From my least favorite Troma film too my favorite. The reason behind it being my favorite should be rather apparent as I love horror comedies as much as I love musicals, of which Poultrygeist is a beautiful blend. Directed by Lloyd Kaufman is only tangentially related to the rest of the Tromaverse unlike many other works by the studio. This happens to be the only Troma musical I’m currently aware of.
Poultrygeist follows the misadventure of Arbie (Jason Yachanin), who gets a job at the newly opened American Chicken Bunker to get back at his ex-girlfriend Wendy (Kate Graham), who has recently returned from college with her new girlfriend Micki (Allyson Sereboff). Micki is leading a protest against the American Chicken Bunker for the twin evils of slaughtering chickens and building on the site of an Ancient Indian Burial Ground. But things are not as they seem at the American Chicken Bunker as Arbies coworker Paco Bell (Khalid Rivera) gets pushed into the meat grinder by an animated chicken carcass. Unfazed this General Lee Roy (Robin Watkins) has Paco remains served to the customers as Sloppy Jose. Shorty thereafter Arbie was warned about the spirits plot against American Chicken Bunker from Paco when he reanimates as a Sloppy Jose. From here things starting getting out of hand quickly with customers becoming sick from the food and dying, only to reanimate as zombie chicken people. Arbie along with Wendy, Micki, Lee Roy, Hummus (Rose Ghavami) and the rest of the American Chicken Bunker crew are forced into a fight for their lives.
The first thing I feel need to mention is that this film is incredibly crass. Much in the way that all Troma films are, crass but also light-hearted. So, if you get easily grossed out by dick and fart style humor or tasteless sex scenes, this film might not be for you. I fortunately do not have this issue and thus enjoyed this film greatly. Which is no surprise to me, as I have never seen a film directed by Lloyd Kaufman that I haven’t enjoyed on one level or another.
That said the characters are deeply stupid. Not just slightly stupid or have ditsy moments, they’re stupid to the point it becomes alienating. The characters have very little in the way of personalities that one can relate to. So don’t go in expecting to feel any sort of attachment to the characters on an emotional level. This isn’t always the hindrance that you might suspect as not having that connecting makes much easier to laugh at when a character gets his dick bitten off by a chicken carcass that he’s in the middle of making sweet sweaty love too.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to talk about the musical numbers. Which are awesome! My personal favorite is Slow Fast Food Love and Generous General. Admittedly many of the musical elements are forgettable, but I can say the same for most Musicals, except for Rocky Horror Picture Show every song in that feature is perfection. Poultrygeist hits with the music are less the hits, so if you love exciting and moving musical moments than this might not be the film for you. Although if you enjoy silly songs and wacky humor, then this is most certainly the film for you.
Final thoughts, I suspect that my love for low-budget B and Z horror films heavily colors my perceptions of this film. Fun note, Poultrygeist was filmed on a meager $500,000, which Lloyd Kaufman dipped into his personal retirement fund to make it. Many of the actors and crew members worked for free, some traveling half way around the world to do so. So a film that so many people wanted to make and be a part of it would be hard to not have that excitement bleed through to the viewer. 8/10