The Most Insane Comedy of the Year Is Now on Streaming

‘Hundreds of Beavers’ is unlike any other movie out there
The Most Insane Comedy of the Year Is Now on Streaming

Many of the comedies that have come out in 2024 so far have felt pretty darn familiar. We got yet another Ghostbusters sequel, a musical Mean Girls remake and Immaculate, which was obviously just a gritty supernatural reboot of Sister Act.

But there is one new comedy that is clearly unlike any other movie that has come before it — unless you know of another largely-silent, slapstick gag-filled odyssey about a 19th century applejack-brewer-turned-hunter, who braves a harsh, frozen wilderness to battle hordes of beavers, rabbits and wolves (all played by human actors in furryesque mascot costumes, naturally). 

We’re talking about Hundreds of Beavers, which, if you haven’t seen it, basically plays like a 1930s Looney Tunes movie directed by avant-garde filmmaker Guy Maddin if he was obsessed with old-school Nintendo games (the lead character even spends much of the movie wearing “Tanuki Suit”-like animal hides). It might just be the best ever attempt to make a feature length, live-action version of a cartoon (with all due apologies to Fat Albert). 

The low-budget effort from director Mike Cheslik was completed during the pandemic, and it was no simple feat. Shot over 12 weeks that were spread over two winters (2019 and 2020), lead actor Ryland Brickson Cole Tews got frostbite, a crew member suffered a concussion and the production “totaled two cars.” As Cheslik later claimed, “We were on a mission from God to entertain, like it was Shackleton’s voyage.”

Hundreds of Beavers first premiered back in 2022 at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, but it’s only hitting streaming platforms this week after playing the festival circuit for the past two years. According to a Reddit AMA with Cheslik, finding distribution proved to be an “unexpected challenge.”

The filmmakers are also touring the film throughout the U.S. and Canada, bringing Hundreds of Beavers to actual movie theaters, which seems like the ideal way to see it. Watching this movie with a crowd is presumably a much better experience than watching it alone at home while eating a family-size bag of potato chips (I still enjoyed it, though).  

Judging from the glowing reviews and online audience responses, pretty much everyone seems to be digging Hundreds of Beavers. It’s no wonder; made for just $150,000, the movie is a geyser of imagination and creativity. It truly feels like a handmade labor of love. 

It’s also clear that the people behind Hundreds of Beavers share a love of classic comedies. According to Cheslik’s lengthy Letterboxd list, some of the movies that “inspired” the film include It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold RushMonty Python and the Holy Grail and Naked Gun 33 ⅓ (but, oddly, no other Naked Gun movies). There are some dramas on the list as well, such as The Revenant and Jeremiah Johnson, aka the movie that gave us the Robert Redford (definitely not Zach Galifianakis) nodding meme. 

So if you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, you could do a lot worse than Hundreds of Beavers — just be careful what you click on when Googling the title. 

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this). 


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