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Kino Korner July 13, 2007
The Squawk-ic Avenger
By Alexander Zaitchik Browse author Email

Maybe other screenings were better attended, but I doubt it. On the last night of Moscow's two-week run of Lloyd Kaufman's latest diarrhea-splattered Troma production, the 35MM theater was nearly empty. This means it was also happily free of people -- let's call them "squirmers" -- who don't know what they're in for when they buy a one-way ticket to Tromaville. There were maybe ten of us sprinkled around the art house, all obvious Troma fans, all howling and squealing under the zombie musical's assault of exploding bowels and flesh-eating fowl. It was the best time I've had at the movies since I saw the opening of Snakes On a Plane at an all-black theater in Montgomery, Alabama.

Topping the night like a brown cherry was the fact that the screening fell on July 4, the day us yanks told the Brits to go take a sail. Is there a better way to spend Independence Day than a midnight show with America's best independent filmmaker, the godfather of the gross-out, Heineken in hand? The answer is more emphatic when the film in question is Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, a sex-, scat- and song-filled satire of fast food (replete with Ron Jeremy cameo) that is Kaufman's best film in years, maybe decades, up there with the original Toxic Avenger.

Kaufman long ago crowned himself the master of fast food joint and broom closet gore -- the deep fryer, the greasy grill, and the mop handle are all iconic Troma tropes. Poultrygeist is the double apotheosis of the fry-vat fuckery and minimum-wage wank genres. All of the action takes place in and around the American Chicken Burger restaurant, built on the ancient burial ground of the Tromahawk Indians. Together with a parking lot protest organized by college liberals, drunk Injuns, militant lesbians, and wheelchair-bound retards -- the spoof of protest chants is hysterical -- American Chicken Burger on its opening day is plagued by the revenge of angry Indian spirits teaming up with horny flesh-eating zombie chickens. When the protesters outside are convinced by the diaper fetishist Colonel Sanders-type owner to taste the possessed chicken, they also turn into chicken zombies, thus trapping the film's heroes (including a devout Muslim female short-order cook named Hummous) inside the restaurant! The result is a fuming 64-piece box of Chicken McNasties served with a large outhouse bucket of Kaufman's special sauce of Concentration Camp that's part Russ Meyer, part Al Goldstein, part Dario Argento, yet with that distinctive Troma aroma. No other filmmaker can make you gag and laugh so many times, often at the same time, in 90 minutes. Or who can keep the smile on your lips as a man's face is placed in a deli meat slicer and counted out to a quarter pound. (Yeah, that's in the movie.)

If you missed the 35MM screenings of Poutrygeist, says the next nearest showing is the Grossman film and wine festival in Ljutomer, Slovenia, in the second week in August. If on the off chance you weren't planning on attending the Grossman festival this year, check out selected scenes at the film's myspace page. The next Troma production, Pot Zombies, is scheduled for release later this year. Kaufman did not direct.

Preview Review

Hair Spray

Directed by Adam shankman

John Waters looking hungry for tossed salad

Speaking of indie film legends, the sad and inevitable post-Broadway run remake of John Waters' Hairspray comes out later this month. In place of the original cast of Debby Harry, Divine, Ricki Lake, Jerry Stiller, and Ric Ocasek, the new version will feature John Travolta, Queen Latifa, Michelle Pfieffer and the like. In Waters' old directing chair: Adam Shankman, the auteur who brought you The Wedding Planner. I couldn't bring myself to watch the trailer. Do not see this film. Deface its posters. Key Adam Shankman's Porsche.

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Browse author
Alexander Zaitchik is an editor at The eXile. Email him at
Caucasian Taxi Driver
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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


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