Catch this on the festival circuit if you can!
KFC is a film that simply shouldn’t exist, and the fact that it does is pretty amazing. I was lured into watching the seventy minute oddity thanks to the warning on the NYAFF website that simply said “WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK!” With some of the stranger films that tend to get programmed at the festival, seeing that warning on a description was effectively a giant neon sign pointed directly at me shouting, “YOU NEED TO SEE THIS!”
I wasn’t disappointed.
KFC is a surreal transgressive stream of consciousness, reminiscent of V-Cinema era Takashi Miike, about a group of murderers, necrophiliacs, and cannibals that all revolve around the Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food chain. It’s this strange absurdity that ties these stories together as the we visit not only workers of the fast food chain who are brutally murdered, but we later watch murderers chow down on KFC while extolling the virtues of mixing Coke and Pepsi to create their own hybrid super drink. It’s definitely a strange juxtaposition of American consumerism and brutal violence that has just faintest traces of the Vietnam Conflict woven throughout.
The film seems to begin as a series of fragmented events populated by a rogues gallery of very engaging, charismatic characters who slowly drag you further and further into this transgressive nightmare. As the film continues to devolve into an all out gore-fest, the narrative begins to cycle around showing how this violence began and also how it continues through these people’s lives. By the end of the film’s scant running time, the brutality has been heightened to such a point that the film director Le Binh Giang only needs 70 minutes to leave one of the most lasting impressions of any film yet in this year’s NYAFF lineup.
If you have the chance to see KFC on the festival circuit and if this kind of thing is your bag, I highly suggest it. Due to the subject matter and its reliance on one of America’s biggest fast food chains as a major plot device, this probably wont get a legit release. While the film has a very DIY aesthetic, it only adds to the charm of the piece as the director is able to transcend these financial confines thanks to his audacity to attempt to push to audience to their limits. Not for the squeamish this is definitely a film for fans of transgressive cinema and fried chicken. Speaking of which, now I am REALLY hungry.