Some movies are so weird, the vibe they put out can't really be conveyed by the written word. Men & Chicken is weird. It's seriously, freaking weird. Let's see if its weirdness can be sufficiently conveyed in this here column.
For starters, and there's really no other way to say this folks, there's chicken fucking in this movie, lots and lots of chicken fucking. Sorry for the language, but stating that chickens experience copulation via human penises in this film just doesn't seem to sum it up in the right way. Chickens get boinked by dudes. Weird, weird dudes.
One of those dudes is Elias (Mads Mikkelsen), a chronic masturbator and sometime chicken boffer with a deformed face and a generally bullish attitude (there's a reason why I used that word to describe his attitude).
Mikkelsen, who is normally a Mr. Hotty Pants, is unrecognizable in this movie. Many of you know him as the man who played Hannibal Lecter on TV. Others may know him as the villain in Quantum of Solace. For those of you seeing him for the first time in this film, you will hitherto know him as the chicken fucker,
Elias is brother to Gabriel (David Dencik), or at least he thinks he is. When their father dies, they find out some strange stuff about their ancestry, and go on a road trip. They wind up meeting a group of other, very strange men residing in a large house. As it turns out, these men are their half brothers. And they have a thing for chickens.
They also beat up on Gabriel and Elias with really large pots and stuffed foxes.
The two brothers don't like their new brothers too much because, on top of beating them up with pots and foxes, they are hiding them from their alleged genius biological father. Their dad had a thing for scientific experiments, and splicing different kinds of animals together. Perhaps you are getting an idea of where things are going?
So, does it sound weird enough to you, yet? This thing is so strange, you'll have to pinch yourself to make sure you are really watching it. Watching this movie makes one feels as if they've watched Twins, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, drank a bunch of absinthe, chased it with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and then downed a bottle of Nyquil before going to sleep. It messes you up.
And, somehow, the damn thing is funny, and even moving at times. Writer-director Anders Thomas Jensen doesn't seem to want to make many Hollywood friends with this blessed piece of cinematic sacrilege from Denmark. Granted, Jensen has had his hands in plenty of American screenplays past and present (he's currently co-writing the Stephen King adaptation, The Dark Tower).
Even so, the notion that a big Hollywood studio would fund a film like this seems outlandish. Nope, we only get this stuff from other countries. Other countries have bigger balls than the folks at Disney. Now, this isn't a slag on Disney. Disney rules. If you want movies about talking crickets, you do Disney. If you want movies about sex with mutated chickens, you go to Denmark.
Mikkelsen is the best thing about this movie, completely shedding his handsome screen persona for a character that is somewhat less than flattering. He not only shows an incredible talent for comedy, but also shows that he's an actor willing to let it all hang out. His performance will certainly go down as one of the year's most daring.
So, did this column do a decent job of telling you how weird Men & Chicken is? If you like your movies twisted like a T-shirt that got caught in the dryer door while it was running, go see this and know you will get your weirdness quotient. Mind you, stay away if you have a soft spot in your heart for chickens.
They do not have a good time in this film. .