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Carlos Prime [Celluloid 09.29.15] Denmark scifi comedy

There are coming-of-age stories and there are coming-of-age stories where the father may be a mad scientist, siblings fight with taxidermied animals, a retirement home becomes a haven for one-night-stands and every character has a cleft palate.

Men and Chicken is not the former.

Scandinavia has long been regarded as a region as traditionally humorless as their German neighbors, but fortunately that is a remarkably untrue stereotype. Somehow that part of the world has been the unsung hero of accessible yet brilliant comedy. This may be the one film that gets the boulder finally rolling over the cultural barrier due to Mads Mikkelsen's firmly established popularity in the United States. Brutal ventures like Casino Royale, "Hannibal," and Valhalla Rising have kept Mads in the public's eye for some time now, but it's liberating and refreshing to know (on screen!) that he is as stupendously well-humored as his Scandinavian comedic contemporaries.

Half-brothers Elias and Gabriel learn of their father's passing and watch the video he left behind for them (filmed on an unreliable tripod), where it is revealed he is not their biological father. With this information the duo (consisting of a compulsively nauseous nervous wreck and a short-tempered frequent masturbator) head out to find the key to their true lineage. What they discover when they reach their father's estate isn't anything resembling peace of mind. Instead they encounter more siblings, a menagerie of animal roommates, and a frequency of violence so steady it seems to replace any form of communication.

Elias and Gabriel attempt to build bridges with their nearly simian brothers, while simultaneously exploring their true father's history. What secrets they unfold from their adventures together will redefine their lives- if they don't beat one another to death in the process.

So deep in purely ludicrous situations, Men and Chicken is an absolute gem. It took great effort from writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen to maintain a level of interest in the characters that nearly nobody in the audience will be able to relate to. Personally, I've never been pondered on bestiality nor the necessity to eat off of dinner plates with particular animals on them, but that's just me.

It's well put-together and riotously hilarious- probably because not a single character is exercising his complete mental faculties.

Obscene, then coarse, then begrudgingly sweet. You do not want to miss this one when it comes around.

"Beavis and Butt-head" Do Denmark. With Chicken Sex.

Recommended Release: Beavis and Butt-head - The Mike Judge Collection, Vol. 1

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