MoreHorror March Request Month: Thankskilling

Thankskilling Review
by Mike Pickle,

In this, the last week of MoreHorror March Request Month, I am reviewing a much different film than the rest of the requests I've honored. When reviewing great Horror films like The Devil's Rejects and In the Mouth of Madness it was hard for me to be objective and find anything bad to say. In Thankskilling, the bad things are in abundance and as clear as the bad turkey puppet in front of your face. This is a B-movie in the literal sense of the term. Just plain bad. All I can figure out is that films like this capitalize on the awesomely cheesy trauma films and other great B-movies like Dead Alive, Bad Taste and Night of the Demons to get distribution.

The distributors know that Horror fans like myself will think this is a film where we can turn our brains off and immerse ourselves in a similarly gory good time. The problem is that Thankskilling has almost none of the things that make a good B-movie. There's nothing clever here. Just sophomoric set-ups, badly filmed kills and something that looks more like a bad YouTube video than a legitimate Horror film. Idiocy, bad one-liners and laziness does not make a fun B-movie.

As if it even matters; here's the paper thin plot. Back in the "olden days" a powerful Native American witch doctor summoned a demonic turkey to exact revenge on the white men who killed his people. In modern day; a hunter's dog pisses on an Indian relic and raises the sleeping turkey subsequently pissing all over it's head. This pisses off the gobbler so bad that he rises to continue his centuries old killing spree. Meanwhile; a group of young people on Thanksgiving vacation are out to get "drunk and wasted" and unwittingly become the demonic turkey's next targets. Sounds stupid, but sounds as though it just might be a formula for some dumb fun. I can describe the 85 minutes I wasted on this clunker in many ways, but fun is not one of them. This is coming from a person who watched the 2nd straight to video sequel to The Lost Boys and absolutely loved it so I'm not above enjoying a bad movie.

Thankskilling is more than just a bad movie. It has little to no entertainment value to the point that every attempt at humor is more likely to illicit a yawn than a laugh. I was tempted to use the many Turkey related puns to at least make this review more enjoyable, but the movie uses so many of them that any comedic value was sucked out of them long before I sat down to write this review.

To be fair to the film and to people who might like this drivel; I should make the effort to let you know why I just spent two paragraphs telling you what a steaming pile of turkey poop this film is so I'll provide some examples. It goes without saying that there is embarrassingly bad acting all the way across the board. Even the foul-mouthed turkey's acting is bad and he looks like a rubber sock with a guy's hand inside of it.

The dialogue sounds like it was written by a small child who likes poopy and fart jokes. Easily 98% of the tasteless jokes fall flat. Kristen 'the good girl', even jokes about her friend Ali 'the slut' saying that her legs are harder to keep shut than the JonBenét Ramsey case. She then repeats the joke two minutes later while fellow characters howl with laughter as if hearing it for the first time. The same girl later gets the pleasure of delivering the wince-worthy line of, "Sorry, I was just a little BEAKED out, I mean freaked out". Really? Bad jokes and equally bad acting is just the tip of the crappy filmmaking iceberg with this one. Half way decent camera shots are few and very far between. There are way too many extreme close-ups where the actor's faces are cut off for the majority of the shot.

One particular eye-rollingly bad scene happened when the young friends are sitting around a camp fire. The turkey throws, what is obviously a stuffed toy bunny, into the fire and we're actually supposed to believe that it was a real rabbit. It's hard to tell if this movie is a product of deliberate cheesiness, laziness or lack of talent, but after sitting through an hour of this I just didn't care any more and spent the rest of time wondering when it was going to end.

I said I would be fair so I will end the review by mentioning the few good things about Thankskilling. Darren 'the nerd' tells the story of the possessed turkey which is illustrated by some mildly entertaining, crude animation. More of this might have made the film more enjoyable. There are a couple other mildly amusing scenes that weren't that great, but felt like an oasis in this desert of excrement. Scenes like the turkey posing as a prostitute, stopping a guy, holding a gun to his head and making him call his daughter before pulling the trigger. Or the "fowl" sex scene in which the turkey has sex with the cute and unwitting Ali "the slut" from behind before exclaiming, "You just got stuffed!"

The only other scene that turned my disappointed frown upside down momentarily was the scene where the sheriff (Kristen's Dad) dresses up in a turkey suit for no apparent reason and sits with the turkey at his kitchen table for an awkward conversation before the turkey kills him and uses his face to fool Kristen into thinking he was her father. These scenes were the only redeeming qualities of this film, but they were not good enough to sit through the rest of this.... turkey. Sorry, the jokes in this film are so lame they're contagious. View with caution. You've been warned.

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