The Chickening

At the  Fantastic Fest film festival in Austin, Texas, short films often play before the films. Before Anders Thomas Jensen‘s Men & Chicken, the audience was treated to The Chickening, directed by Nick DenBoer and Davy Force. The short film was met with a huge applause, almost stealing the spotlight from the feature that followed.

Have you ever wanted to see a reimagining of The Shining starring a whole bunch of chickens and an older, wisecracking Danny? Well, your wish has been granted.

Birth.Movies.Death. had the honor of debuting the short film online, in addition to running an interview with DenBoer. Feast your eyes on The Chickening:

How did such a short film come about? DenBoer explains:

“Why chicken? I grew up on a chicken farm and then worked in my dad’s poultry butcher shop until I was 17, de-boning and slingin’ chicken carcasses. You can’t shake that shit.

My co-director Davy Force and I have been talking about doing this mega, next-level film remix for years and we finally had some free time last March to bust it out. We’re both animators/vfx artists/remixers and we have collaborated on a lot of similar projects, so this came together pretty naturally. The Chickening is a proof of concept we made to pitch around to studios, namely Warner Bros (hence The Shining) in a bid to create a series where every episode is a different remixed classic film. It’s a lot of fun to do and we think it’s got a lot of viral potential, but obviously there’s a lot of red tape in acquiring and regurgitating Hollywood’s sacred cows.”

I’ve seen The Chickening multiple times now and I still manage to catch new details. It’s almost visual overload, which is exactly what DenBoer wanted to achieve:

“There’s lots you probably missed the first time through. Maybe the pictures of ISIS on the wall behind Jack in the office, or the box of chicken-flavored condoms, or the pile of Tommy Wiseau references. This thing is loaded with Easter eggs and designed to be watched a bunch of times, so you’ll keep seeing new details. Kubrick was like that with all the details, too, and we think – although we sort of defaced his film – that we are still paying homage to a great piece of cinema. We wanted every still of this thing to have a WTF vibe.”

What other movies should receive this treatment? Why not do this to the rest of Stanely Kubrick’s classics? As DenBoer notes, this idea has viral potential, so let’s hope him, Force, and all involved continue to make more of these baffling and hilarious shorts.

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