Bucktooth Comedy: Hundreds of Beavers (2022) – review

When I was a kid the neighbours behind us had three teenage sons, all of whom had bucked teeth. My father, who never missed the opportunity to single out one’s physical characteristics, nicknamed those three lads, “The Bucky Beavers”. I hadn’t thought about that for a long time, not until an email arrived about an indie comedy called Hundreds of Beavers which opens in selected cinemas across Australia this Friday, July 12.

Written and directed by Mike Cheslik, this feature-length debut follows a carelessly drunken applejack salesman, Jean Kayak, as he endures a frostbitten wilderness and battles with diabolical beavers. It’s a Looney Tune-esque story of “Man vs. Wild”, but thankfully our hero does not drink his urine.

I recently read that the 1939 film adaptation Of Mice and Men was one of the first movies with a pre-credit sequence, but Hundreds of Beavers might just have the longest with a vignette that plays like your typical Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd short. Despite its length, the segment sets the film’s tone and narrative style, a bizarre blend of 1920s slapstick humour and an open-world video game. By requiring our human protagonist to frequent a local merchant to exchange goods for tools and supplies, Cheslik satirises the hunter-gatherer structure found in many expansive games such as Red Dead Redemption, showing how it can be both tedious and compelling.

Younger audiences may struggle to click with the old-fashioned comedy, but there are enough modern jokes and meme references to help broaden the gap. More fascinating than the film’s comedy are its visuals which frequently utilise “stage props” in a real-world environment, establishing a surreal atmosphere. While they’re convenient given the limited budget, the many two-dimensional set pieces, like the beaver’s wooden fortress, are a significant part of what makes this indie adventure so unique.

As we in Australia are in the grip of winter, watching Hundreds of Beavers was strangely comforting despite its bitter old setting. The costumed performers playing the furry critters give a cutesy vibe, juxtaposed to their sinister undertakings, which might be world domination; and, of course, Ryland Brickson Cole Tews is an endearing goofball as Kayak.

For a complete list of where to find your nearest screening, visit the film’s Australian linktree page through Lightbulb Film Distribution.

(2022, director: Mike Chesilk)



production stills courtesy of Walkden Publicity  



You can follow cinematic randomness on Facebook and Instagram where you’ll find all my cinematic exploits. Thank you for visiting!

Scroll to Top