Film Review: ThanksKilling
Broad Daylight Pictures
DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
Director: Jordan Downey
Cast: Lance Predmore, Lindsey Anderson, Ryan Francis, Aaron Carlson, Natasha Cordova, Chuck Lamb, General Bastard, Wanda Lust
Reviewer: Marc Patterson
1621, Native Americans have placed a curse on the pilgrims by using native magic to create a demonically possessed turkey that promises to wreak vengeful havoc on the white man until the curse is able to be broken.
You heard about the first Thanksgiving. You’ve seen the timeless photos of Native Americans sitting down to a feast with the English Puritans who aren’t able to cut it in the new world. But what happened after dinner? After all, there was no big screen TV to loosen the belt in front of while downing some brews to college football. Well, ThanksKilling fills in those gaping holes in American history. Get ready for some carnage. And folks… this film promises to be one hell of a turkey!
A bare breasted Puritan (ain’t nothin’ more pure than that) runs through the woods, scared shitless from something – presumably Indians. Not so much. She’s got a homicidal turkey on her tail and that turkey is out for blood, but oddly the axe doesn’t fall before the turkey compliments her breasts. Kinda ironic that a turkey should be a breast man.
Cut forward to present time and five college kids (the most mismatched bunch of buddies you’ve seen) are headed out of school and to Thanksgiving break, which, from their excitement you’d think was Spring Break.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the middle of the woods, presumably not far away, a Collie dog named Flashy (Lassie’s younger cousin?) traipses about the woods with his redneck owner and pisses on some Indian relic in the woods, subsequently raising the dead and getting the hatchet from that nearly 400 year old turkey (As a note, the film claims Tom Turkey is 510 years old. But my math says that 2009 minus 1621 equals 388. So someone missed math class somewhere along the way). Not for nothing, but anyway you do the math that’s a long time to hold a grudge.
When the kids break down on the side of the road, they decide that instead of trying to get help (nice to see no one has or uses their cellphones), they should break out the tents and booze it up right where they broke down. Sadly for them it’s a full moon, and with Tom Turkey on the prowl it’s going to be on long night – for some of them it’s going to be their last!
Listen folks, when it comes to Thanksgiving horror the pickin’s are pretty slim. ThanksKilling is a film that – no matter how good or bad it is – will automatically find itself into every annoying “holiday list” crapped out by a wide variety of film sites, simply because there’s no competition. I’m not knockin’ this. I’m just sayin’. But is it really worth your time? That depends. Overall, this is a pretty flaccid, albeit slightly entertaining pic that has some mildly redeeming points, if what you’re into is schlocky B-grade horror a la Tromaville.
There were a few things that pleasantly surprised me, though. There’s not much to comment on regarding the acting. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a film called ThanksKilling. But what I did like is that we at least get a few entertaining characters, who, despite the craptastic acting and flat delivery of lines that are delivered with the total enthusiasm of Ben Stein reading from a teleprompter, are somehow likeable, or at least laughable. Natasha Cordova (that hussy Ali) really stood out above the pack, and not just because of her perky breasts. Her commitment to the role of dumb slut really filled in the cracks surrounding the characters we were supposed to be following. And it’s sad to say, but Darren (Francis) would have made a better final girl than Kristen (Anderson). The homo-erotic overtones kept the comic relief in full effect whenever Ali didn’t get a line edgewise. What was disappointing is that for all the clever one-liners and screwball antics going on, there was very little in the way of boobs and blood. We even get to watch Ali as she gets stuffed, but fully clothed? C’mon folks. Next time around if you’re going for off the wall, try watching Blood Diner first and take some hints.
Shockingly, the production values are well above what I’d expect from a film like this, and the one liners about demonic turkeys, nut sacks, and typical college toilet humor are all pretty spot on.
The simple bottom line is that if this was anything but a Thanksgiving-themed film, then it would be perfectly forgettable. But thanks to a completely zany killer turkey that tosses around hilarious zingers, ThanksKilling is not just memorable, but one that I’d even quietly recommend. Of course, having a few cold brews and some pumpkin pie handy while watching wouldn’t hurt either.
View more stills from the film, and the trailer below: