Don’t Be A Chicken, Watch ‘Men & Chicken’

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“Men & Chicken.” The title alone spurs curious absurdity. It is a title that grabs you for a number of reasons. If this were a video store friendly world. You would pick this one up off the shelf to have a look at the synopsis. If you were a cinephile into curious absurdity, you would take this home and fall in love.

This is an entirely unique film. Its a film that merges together elements of ‘The Three Stooges,’ slapstick violence; ‘X-Files’ fringe science and a oddly-touching family drama.

“Men & Chicken,” first and foremost is exactly what the tiles suggests. The twisting story and brilliant character work transforms it into something else entirely. Fear not, this film is a must see!

Brothers, Gabriel (David Dencik) and Elias (Mads Mikkelsen) set out to find their real father, on the Island of Ork.  When they arrive they discover half-brothers Gregor and Franz. The newly acquainted kin takes to beating the hell out of Gabriel and Elias. The over the top beatings and frequency, has notes of certain Coen. Brothers schtick.

Eventually, Gabriel and Elias are invited into the family home. The home is an abandoned mental hospital filled with barnyard animals. The surrounding town is home to peculiar characters as well.

“Mikkelsen’s most stand-out role to date”

Characters are fully thought out and feel entirely real despite the setting. It is hard to feel out what kind of film this is initially. It takes a full sit-through, in order to decide that this film resides in a unique genre that bridges comedy, sci-fi and drama.

Mikkelsen, who we currently see as the dashing cannibal, Hannibal Lecter, is almost unrecognizable. His hairlip, complexion, mustache and hard demeanor gives us Mikkelsen’s most stand-out role to date. Elias is a brash bastard, hard around the edges and not afraid to scrap. If you are a fan of Mikkelsen, you really need to see this film.

There is a lot of greatness in this movie. One in-particular, is the “ah-ha’ moment of the film. After the third act reveals itself, the first two acts take on an entirely new meaning and stains your eye-sockets with something that you can not unsee. ‘Men & Chicken’ has a brutally dry sense of humor. It isn’t afraid to go out on limbs for oddly-timed bits or gross out humor. It is what is warts and all.

The Drafthouse Films release features a reversible sleeve with art by Alan Hynes, a blu-ray/dvd combo and a free digital download.  ‘Men & Chicken’ can be found on VOD and blu-ray Oct. 25.

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