It's summertime and, whether you heard it from Gershwin or Bradley Nowell, the living's easy. Summer is synonymous with vacations, melanoma, and the aggressive forgetting of last year's schoolwork. It's three entire months that seem to say "Look: you've had a rough year. Just open your headflap so I can pour tapioca all over your brain."
It's also the season of "Waterworld," "Van Helsing," and "Big Momma's House." Summertime is when movie studios unveil their schlockiest, sorriest, bogus...est wares to a public which they pray doesn't notice. Sure, there's the annual Pixar gem and the yearly loafing-stoner-gets-hottie Apatow flick, but really, for every lovable winner, there's a steaming pile of Speed 2: Cruise Control clogging up your toilet. I'm still in counseling over Matrix: Reloaded; Wild Wild West blinded me for a month.
Now, admittedly, I'm not a big movie theatre person. (This is in stark contrast to Peter, who sees seemingly everything, including Norbit twelve times.) I'm more of a "I'll rent it from Video Shack down the street and pay a $40 late fee" sort of man. But last Friday, a movie I had been waiting oh so long for began a week-long layover at a local, single-screen theatre. Last night, I saw it. It's called Poultrygeist. I've never seen anything like it.
And for a moment, I didn't think anyone else would either.
See, after buying tickets and popcorn, Dave, myself, and a couple close buddies entered the theatre to find we had it all to ourselves. No hyperbole here: just four dudes in the middle of a 300-seat theatre. It was like one of our Ohio shows. As show time approached, a couple moseyed in, followed by a small clan of twenty-somethings with bad tribal tattoos and worse tribal earrings. It was nice not having the whole place to ourselves, though I could've indulged my secret love of screaming instructions at protagonists, but the barrenness of the place startled me. Were we early? Did the world at large know something I didn't? Was there a better zombie-chicken-musical out across town?
And, while those were meant to be rhetorical questions, the answers (respectively) are no, sort of, and no fucking way.
First, off, let me say this: it's not for everyone. Not since the new Rambo have I left a film with such an acute case of post-traumatic dress disorder. Poultrygeist is a horror movie, yes, but not in that Eli Roth, torture-porn sort of way; it's both tongue in cheek and eye-coveringly-disgusting. "Dead Alive," is a good touchstone, if you've seen that. But, oh, Poultrygeist, you were so much more: a full-fledged musical about the fast food industry, collegiate protesting, chicken-Indian-zombies---you know, the important stuff. I'm still trying to process the whole experience, quite frankly. I laughed and my burrito almost repeated on me. And, if that sounds good to you, well, you know who you are.