Screening on July 28, 2023 9:20 PM
and July 31, 2023 11:45 AM at the Salle J.A. De Sève
Please click here to buy tickets.
Ryland B. Cole Tews and Mike Cheslik certainly made a name for themselves with the craziness that is Lake Michigan Monster (2018). It’s known amongst B-movie aficionados as Cthulhu meets Monty Python, and their latest, Hundreds of Beavers, is slightly different. This time, this duo brings the love for Silent Films (especially Mack Sennett’s work), early Looney Tunes, Benny Hill and Tex Avery to the fore. However, the list doesn’t end there. I’m sure this duo wanted to toss in everything including the kitchen sink to this madcap romp.
Now to keep that going in a full length 108-min film is tough. I was left wondering when it’ll end and fortunately there are moments to take breathers to process all that’s gone on before the next set piece goes all out bonkers.
In this tale, a drunk applejack salesman Jean Kayak (played by Tews) finds his home and business destroyed. I guess it’s because of those darn beavers, but to deal with them is the least of his worries. There’s also a rascally rabbit that torments this hunter. Although he doesn’t have a shotgun, what he does to deal with this threat is classic.
The trailers pretty much help set up what to expect, and I couldn’t help but grin at the failings of this wannabe trapper. But when he manages to off a river rodent and bring it in so it can be turned into clothes, that probably set the war in motion more so than anything else. When he takes an interest in the merchant’s daughter, happiness comes short as there’s another confrontation. Daddy doesn’t want him courting her! The only way he’ll allow it is by demanding hundreds of beavers to be delivered!
That won’t be easy to accomplish, and what we’re watching is a very extended Wile E. Coyote cartoon! It’s almost complete with all those prerequisite ACME moments where he’s using some crazy gadget to catch them all. But here, these rodents aren’t like Pokémon. They don’t want to be captured! Instead, Kayak has to come up with other inventive ways to take down as many of them as possible in a short amount of time.
In some ways, I’m reminded of The Banana Splits. The reason is not because of the costumes used. Instead, it’s evident that there’s only so much space to chase and constrain these beavers! There’s a fair bit of green screening going on too, and as for how much was spent to get props, I don’t want to guess.
Ultimately, this film focuses on who can outsmart whom. What I liked the most is that these animals are well aware of what this lumberjack is up to! To see them unite makes sense, and Kayak better look out! If a truce can be struck between this individual versus the fauna of The Great White North, then there’s no need to say who wins. In the grandest of cartoon traditions, it isn’t over until the fat lady sings, and I’m waiting for Hundreds of Beavers to become a musical! It’s guaranteed to happen as this work is a cult film to be immortalised forever in midnight madness screenings. It’s definitely guaranteed to chase the winter blues away.
4 Stars out of 5