Dir. Jordan Downey (2008)
What’s more Thanksgiving than a killer turkey hunting college kids on Thanksgiving break?
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Horror comedies deserve a special place within the horror genre, and it’s probably one of the hardest subgenre to do right. For every Tucker & Dale vs. Evil there are literally thousands of horrible movies that aren’t even worth a watch. Hell, some directors have made an entire career out of making stupid-as-hell movies with a couple nude scenes strung together with ridiculously bad gore and juvenile jokes, and these guys are unfortunately some of the most prolific filmmakers in horror. The lack of effort required to make a low-budget horror comedy lends itself to quantity coming at the clear expense of quality. However, as easy as it is to find movies that aren’t even worth MST3K treatment, occasionally you find a diamond in the rough. Sometimes, those diamonds will result in deliriously stupid holiday movies like ThanksKilling.
ThanksKilling is a movie that feels like it was written by dumb college kids because it absolutely was. A Native American shaman was angered by a Pilgrim and cursed his lineage to be hunted by a necromanced turkey every 505 years, and wouldn’t you know it, one of his relative happens to break down in the woods with a bunch of his friends exactly 505 years later! While the storyline alone would be enough to entertain the type of audience that would seek out this story, writer/director Jordan Downey decided he wanted more, creating a fowl-mouthed serial-killing holiday bird that makes the movie a fucking blast to watch. As dumb as the dialogue is, it’s also genuinely hilarious, a nonsensical bloody mess of a film that somehow delivers exactly as it was intended.
ThanksKilling actually has a decent amount in common with the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, in that it’s a slasher film where the killer cracks jokes during every kill. Granted, it’s certainly not as “smart” as that one, and the puns are a good bit more tasteless. It’s also a film that will make you feel like you might have dreamt it all because it’s absolutely nuts. It’s also clever, and it’s totally aware that it’s dumb as all hell. It’s not going to hit on all marks, and the acting is delightfully terrible, but it’s supposed to be. This isn’t a movie that takes itself seriously in any way, and if you can sit down and watch it with the same attitude as the people who made it, you’re in for a great ride and just might find yourself a movie that will make your regular holiday rotation. If you’re tired of spending your post-feast stupor watching terrible football or the same old Friends episodes (or just were never into it to begin with), you could do a lot worse than filling your Thanksgiving with a heaping helping of ThanksKilling. It very well might be the dumbest movie ever made, and that’s why it’s worth a watch.
Who this movie is for: Horror comedy fans, Those with juvenile humor, Trytophan addicts
Bottom line: This one won’t be for everyone, most notably those with class and good taste. For the tasteless comedy fans like me, ThanksKilling works perfectly for a nice holiday treat. It’s funny, irreverent, and spawned a sequel and even a musical if you’re looking for more outrageous fun. For fans of slashers with a sense of humor, this film will be right up your alley. Highly recommend you add it to your Turkey Day watchlist if you enjoy the type of humor that made Troma famous. Gobble gobble, motherfuckers.