‘The Chickening,’ An Indescribably Bizarre Riff On ‘The Shining,’ Is Now Free Online

Last September at Fantastic Fest, I was lucky enough to see a short film from Canadians Nick DenBoer and Davy Force called “The Chickening.” It was about five minutes long, and created entirely by adding effects to actual scenes from The Shining so that it became a strange comedy about, you guessed it, chickens.

I wanted to tell you about it, but the thing about “The Chickening” is that it’s pretty self-explanatory. And because of rights issues and the fact that it’s five minutes long, there was no guarantee you’d ever get to see it. Like a lot of things Fantastic Fest, you kind of had to be there. But today is your lucky day, because now “The Chickening” is available online, where it was probably meant to live all along.

As co-director DenBoer tells BirthMoviesDeath:

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. […]

This was intended to be a 22-minute piece, but we did this for zero budget in our spare time, so we did as much as we could until it worked as a balls-out trailer. If we made our 22-minute version as intended, the narrative would make a lot more sense, but I think it’s going to live as you see it and we are moving on to the next project.

It’s funny they did this in their spare time, I feel like there’s a particular style of comedy specific to Canada that’s defined by no axes to grind and a lot of free time.