me wonder if they were trying to parody themselves. I understand that there’s only so many ways you can make a person die, but the filmmakers were so desperate to inject their stale brand of humor into every corner of this movie that they ended up ripping themselves off with ass blasting monsters and sentient genitalia. There’s a chaotic scene towards the end that’s full of some great examples of how to do practical effects, but it’s so full of tired comedy and repetitive jokes that it ends up just as boring as anything else in Poultrygeist. The only thing that seemed somewhat new and entertaining were the looks of the chicken dead. There’s basically three types, undead chicken carcasses, people who turn into monstrous chickens, and mutant chickens born from people. The designs were reminiscent of some of the cheesy creatures from old black and white flicks, just much better looking and a lot bloodier, but one entertaining factor doesn’t make up for over an hour and a half of utter boredom.


{Mostly better looking}

If you’re new to Troma, this might still be fun for you, but after thirty years of hearing the same jokes told over and over again, this might just be the last Troma flick I bother to check out.


The Undead Review


Directed By: Lloyd Kaufman (Tromeo and Juliet, Terror Firmer)

Starring: Jason Yachanin (V/H/S, Supernaturalz: Weird, Creepy, and Random), Kate Graham (Princess and the Pony, Criminal Behavior), and Allyson Sereboff (Christmas Day, Stranger in the Park)

Written By: Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke’Em High), Daniel Bova, and Gabriel Friedman (Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger 4, All the Love You Cannes!)

Released By: Poultry Production LLC and Troma Entertainment

Release Type: Limited Theatrical Release

Release Year: 2006

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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