Five college students find themselves in peril when they run across a psychotic, murderous turkey – just in time for Thanksgiving!
The tagline of the movie’s website says it all: “ThanksKilling – the ultimate low-budget experience. Gobble, gobble motherfuckers!” If you like your B-horror flicks full of schlock, you’ll love this film. If you’re a fan of more serious fare, keep browsing because this definitely is not for you. The honeymoon must be over at our house – Larry flatly refused to review this with me for Pillow Talk. I guess all my hard work to dumb him down hasn’t fully taken effect – yet!
The plot is an exercise in parody – in case that wasn’t obvious. The typical horror archetypes are here: Heroic Jock, Nerdy Virgin, Hapless Comic Relief Hick, Slutty Chick, and Sweet Plain Jane (aka – The Last One Standing). That doesn’t mean it isn’t a helluva a lot of fun – even if you know exactly what’s going to happen. And you can afford a mere hour and five minutes to find out, if you’re otherwise unfamiliar with the formula.
The twist, of course, is the murderer. No terrifying masked man here. Nope – the killer is a turkey, straight up. One that can talk and apparently has the use of opposable thumbs, no less. Leave your skepticism at the door, sit back and enjoy. Chucky’s got nothing on this puppet terror. The turkey is entirely nasty and in possession of some of the film’s best dialogue. You just got stuffed?! Oh, they totally went there – with aplomb.
Don’t ask for thigh meat – it just might be yours that gets served!
One of the weaker spots appears to be the editing – and the existence of three Jon Benet Ramsey jokes. Actually, it’s not even three jokes – it’s the same wisecrack uttered by two characters. One time was unnecessary – three times will have you squirming.
What really had me groaning, while simultaneously covering my ears and eyes, was the turkey sex scene. I’ll leave it at that. The highlight? The hilariously earnest Sheriff Roud. The scene where he chats with the turkey over coffee will have you laughing out loud.
Coffee talk with Sheriff Roud! I assume they served pie.
If you’re a B-movie horror fan, add this cult classic to your viewing list and make it a yearly tradition. Heck, throw this on even if it’s not your speed. Nothing will detract attention from holiday family drama and drunken Uncle Ned more quickly than the sight of a topless pilgrim running through the woods – which is how this flick kicks off.
Yes, it takes a six-pack; but it still gets my wholehearted thumbs up. The film both announces and embraces what it is: pure, low-budget, B-movie fun – and that’s exactly what makes it so great.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time you think, “Wait, how can a turkey wield a murder weapon?”
Take a Drink: every time you laugh and/or groan at the script’s double entendres.
Take a Drink: whenever the cast tries, and fails, to off the killer turkey.
Take a Shot: whenever the awesome Sheriff Roud is onscreen. Johnny the Jock isn’t hard to look at either!
Special Champagne Toast
I’ll admit that I have a huge soft spot for this film. It’s one of the first movies I watched with my dear friend Christie, who is sadly no longer with us. I’ll never forget calling her up and saying, “There’s a film about five students who’ve run ‘afoul’ of a psychotic turkey. It’s streaming on Netflix. Get over here, now!” Once Christie and I saw ThanksKilling, we were hooked. Watching horror films and offering each other hilarious running commentary while drinking champagne soon became our regular thing.
A toast to you, my dear. Indeed, Madam.
And imagine how thrilled we were when we started Tweeting each other about ThanksKilling – and none other than Sheriff Roud (aka Chuck Lamb, the Dead Body Guy) started Tweeting us back! Soon we had a lovely Internet friendship in the works and he agreed to sit down for an interview with Christie and me via email. (Tits & Turkey: 10 Questions for Dead Actor. Read it here.) Needless to say, Chuck was gracious and hilarious. Christie and I were thrilled and vowed to become Mr. Lamb’s lifelong fans.
When Christie passed away suddenly in March, my world came to a halt. Somehow, through my grief, Chuck was one of the first people I thought of as I reflected on the time I got to share with Christie. He was a fond reminder of one of my favorite memories and he was equally heartbroken to hear of this tragic loss. He asked me to stay put by my computer – within minutes he sent me an email to let me know that his next film, The Mitchell Tapes, would be dedicated to Christie. To have her name at the end of a B-movie is an incredible tribute – a perfect memorial to an avid horror fan who loved to laugh. And I can’t thank Chuck enough for being my thoughtful friend across the wires. The pain of losing Christie will never go away – but thanks to Mr. Lamb I can rest a little easier knowing he helped do right by my dear friend.