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CHICKEN PARK

An Italian take-off on JURASSIC PARK--and my God, what a piece of shit!

The Package
     This 1996 “comedy” was evidently intended for the American market, which it (understandably) never quite reached. It was the only English language film directed by the veteran Italian comedian Jerry Cala. As one of the film’s characters inquires early on: “How come we speak English?” “I don‘t know, ask the writer!” is the reply. Said writer was Gino Capone, who (unfortunately enough) has scripted all of Mr. Cala’s self-directed features. No, I haven’t seen any of those features outside this one, and really don’t think I’ll be doing so!

The Story
     On a secluded island a “Chicken Park” is being built to house giant chickens. During construction a none-too-tragic tragedy occurs when several workers get spooked and shoot each other. In the meantime Vladimiro, a lowly chicken farmer, is en route to a Dominican Republic cockfighting competition with a prized cock named Joe. Vladimiro’s plane flight is piloted by a FULL METAL JACKET-eque drill sergeant, with his fellow passengers consisting of zombies and an invisible man. Once ensconced in the Dominican Republic, Joe ends up winning the cockfighting competition but then disappears.
     Vladimiro’s search for his prized fowl leads to the Chicken Park, where he runs into the extras from the last Christopher Columbus movie(?). Entering the Chicken Park, Vladimiro takes a piss on what looks like a tree but turns out to be the leg of a giant chicken. He then meets the diminutive Dr. Egg, who runs the park, and the luscious Dr. Sigourney. He also finds Joe, who’s being used to create a new strain of mutant chicken. Vladimiro is upset by this, but, being a pussy, lets the project go ahead after he’s threatened by Egg’s burly henchmen.
     More stupidity follows, including an interlude with Egg’s goth wife that concludes with her getting fingered by a crawling hand. Vladimiro attempts to escape the Chicken Park together with Sigourney, Joe and Dr. Egg’s bratty children. They nearly make it out, but then the kids taunt one of the park’s giant chickens--calling it a “Faggot”--and it runs riot, eating Joe and wreaking all sorts of mayhem.

The Direction
     It’s a rare movie that fails in every conceivable department, but CHICKEN PARK handily accomplishes that feat. How shitty is this film? It actually makes the dreadful parodies of Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg (EPIC MOVIE, MEET THE SPARTANS, DRACULA SUCKS, etc) look good!
     The jokes are by turns stupid, inappropriate, childish, predictable (when the hero orders a cocktail “with a punch” you can easily guess what’s going to occur) and plain weird (what’s up with that plane full of zombies?). What NONE of the gags are is funny. Examples of this movie’s “humor” include lines like “I buy my TV set and I get a muchacha and I play with her remote control” and “I’m gonna make a man out of each and every one of you, including the women!”
     Gag after gag falls flat, from a BLAZING SADDLES-esque breaking of the fourth wall that has the heroine recruited from an audience viewing this movie (if that sounds confusing I can assure you it plays even more so), to the endless play on the word cock (“Your cock is in good hands,” etc). Jerry Cala’s tone-deaf direction and lack of anything resembling timing further ensure that no laughs make it through.
     JURASSIC PARK may have been the object, but seemingly every movie ever made is referenced at some point. One pivotal scene somehow manages to ape both THE ADDAMS’ FAMILY (headlined by Pedro Almodovar regular Rossy De Palma in the film’s only memorable performance) and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. Said scene, like the movie overall, makes very little sense, but coherence was evidently not high on the filmmakers’ list of priorities.
 

Vital Statistics

CHICKEN PARK
Metrofilm

Director: Jerry Cala
Producer: Galliano Juso
Screenplay: Gino Capone
Cinematography: Blasco Giurato
Editing: Sergio Montanari
Cast: Jerry Cala, Demetra Hampton, Blynn Jeffrey Mark, Alessia Marcuzzi, Lawrence Steven Meyers, Rossy De Palma, Paolo Paolini, Eleanora Rossi

     

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