Poultrygeist

Filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman isn't afraid to get his nose bitten off by a zombie chicken
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Freaky beaky

WINGIN' IT Veteran filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman spoke to me from Troma Entertainment's Long Island City, N.Y., headquarters about Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead — a scathing and explosive (as in "explosive diarrhea") look at the fast-food industry. He calls this hilarious, stomach-turning epic "the first chicken-Indian-zombie movie that has singing and dancing." He also had quite a bit to say about the state of the media and cinema today. (Cheryl Eddy)

LLOYD KAUFMAN "The biggest misconception [about Troma films] is that people who haven't seen them assume that we make these movies formulaically — that we just throw together some gyno-Americans in bikinis, slap some ketchup on 'em, and have 'em run through the woods. Troma is a 35-year-old company, and we wouldn't be around if that was all we did. The problem is, most people who dismiss us are too busy taking [in] the Burger King advertisement called Iron Man. The Village Voice has a conglomerate — the so-called 'alternative newspaper,' the LA Weekly, the New Times — they don't even have the interest in reviewing [Poultrygeist]. They have some idiot review it in New York who, in my opinion, didn't even look at the movie, and says that Trey Parker is in Poultrygeist and gives it a cursory review. I can't imagine how they could have seen the movie if they think Trey Parker is in the movie. Somebody put it up on imdb.com because Trey Parker was discovered by Troma, and because Trey Parker has acted in other Troma movies. Some fan put it [on the Internet]. And this has been repeated by other critics — critics! who are supposed to be reviewing the movie. So if the alternative media is a disgrace like the LA Weekly, if they're just vomiting out an inaccurate, uninspired reviews, if this is the alternative media that's supposed to be embracing art and embracing independent art, we don't have a chance. When Toxic Avenger came out in 1983, Vincent Canby — the lead reviewer for the New York Times — chose to review it when it came out. He cared, he was interested. That's gone. It's over.

"All of us independents have got to fight for the future of art. The big hope is that [independent filmmakers] come out swinging: that they be aggressive and not be afraid to whore for their art. I think too many talented directors feel that doing what Lloyd Kaufman does is low-class, going out there and promoting the film — like, 'I don't wanna get my hands dirty doing that.' As long as you don't compromise your art, as long as you don't try to remake Pulp Fiction 10 times, as long as you're doing something you believe in once it's finished — as long as you're not breaking any laws or hurting people — what is wrong if I wear a clown suit and go to Cannes and throw blood on people? Why is that wrong?"

POULTRYGEIST: NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD opens Fri/18 at the Roxie. See Rep Clock for showtimes.

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