Thursday, October 20, 2011

ZomBlog Review: "Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead"

“Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead”
Stars: Jason Yachanin, Kate Graham, Allyson Sereboff, Robin L. Watkins, Joshua Olatunde, Caleb Emerson, , Rose Ghavami and Khalid Rivera
Writers: Gabriel Friedman, Daniel Bova, and Lloyd Kaufman
Dir: Lloyd Kaufman
83 minutes

Let’s just be honest with each other: If you are not familiar with Troma Films, you would lose any trivia game with a semblance of movie-geek trivia against me.
Troma studios have been unleashing tasteless independent classics such as “The Toxic Avenger,” “Class of Nuke ‘Em High” “Troma’s War” and countless others (which will, and have, appeared in this blog before) since way before 1983.
While lacking in a true, based-in-lore, zombie story, Troma does what it does best with “Poultrygeist” — Gut the mainstream.
Warning: If you are offended by redneck, religious, gay/lesbian insults or racial slurs/stereotypes, anti-Semitic jokes, or anything else that would offend absolutely anyone who is too uptight for the human race, just click out of here. Go to youtube and watch cute cat videos. If you have a sense of humor, read on.
So maybe you have seen “Fast Food Nation” or read the book. If you bought into it, you might be a moron (kidding…maybe…maybe not).
Look, we all know that eating fast-food is bad. We don’t need it pounded into our faces, right? We’re smart, right?
Apparently, Troma realized we are morons and decided to take it to the next level.
“Poultrygeist” starts out like many would not expect: A young go-getter, Arbie, is attempting to have sex with his high-school girlfriend, Wendy, (see? They are so subtle over at Troma) while the inhabitants of an Indian graveyard revolt against the thought that their once-peaceful resting place will soon become the site of a new Chicken Bunker — well, the revolt is more of a finger-in-the-ass, and Arbie and Wendy flee.
Fast-forward, and Arbie has done little with his life. He comes home from college, hungry for a job and finds his once-girlfriend, Wendy, joining in a protest against the new Chicken Bunker Restaurant — led by her newfound-college-lesbian-friend, who is heading the protest group called C.L.A.M. — College Lesbians Against Mega-Conglomerates.
In a musical fit of rage (yes, this film is a musical), Arbie decides to piss-off his one-time love by becoming an employee of the Chicken Bunker.
Folks, this is just the first 15 minutes.
What follows is this in a nutshell: A Muslim fry-cook figures out the “chickens have declared Jihad,” on the restaurant, Sloppy Jose’s talk to people, all the while violently spastic food-poisoning body transformation, fake lesbian make-out scenes, many more catchy dance numbers, riffs on films ranging from “Night of the Living Dead” to “Aliens” to “Assault on Precinct 13” take place. In a word, “BatshitCrazy.” But, later, the film hits it stride, welcoming a buttload of pissed-off chicken-faced zombies, who then begin to feast on the clientele. And bloody, gory, insane scenes ensue.
And, despite my open-mind and desire to rise above the apes, I can’t help but chuckle a shitload throughout this grotesque-fest of inappropriate humor.
If you want to offend absolutely everyone you know, show them “Poultrygeist.” If you lose friends, they weren’t friends to begin with.

Romero Rules Followed: Well, this time around, spoiled/rotten/(possessed?) eggs cause the outbreak, and nothing really applies here.
Gore factor: Bonkers. Blood flies more than a Sam Raimi test shoot.
Zombies or Wannabees? First-ever TIE
Classic, fine, or waste of time: Fine
Additional comments: I could never call this P.O.S. a classic, but, you know what? It is damn fun, too much fun for a movie with an IQ level of 50. Sometimes, it is great to just shut off the brain and have fun. This is fun, and not for the thoughtful.

Monday, October 3, 2011

ZomBlog Review: "Zombieland"

Stars: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin
Writers: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick
Dir: Ruben Fleischer
88 minutes

First and foremost, thanks for coming back. There was a (too-long) hiatus for this blog, but I plan to have at least two updates a week beginning with this week. As a promise, I will at least have one update per week, plus Twitter updates.
So, how better to re-launch the blog than to review a modern classic?
For the layperson who happened to miss this gem on initial release and henceforth online, on Blu-Ray, DVD or streaming/on-demand, stop reading this right now, and go watch it. I’ll wait. And you will thank me.
For those who know others uninitiated to the zombie-genre, this is how you bring them in: Show them “Zombieland.”
It has it all: great writing, great comedy, one of the best cameos ever in a film ever, superfluous gore, a simple story, and a cast of actors perfect for the film.
Jesse “Social Network” Eisenberg stars as the perfect, reclusive nerd who one day wakes up and finds himself thrust into an entire world filled with fast-moving gut-munchers. In order to survive, he writes a set of his own rules for survival (for the likeminded dorks, I have the ones listed in the film in order below), many of which are demonstrated repeatedly throughout the film. The hapless, goofy nerd meets up with testosterone-personified in “Tallahassee,” the name given to Harrelson’s character which is derived from Tallahassee’s ultimate destination (Tallahassee, upon picking up the young nerd, firmly states “No names,” as to not get unnecessarily attached to a stranger). The nerd then claims his name as “Columbus Ohio.”
Harrelson is clearly having a blast in this role, channeling his character Mickey Knox from “Natural Born Killers,” and putting a perfect deadpan comedic spin on the tough-as-nails character and making the blood-thirsty killer into a gleeful zombie-killing Twinkie-lover. Harrelson just chews-up nearly every scene he is in.
Columbus, wary of stepping outside of his rules, seems happy to have human contact and aids Tallahassee in his on-the-road quest for the golden Hostess treats, wherein they meet a cunning set of sisters, Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin). Despite several back-stabbing moments, the girls become part of the fold, with Wichita becoming a love interest for Columbus, and Little Rock standing in for…let’s just say, a hole in Tallahassee’s life.
The sisters reveal they are heading to an amusement park, which they heard is zombie-free, Pacific Playland (a place where Little Rock can be a kid again), and the girls con the men into tagging along. As they head out of Texas and into California, a whole lot of hijinks, zombie killing, and the murder of Hollywood-royalty occurs.
And all of it is played for laughs, accompanied with extreme gore.

Romero Rules Followed: A handful, but these suckers are fast. But, for the most part, they are followed.
Gore factor: Extreme.
Zombies or Wannabees? Zombies; I can’t keep the fast-movers out of the category.
Classic, fine, or waste of time: Classic
Additional comments: Just watch and enjoy. Oh, also, here are Columbus’s rules (the ones noted in the film):
Rule #1: Cardio
Rule #2: Double-tap
Rule #3: Beware of bathrooms
Rule #4: Seatbelts
Rule #7: Travel light
Rule #17: Don’t be a hero
Rule #18: Limber up
Rule #22: When in doubt, know your way out
Rule #31: Check the back seat
Rule #32: Enjoy the little things

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