Awfully Good: ThanksKilling
Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s something you can truly be thankful for this year.
Director: Jordan Downey
Stars:Lindsey Anderson, General Bastard, Natasha Cordova
Is there a plot?
A killer turkey murders white people who disrespect Native Americans.
What's the damage?
Eli Roth, you waited too long. Though it may have a budget 1/10th the size of the horror director’s infamous Grindhouse trailer, THANKSKILLING will forever stand out as the most memorable Thanksgiving-themed horror movie in history. Sure, Roth’s THANKSGIVING trailer has its moments, but none of them involve an anthropomorphic bird bursting through a man’s chest and proclaiming “Gobble gobble, mother*cker!”
The quality of the turkey’s stunt double was an unfortunate side effect of the film’s budget.
To set the tone for the next 66 minutes, THANKSKILLING opens with a shot of a boob. It’s an old, saggy boob, but the intent is there and duly noted. The mammary belongs to a pilgrim woman from the 1620s, who’s running scared for her life shortly after the first Thanksgiving. There’s no explanation given as to why her breasts are hanging out of her shirt the whole time. (Apparently someone was very thankful this year.) Soon she comes face to face with the Killer Turkey, who comments positively about her puritan rack before killing her with an axe. This all happens before the title card, so you know you’re in for something special.
“Oh, what I would give to be voiced by Gary Busey.”
The Killer Turkey (that’s his official name) is a hilariously awesome creation, recalling some of the best foul-mouthed and ridiculous puppets in cinema like BLACK DEVIL DOLL, GINGERDEAD MAN and the imp from SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBAL BOWL-O-RAMA. While he possesses a powerful and sexy beak, KT clearly prefers using weapons like axes and shotguns to do his dirty work. He also enjoys dispensing of his victims with the aid of what can only be described as a cornucopia of cheesy one-liners and Thanksgiving-related puns. There’s so many that he throws out two or three at a time, even though only one is really called for. On a technical level, the turkey looks pretty good for the $15 they clearly spent on him. Most shots just show the head, because that’s clearly the only part of the puppet that’s functional.
If BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN starred these guys instead of Ledger and Gyllenhaal, you would not think it was such a masterpiece. Also, it would be hilarious.
But why is this Thanksgiving fowl so pissed off? All of your questions are explained in a rather raunchy animated sequence that informs us of the mystical curse placed upon the turkey by Native Americans, who charged the bird to kill any and all white people who threatened their great land. This is amazing because it makes the events of THANKSKILLING not only a slasher movie, but also a rather heinous hate crime. And that’s about as close to a plot as you’re going to get. There’s stuff in there about a magical talisman and teepee, but the movie is fairly unapologetic in its single-minded goal of purposely awful acting, writing, directing—you name it—that’s almost Troma-like in its execution.
Though he knew it would result in a purple nurple of epic proportions, Burt could not resist giving the Killer Turkey a noogie.
Seriously, just consider these things that actually happen:
- The turkey has sex with a girl then yells’ “You just got stuffed!”
- The turkey puts on glasses and fools a law enforcement officer in to thinking he’s a human
- The turkey pulls a Hannibal Lector and wears the face of his victim, managing to fool his own daughter and all her friends
- The jock finally bonds with his father over becoming first string quarterback before the turkey shows up and decapitates the dad, but not before tossing the head like a football to the son
- The worst death scene ever, which ends with an amazing musical sequence about best friends
I won’t spoil the amazing finale, but let’s just say the Killer Turkey may or may not become radioactive. And in the very end, the final title card says “To be continued…in space.” I know, what I'll be thankful for next year!
Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties we don't have Best Lines videos this week. But here are some great examples:
- "Your legs are harder to shut than the Jon Benet Ramsey case!"
- "I just found this feather, as well as an extra small, gravy-flavored condom."
- "It’s Thanksgiving, not Titsgiving!"
- "Gobble gobble, mother*cker! Now that’s what I call fowl play!"
- "I ax-identally cut him."
- "Looks like I got something you don't, Turkey!" "What's that Darren... a vagina?”
- "We’ve got to find a way to kill that cockblocking turkey!"
- "Peck on someone your own size."
- "In a way, I’m glad all this happened. I may have lost my parents, but I gained a girlfriend. Will you go out with me?"
1) The opening sequence of the movie featuring pilgrims, boobs and killer turkeys. (NSFW)
2) The turkey gets a little frisky with one of his victims.
You get to enjoy the sensual curves of porn star Wanda Lust at the opening of the film.
Play Along at Home!
Take a shot or drink every time:
- The turkey says a one-liner or Thanksgiving-related pun
- Someone dramatically says “Whyyyy?” or “I’ll get you if it’s the last thing I ever do!”
- An animal is killed
- Fake moustache!
Double shot if:
- Ridley Scott’s ALIEN is referenced visually
This is officially Awfully Good #150. Thanks to everyone for reading over the past 3 years!
Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email and give him an excuse to drink.