Paranormal Activity, eat your $11,000 heart out. Better yet, let a killer turkey wearing the skin and mustache of your father do it for you and save $7,500 in the process.
ThanksKilling is, as you would expect, an amazing feat worthy of holiday feasting. Shot in 11 days by undergrads on vacation, it provides a hearty and much needed serving of November themed cheesiness, perfect because a) in light of Halloween, New Year’s Evil, Silent Night Deadly Night, Uncle Sam, and every other festive horror film to honor a day off, there’s still never been an adequate Thanksgiving equivalent and b) Thanksgiving dinner typically involves no cheese.
Quick Plot: In 1621 (aka “the olden days”) the first Thanksgiving ended with a close-up of a large breast (provided by porn star Wanda Lust, dressed partially as a Pilgrim). Shortly after this shot, a wild and axe-wielding turkey makes his entrance, spilling blood into the opening credits and spewing profanity with anachronistic glee.
505 years later--because apparently, ThanksKilling takes place in the near future, when college students continue a rapid decline of IQ into Idiocracy territory and talking turkeys are not a terribly surprising sight to behold--a forest hermit’s collie lifts his leg over the turkey’s grave. Like Freddy Krueger four films in, the gobbling terror rises to call women bitches, slaughter some fools, and abuse the art of punning.
His major prey is a quintet of college idiots that can’t stop whooing about Thanksgiving Break! I don’t recall those three days of freedom being an occasion to rip off my tank top or flash my not-friends, but then again, I also never knew the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in an extremely warm climate where tank tops and cutoffs were appropriate for late November weather. So basically, America is filled with little known facts about our most gluttonous holiday.
Fortunately, there are things called ‘books’ that sheriffs keep hidden in their garages, providing our young characters with something called ‘answers’ (carefully coded in mathematical formula, natch). After meeting the bloodthirsty bird en route home, Kristen (the good girl), Ali (the airhead), Billy (the big guy), Darren (the nerd) and Johnny (because as Deadgirl taught us, every film about young people needs a jock named Johnny) find some of their family members slaughtered and lament the end of homemade pumpkin pie (seriously).
ThanksKilling is a pretty ridiculous film, but gobbly goodness is it a fun time. Seeing a turkey wearing a Groucho set of disguise glasses shouldn’t be funny, but seeing that same turkey, in those glasses, drinking coffee with a sheriff (who is himself dressed as a turkey) and trying to chat about the weather did indeed make me giggle. And (SPOILER ALERT), watching the same turkey wear that sheriff’s face a la Hannibal Lector/Otis Firefly and convincing his daughter he simply got a haircut...well...yes, I really enjoyed this movie.
A montage about reading has a vague Wet Hot American Summer going-into-town feel that is actually quite funny, as is a quick romanticized friendship scene scored to an original song reminiscent of South Park
There’ s something hugely refreshing about a film that knows not only to not take itself seriously, but to also not force artificial emotion on its audience. Yes, stock characters meet their fate in the expected order, but there’s no wasted time mourning such artificial people, thankfully sparing the audience any extra actorly challenges
Was it poor editing, or were the filmmakers just incredibly proud of themselves and their Jon Bonet Ramsey joke that they decided to use it three times?
Never call a turkey a duck
If Monster taught us anything, it’s that picking up hitchhikers in the hopes of having sex with them typically does not end well
You can tell what type of animal pecked out a rabbit’s guts by examining the beak marks
Just because something laying on the side of the road glows does not mean it belongs in your stomach
Learning how to read takes about the same amount of time as having safe sex with a turkey
“I’m gonna drink your blood like cranberry sauce.”
Now I feel bad for the turkey. He apparently has never had a very fulfilling Thanksgiving dinner, or he’d know that cranberry sauce shouldn’t be so thin as to be drinkable.
At 66 minutes, you can’t really NOT watch ThanksKilling, especially since it’s currently streaming on Netflix. It still boggles my mind that there’s never been a true Thanksgiving-themed horror film, and while this is no Black Christmas, it does have a solid Jack Frost-iness to it, straight down to the gravy-flavored condom filling in for a snowman’s unsanitary carrot. A good half of the jokes fall flatter than a poorly made souffle, but ThanksKilling has a genuine heart that should satisfy those fans of Troma, Full Moon, or any penny budget movie massacres oozing in corn.