Thanksgiving can be a stressful time of year, what with the travel through overstuffed streets, the cooking for masses of family members, and the putting up with that one uncle everyone excuses as "kooky" or "old-fashioned," but the better descriptor is "belligerent mega-jerk." So what better time to work out your seasonal anxieties than with a horror movie?! Sadly, Thanksgiving is a holiday lacking in scary movie options. It seems Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day get all the spooky love. But today we are grateful for ThanksKilling, a 2009 slasher about a killer turkey. You know it's going to be a good time because its tagline is "Gobble. Gobble. Motherf#%@er!"
Directed by Jordan Downey, ThanksKilling is a tale of vengeance, where a murderous turkey named Turkie sets out to slay a batch of college kids. How does a turkey manage to murder full-grown people? Let's find out!
1. Oh! This begins as a period piece! An opening title card sets the stage "1621, the olden days. Moments after the first thanksgiving."
2. I'm staring at a giant bare boob. The first shot of this movie is a close-up of a nipple, that pulls back to reveal a frightened pilgrim woman whose traditional black frock has no chest coverage. I must have missed that in history class, how much the pilgrims liked free-boobing it.
3. She's running in terror. So naturally there is a close-up shot of her breasts swinging as she runs. God that must hurt. Get thee a sports bra, girl!
4. Good news? Her tits will no longer pull and pain her. Turkie has slain her with a hatchet after offering the traditional Thanksgiving greeting: "Nice tits, bitch."
5. Some research has revealed that "Naked Pilgrim" was played by Wanda Lust, porn star of such titles as MILF Does a Brotha Good!, Lesbian M.I.L.T.F. 2, and Bust a Nut 5. Seriously.
6. Cut to modern times, where the college kids memorialize Naked Pilgrim by talking about boobs and flashing them. Well, except for the snarking snob in the cardigan who sneers, "Put those away, it's Thanksgiving, not titsgiving." If this is the level of banter we're going to get, I may have made a mistake.
7. Stereotype roundup: We've got the judgmental good girl, the flirty ditz, the jock who carries a football, the redneck who doesn't know how buttons work, and the nerd who uses ALL the buttons on his shirt. They have names. I refuse to learn them.
8. Nerd geeks out over Jock, who invites him to touch his bicep, aka his "weapon of mass destruction." Okay. I ship it.
9. Whoa whoa WHOA: Good girl just laid the smackdown on Ditz: "Ali, your legs are harder to close than the JonBenét Ramsey case!" The boys chuckle, because while they've all made it clear they want to bang Ditz, it's also super fun to slut shame her. I pine for Good Girl's time with the hatchet.
10. Life Lesson: Don't piss on totem poles. Especially when they mark the grave of a homicidal turkey.
11. Before The Help gave us revenge poo pie and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend offered kaka cupcakes, Good Girl's stepmom announced she wants a divorce by sh*tting in her husband's coffee. It’s a bold move, and effective! She just noped right out of this movie. I envy her.
12. Good Girl just looked directly into the camera. Not as a fourth wall breaking moment, just in a like "are we done with this take yet? NO!" kind of way. I can't tell if its inclusion is meant to be funny or just shows the very low level of craftsmanship that went into making this movie. But, I'm beginning to bet on the latter.
13. When their car breaks down outside of Crawberg, Nerd warns the rest of the "killer turkey" of legend. See, Turkie was necromanced by an offensive stereotype of Native American chief--who for unknown reasons had droopy nipples-- to murder the pilgrims and their descendants.
14. "Turkiologists all over the world know it as ThanksKilling." I regret all the choices that led me to watching this.
15. Some "fun" facts about the film's production: it was shot over 11 days, and made with a budget of $3,500. This explains why 90% of its cinematography is close-ups that seem to be lit by flashlight.
16. Turkey threatens, "I'm going to drink your blood like cranberry sauce." Who drinks cranberry sauce?
17. The acting in this is so wooden that I want to set it ablaze, so it might become a literal garbage fire and not just a metaphorical one.
18. ThanksKilling is set in a world where a man will pull up to a hitchhiking turkey and declare proudly, "Cash, ass or grass." It was a simpler time of flared jeans, flip phones, and getting shot in the face by a tiny rifle after fondling a turkey's butthole.
19. They just used the JonBenét joke again. The exact same joke. We are 28 minutes in, and I'm wondering if it's too early in the day to drink heavily.
20. What better way to punctuate a tense father-son moment that a fart noise? THERE IS NONE. It's literally the one thing Field of Dreams was missing.
21. Three people have been murdered, taking up about 20 seconds of sloppy screentime. But at least the acting is cringe-inducing and the humor is atrocious.
22. Turkie just referred to doggy-style sex as "pumpkin pie." Now imagine your grandmother chipperly offering you some pumpkin pie. Yeah, that's right. I'm taking you down with me. I will not suffer the hell of this alone.
23. "You just got stuffed." Ditz has been raped then murdered by Turkie. But, it's meant to be funny because she didn't notice her consensual partner was killed and replaced by a grunting turkey. See, women are stupid and slutty and oh god how am I only 32 minutes into this movie.
24. They've discovered Ditz's body, a bloody feather, and "an extra-small, gravy-flavored condom." There is no God.
25. "My dad has a huge collection of books. I'm sure he has something on killer turkeys." Sure. Why not. Just don't drink the coffee.
26. Look. This turkey is a grotesque rapist, murderer, and abominable at wordplay. But he has more charisma in his waddle than all the rest of this cast combined.
27. A man dressed as a turkey and a turkey in disguise as a man share an awkward cup of coffee that tastes like actual sh*t. It's the only moment that's almost funny.
28. Turkie has gone all Leatherface, WEARING THE FACE OF GOOD GIRL'S DAD. And she falls for it. God help me, I giggled. What is happening? WHO AM I BECOMING!?
29. The thrill is gone. You know that thing where someone makes a joke, and no one laughs, so they restate it, then explain it, then repeat it again? That's this movie. It's like that party guest you want to punch in the face for being resolutely unfunny.
30. Turkie gets his moment to monologue: "Shut up. I do the talking f----t. A long time ago, one of your ancestors disrespected our people really, really badly. So as payback, I'm here to kill any white person that disrespects Indians or our land." This was made in 2009.
31. We are 43 minutes in and four of the five college kids are still alive. But hey, at least we've repeated the JonBenét joke three times now. I miss Bad Coffee Stepmom.
32. They are using football as a metaphor for life. Clear eyes, full hearts, omigod just kill them already and bring this travesty to an end!
33. According to IMDB, the tagline "Gobble. Gobble. Motherf#%@er!" was conceived before the plot. Calling what happens in this movie a "plot" is being very generous. Tis the season, I guess.
34. You know how fat people have hallucinations about food when they are hungry? And how they can unhinge their jaw to swallow an entire live turkey in one gulp? Yeah, me neither. But at least it results in a literally gut-busting kill that brings us one step closer to the end of this cursed thing.
35. Close-ups of the bad practical effects (cardboard lore books, organs made out of wet pantyhose) get generous close-ups. You see every dollar of that $3,500.
36. "Now you are my dead-ass friend." A memorial musical number is happening. I think. I fear sanity may have snapped and this is the best my ThanksKilling-addled brain can do to protect me.
37. Turkie is tossing a salad. That is not a metaphor. Turkie's got to eat too.
38. His evil hideout is a teepee. Because racism.
39. Nerd's shirt is unbuttoned now. This is ThanksKilling's idea of character arc.
40. "I'm ready to see this c*ck burn."
"You mean like a turkey?"
"No, I mean like a d*ck. Do you have a lighter."
This is what qualifies as humor in this so-called horror-comedy. I am ThanksKilling, destroyer of souls.
41. This movie will not end. It is not funny or clever or scary or even so bad it's funny. It is retribution for our sins. It is our reckoning.
42. Good Girl's withering one-liner as she torches Turkey: "Peck on someone your own size." This is their best pun. The bar is low. Wadna Lust's stage name showed them up in the opening credits.
43. I am thankful this movie has finally ended and most of its awful characters died, though regrettably not the jerk making the JonBenét joke.
44. Oh. No.
45. I would watch a sequel where Turkie goes HAM on the filmmakers.
46. Know this and weep: ThanksKilling has one sequel: ThanksKilling 3. See, the joke is it's actually the second movie, but it has number three in its title. Get it? DO YOU GET IT!?
47. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to drown my rage in gravy. And wine. Lots of wine.