Movie Review: POULTRYGEIST: NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD
I knew there was a reason I was never a Troma fan. Even as a little kid obsessed with Horror, reading FANGORIA religiously and waiting with bated breath for the airing of some old B-movie on the local network stations (an event for which my mother would always let me stay up late), visiting the local video rental store so frequently they should have just installed a revolving door for my benefit (and my rental choices were ALWAYS Horror!) and dressing up every Halloween as one of my favorite slashers–even then, I never watched a Troma film. I seemed to understand, without ever having watched a Troma offering, that their product wasn’t for me. Last night I watched my first Troma production: POULTRYGEIST: NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD. Or, I should say, I watched part of it.
I do not turn off movies once I’ve started watching them. I’ve never turned one off, popped the DVD out of the ol’ player and sent it back to Netflix without finishing it. No matter how bad the movie is. I didn’t even stop it during FUNNY GAMES, and believe me that’s saying something. But I stopped POULTRYGEIST. I couldn’t force myself to sit through it. It is, without exaggeration, the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t have believed it possible for a movie, any movie, to be so lousy.
Can you really criticize a Troma film, though? Anything negative I say about it, they’re going to claim and wear as a badge of honor. Yes, I am aware that they MEANT to make a movie that bad. But does that excuse it? I expected something stupid but fun, a bit of silly nonsense. All I got was the stupid. One long, intolerable, and not even remotely funny bathroom joke. No effort whatsoever made towards achieving anything that might in any sense be considered quality. Story? There is no story. It’s just an excuse to show one gross-out scene after another. Acting? Please. And even when they do manage to sneak in an (almost) clever in-joke or social reference–there are a few in there; I didn’t miss them–it is quickly buried beneath all the flotsam like a hapless skier crushed by an avalanche.
It’s the same as with a porno film. I always wondered why the makers of a porno would even bother trying to construct some flimsy storyline around the sex scenes, when people just fast-forward to the sex scenes anyway. Troma should just create gross-out scenes and bathroom humor. That’s all they’re shilling, anyway, and that’s all, apparently, Troma fans want. It is, in fact, all they are going to GET, if all Troma films are of the sort as POULTRYGEIST. And I expect they are.
My review, then, is this: If you LIKE Troma, you’ll probably dig on POULTRYGEIST. If, however, you enjoy some degree of quality in your Horror selections, if you make certain demands of even your BAD Horror films, for the love of all that is good and holy, avoid this movie like the plague!
I stopped watching it. The first Horror movie I’ve never been able to sit through. It truly is THAT bad. And by “bad,” I mean stupid, brainless, crude, vulgar, insipid, amateurish, lazy, inane, pointless, dull, pitiful, insulting to your intelligence, torturous, childish, and ultimately worthless. And yet I have the feeling that Troma would celebrate each of those criticisms as small victories.
And if you’re wondering why I would have rented POULTRYGEIST in the first place, it’s because I saw the original Chicken Monster costume at Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum in Nevada and I thought it looked rad-cool. Sadly I never saw the beast in the movie. I didn’t make it that far into it.
The movie is not worthy of its monster. Not at all. Perhaps I should let that be the final word on the subject, as I think it hits home in a way that no other critique could. The Chicken Monster deserved better.