Review by Charles Cassady, Jr.
Bangladesh. What is this thing?
First of all, for those of you unfamiliar with world geography (those whose map
of the world probably just shows a large “DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND CASINO” landmass
and not much else), Bangladesh
is a small, rather impoverished country adjacent to India. No, the United States
is not at war with them as yet.
I think MURGO KENO MUTANT might be the first piece of Bangladeshi cinema I’ve ever beheld, and while it is probably not representative, all I can say is...wow!
First, know that it is a cartoon. Simple-but-slick animation – not live action. Sorry if you were expecting, I dunno, a Punjabi/Hindi-language version of the Troma gore-comedy POULTRYGEIST. Filmmaker Nayeem Mahbub and company render the material in a neat, CGI-assisted echo of the “Filmation” type Saturday TV action-adventure cartoons of yesteryear (you can tell how I wasted my youth instead of learning junior auto repair or something maketable, dammit).
Setting is indeed a
Bangladesh under siege from
chickens. The popular food
fowls have turned rogue and now hunt humans. Even so, people still enjoy their
chicken kebabs and capons, so a super-hero-ish trio of chefs at a greasy spoon
occasionally go after the angry birds with heavy weapons and kung-fu skills.
After one big chicken firefight a lone surviving rooster happens to get
irradiated by a meteorite. He becames a giant ALIEN-PREDATOR level
super-chicken, mates with a hen (a very funny “Bollywood” musical interlude)
and raises an army of man-sized chicken warriors to take revenge on the
super-chefs. But it’s okay, as the humans observe that bigger chickens, even
mutant killer ones, translate into more meat for their customers.
You’re probably wondering if this is shrill animal-rights propaganda. While I’ won’t dissuade anyone from going vegetarian, I’m actually given to understand the filmmakers did this as a comical response to the bird-flu scare, as big in Bangladesh as in anywhere else. So it’s just a lark, of as much import as that running giant-chicken fistfight that’s become a recurring gag on “Family Guy.” But Nayeem Mahbub’s film is a funny one, and one quarter-of-an-hour not soon forgotten. (3 out of 4 stars)