Our Town | The K Files | The X Files Podcast | Case File 329
You’ll never eat fried chicken the same way again after this episode! The K Files investigation into Our Town is the first stop on our tour of the most horror-filled X Files episodes for Halloween Redux. There are some disgusting highlights (the bucket of chicken feed, blood, parts, vomit, etc is unforgettable) but ultimately the episode provides airtight rational for not participating in cannibalism. For a number of reasons.
Open the case file below to cross reference the grossest moments:
Mulder and Scully are very serious, so the MSR is on the back-burner. But, love-lorn shippers can still find solace in how beautifully Rob Bowman photographs these two when they are both so, so pretty. I love watching the actors during these days – they are perfectly the characters and I love spending time with Fox Mulder as a young buck.
In Dudley, Arkansas, government health inspector George Kearns follows his seemingly young lover, Paula Gray, into the woods. However, after losing track of Paula, Kearns soon finds himself surrounded by approaching lights in the woods. He is then killed by an axe-wielding assailant wearing a tribal mask.
When Kearns is reported missing ten weeks later and a witness claims to have seen foxfire near Dudley, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate. At the site of the alleged foxfire, the agents find the ground burnt and a witch’s peg staked into the ground. Arens, the local sheriff, arrives and disclaims anything unusual occurring in Dudley. After visiting Kearns’ wife, Doris, the agents discover that he was about to recommend a local chicken plant, Chaco Chicken, to be closed down for several health violations. While giving the agents a tour of the plant, floor manager Jess Harold claims that Kearns held a vendetta against Chaco Chicken. After hearing this, a hallucinatory Paula, who works at the plant, grabs and holds Harold at knife point. Mulder and Scully attempt to reason with Paula until she is shot and killed by Sheriff Arens. The plant’s physician, Dr. Vance Randolph, later claims that Paula was suffering from consistent headaches, which Kearns had also reported.
The agents later see Walter Chaco, Paula’s grandfather and the plant’s owner, who while shaken over Paula’s death gives the agents permission to perform an autopsy. The agents find that while Paula’s personnel file gives her age as 47, she appears no older than her mid-20’s. They also discover that Paula suffered from Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, a rare and fatal illness that causes dementia. When the agents nearly collide with a Chaco Chicken truck, they learn that the driver also suffered from the disease. Noticing the plant’s blood-red runoff in a nearby stream, Mulder orders a reluctant Sheriff Arens to dredge it. They quickly find the bones of nine people, including Kearns. While inspecting the skeletal remains, the agents notice that the skeletons are all missing their skulls, and that the bones appear to have been boiled. Meanwhile, Randolph and Harold discuss the uncovered bones and increase of Creutzfeldt–Jakob cases. While Randolph complains about Chaco’s inaction, Harold assures him that he will talk to Chaco.
Using FBI records, Mulder and Scully find that eighty-seven people have vanished within a two-hundred mile radius of Dudley over the past half-century. Mulder suspects that the town’s residents are practicing cannibalism in order to prolong life, possibly explaining Paula’s youthful appearance. Mulder also realizes that Kearns originally had Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, and that the other residents caught the illness after consuming his body. The agents try to search the town’s birth records for confirmation of Paula’s age, but find that they have been destroyed. At Chaco’s mansion, Chaco and Harold meet with Doris, who tearfully implies that she “helped” Chaco kill her husband; Chaco instructs her to obstruct the FBI’s investigation.
Doris calls Mulder, believing that Chaco wants to kill her; after she hangs up, she is attacked by the masked figure. Scully goes to help Doris while Mulder searches for Chaco at his mansion. There, he finds the shrunken heads of Kearns and other victims in a cabinet. Mulder calls Scully on the phone and hears her being knocked out by Chaco. She is taken to a secluded field, where Harold has started a bonfire and led the townsfolk in consuming Doris. Chaco berates them for killing one of their own, but Harold chastises him for allowing the Creutzfeldt–Jakob epidemic to occur and has Chaco executed by the masked figure. Scully herself is about to be killed when Mulder arrives and shoots the figure; he is revealed to be Sheriff Arens. Harold tries to shoot Mulder, but is trampled to death by the fleeing townsfolk.
In narration, Scully explains that Chaco’s plant has been closed down by the Department of Agriculture, and that twenty-seven Dudley residents have died from Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. She reveals that Chaco was ninety-three years old at the time of his death, and had spent time with the allegedly cannibalistic “Jale tribe” after his transport plane was shot down over New Guinea during World War II. She also states that his remains have never been found; the final scene suggests that Chaco’s remains are being fed to chickens at his plant.
Be sure to listen to the audio podcast here: