Hundreds Of Beavers Is A Wild Indie Comedy That’s ‘The Revenant But Funny’ – Exclusive Image

Hundreds Of Beavers

by Ben Travis |
Published on

If you keep an ear to the ground in the world of cult cinema, you’ve likely heard a distinctive rumbling coming from the United States – the unmistakable sound of Hundreds Of Beavers. Because the scrappy and raucous debut feature from filmmakers Mike Cheslik and Ryland Brickson Cole Tews – featuring, yes, hundreds of beavers; or, at least, people in mascot-type beaver costumes – has become a word-of-mouth sensation for its wild slapstick, unpredictable energy, and audience-riling exploits. And now, it’s finally about to make its way to UK cinemas, bringing Beaver fever across the pond. Get ready for a film that Cheslik and Tews pitched as “‘The Revenant but funny’.”

Tews stars as drunken 18th-century applejack salesman Jean Kayak, who – after a run-in with a bunch of belligerent beavers – takes up fur-trapping, and must collect “hundreds of beavers” to win the hand of a merchant’s daughter. That basic plot is a delivery system for a pile-up of kinetic gags and escalating stakes. “We had a general idea to tell the story of our state, Wisconsin,” explains Cheslik. “We wanted to make a film about how brave and noble the French fur-trappers were [when] catching beaver pelts, but we wanted to do it in the spirit of a television show called America’s Funniest Home Videos. Before YouTube, people would mail tapes in of their families being hurt and we thought it was delightful.”

The end result has been a festival hit, earned praise from the likes of Joe Dante and Guillermo del Toro, and has toured the US in a roadshow presentation that brought the cinematic circus to town – complete with beaver-wrestling and free beer distribution. All of which makes sense for a film that finds the mid-point between Iñárritu’s brutal survivalist drama, Miyazaki’s The Castle Of Cagliostro, and The Wrong Trousers. “It’s a combination of a bunch of different genres we love,” says Cheslik. “Jean is put on a Kafka-esque trial and then he has this big log-flume chase. We love the James Cameron triple final-act where there’s three climactic action sequences. We thought it would be fun to do an indie version with beaver mascots.” Keep your eyes peeled, people – your cinema is about to be taken over by Hundreds Of Beavers.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Season 2 – Empire covers

Read Empire’s full feature on Hundreds Of Beavers – from its wild making-of, to its runaway success – in The Rings Of Power Season 2 issue, on sale Thursday 4 July. Order a copy online here – choose the Galadriel cover, or the Sauron cover. Hundreds Of Beavers comes to UK cinemas from 9 July.

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