Severed limbs, dangling intestines, festering sores, excrement,
vomit, semen, blood, naked obese people on the toilet, zombie chickens,
cannibalism, offensive racial stereotypes, decaying corpses, people
having unfriendly encounters with meat slicers ... and songs,
Who else could churn out such sleazy, vulgar nonsense but Lloyd Kaufman, the
If you don't like the gross-outs, well, there's also slapstick
comedy, satires, plenty of exaggerated characters, calculated
degeneracy, and enough shameless over-acting to embarrass Roberto
Or perhaps you prefer nudity and sex of all kinds: masturbation, straight sex, three-ways, and hot
girl-on-girl action. In fact, whatever else one says about this film,
one must concede that the nudity is cute, with no sign of silicone,
and the witty sex scenes are among the
movie's best moments.
And somewhere in there, between the tits and the bodily fluids, there are a few good jokes and some pointed
social criticism. Writer/producer/director/actor Lloyd Kaufman
believes in throwing all the cinematic pasta up on the wall, in the
hope that some of it will stick. Kaufman explained some of his
theories about scattershot filmmaking in this
Q: Your style could be characterized as ďeverything including the
kitchen sinkĒ: slapstick, one-liners, musical numbers. Who are your
main cinematic influences?
A: I think Preston Sturges is all over our films. His fond satire
of American life is running through our films. I think Capra, too, has
influenced our films. Thereís a sweetness to our movies, thereís a
sympathetic side to all our characters, which is part of the reason
that weíre still here.
Q: Any tips for aspiring young filmmakers?
Thereís no doubt you have to grovel in this business. But Iím good
at it. Iím good at giving blowjobs to distributors. Hitchcock did
did it. Van Gogh couldnít do it, so he cut his ear off and blew
his brains out.
Q: You sing and dance in Poultrygeist. What prompted you to cast
yourself in the movie?
A: Iím reliable; I know Iíll show up.
Actually I disagree with the interviewer's first question about
"everything BUT the kitchen sink." Lloyd would never forget to include
the kitchen sink in some depraved way. As for Lloyd's answers, well,
delivered with his tongue buried in his cheek, and some are
meant to be taken ... well, not "seriously" exactly, but with less
irony than the others.
The basic plot outline of Poultrygeist involves a
fried chicken franchise built upon the site of a sacred Indian burial
mound. (Get the parallel to Poltergeist?) Not that the plot matters
much. That premise really exists only
to provide a loose framework for skits and gross-outs. And that's kind of a
shame, because Poultrygeist, while not the kind of movie that will
appeal to anyone but hardcore Troma fanatics, has the core of a
genuinely good comedy buried somewhere within its calculated
ignobility. In fact, after about a half-hour of this film, I was
really enjoying it. For all its flaws, it
seemed to be an uproarious oddball musical, in the same spirit as
Trey Parker's Cannibal. There are several moments in the
early going that I found truly inspired. For example, there are a
couple of funny musical numbers (one topless), and a very funny
opening scene in which two high school seniors spoon in a graveyard:
Oh, Arby, you're the best dry-humper in school.
Thanks, Wendy. That's what the guys on the basketball team say. (Pause) Wait. Who else
have you been dry-humping?
Um ... (Non-plussed, she kisses him to distract him, then looks
around.) Hey, are you sure we're safe here in the middle of the night?
Sure! Nobody has even come up here since those horny teens were
Unfortunately, ol' Lloyd Kaufman never knows when to shut off the
faucet of bodily fluids, and every good joke is drawn-out well past the point when it
could have ended up
funny. Imagine if you will, two different gross parodies of The Sound
of Music. In the first, the kids and Julie Andrews sing a happy, sappy
parody song for a few seconds until they are all suddenly decapitated. That might be funny, but Troma would not do it that way. In
the Troma version, the family would sing one note, then be
decapitated, then fall around for three minutes spurting blood, shit,
and vomit on one another while their severed heads sing the song.
Everything at Troma is done to excess. It's their trademark. It's
the reason why they have some die-hard fans.
But it's also the reason why they have so few.