Hundreds of Beavers

Hundreds of Beavers poster

The leaves fall, the apples ripen, and upon a hill in Wisconsin at the edge of Lake Michigan Jean Kayak’s Acme Applejack is born and brewed, potent, popular and powerful in its ability to intoxicate, Kayak himself overwhelmed by both his own creation and the influx of beavers in the area, the gnawed leg of the fermenting vat destabilising his growing business empire and setting the high alcohol content of the blessed concoction aflame, taking with it the orchard and Kayak’s livelihood.

As winter settles on the north, the residual applejack in his blood acting as antifreeze, he rises from the ice to find the tragedy of his own making but refuses to be bowed, a rugged man of manly beard in his snug knitted onesie who stands against the multifarious forces of nature, wind, snow, voracious wolves, opportunistic raccoons, standoffish fish, malicious woodpeckers and hundreds of beavers.

Hundreds of Beavers; Jean Kayak (Ryland Brickson Cole Tews) tracks the multitude of beavers through the devastated forest.

An insane melange of incongruous styles and influences, Hundreds of Beavers is a bizarre and surreal slapstick comedy which reunites the dynamic duo who previously fought and bested the Lake Michigan Monster, director Mike Cheslik and joyful and emotive physical performer Ryland Brickson Cole Tews who stars as the resourceful and indefatigable Jean Kayak, his wits as sharp is his teeny tiny penknife as he reinvents himself as a fur trapper in search of his fortune and sustenance.

Alone and hungry with the rambunctious local rabbits proving elusive, their instincts and agility more than a match for the intellect and ingenuity of the hunter, with the hard-faced local merchant (Doug Mancheski) trading in pelts as the principal commodity of the region a man of the wild has no trouble in adapting his skills, and furthermore upon meeting his attractive furrier daughter (Olivia Graves) Kayak makes no objection to eating beaver at her invitation.

Hundreds of Beavers; asleep in their encampment, the fur trappers fail to realise the danger they and their dogs are in.

A mix of absurd monochrome live action, costumed furry party and traditional cartoon animation with occasional song, Hundreds of Beavers plays like the worst year Wile E Coyote ever had with the charming lead channelling Bugs Bunny as Kayak’s plans become more ambitious and challenging, but can any brave and determined man match the sheer number of endemic semiaquatic rodents who are beavering away upstream to create their diabolical megastructure?

The dam built like the lair of some sinister James Bond villain, there is naturally a similarly influenced chase sequence, and despite what might seem an excessive running length between the subversive sight gags, running jokes and the multi-stranded narrative the largely non-verbal adventure of Jean Kayak succeeds as a strange, unique and thoroughly entertaining spectacle, a feat of colossal warped imagination in a time when many prefer to play safe with the conventional and predictable.

Hundreds of Beavers will be in UK and Irish cinemas from Tuesday 9th July

Hundreds of Beavers; captured in their lair, Jean Kayak (Ryland Brickson Cole Tews) is placed on trial for his crimes against beaverkind.



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