What do you think you get when you mix the directorial mastery of Stanley Kubrick with fast food chicken? If you said, “coherent story telling,” I regret to inform you that you are very much mistaken. But the unrelentingly bizarre and occasionally off-putting The Chickening, by Canadian animators Nick DenbBer and Davy Force, combines the work of The Shining director with a terrifyingly imagined chicken chain and it has taken the film festival world by storm—most recently screening at Sundance’s short film program. DeBoer and Force describe the five-minute film as “first of its kind in remixed augmented cinema.” I would describe as what it a trip to Chic Fil-A must look like on acid.
The animated overlays on top of Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duval don’t always work (or maybe they do—it’s tough to say what “work” even means in this situation), but they are skillfully executed. It’s the mix of “I think that’s funny but I’m not sure why” and “Oh my god my eyes are burned forever” we’ve come to expect from the likes of Tim and Eric, which makes sense since Force animated the opening sequence for Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! But The Chickening takes the intentionally weird and cranks it completely over the top.
Check out the whole film up above (warning: some NSFW content) and follow the future successes of The Chickening, which will almost certainly include several 2:19am screenings on adult swim, at thechickening.net (don’t go to thechickening.com—unless you want an incredibly easy recipe for flambé squirrel).
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