Episode 40 – ThanksKilling (2009)

or “You’reWelcomeMurder”

Featuring: Lindsey “Terror Firmer” Anderson , Lance “Hellementary: An Education in Death” Predmore , Ryan “Saturday Night Pillow Nights” Francis

Director: Jordan “ThanksKilling 3” Downey

Writers: Jordan “ThanksKilling 3” Downey , Kevin “ThanksKilling 3” Stewart , and three people whose names I refuse to type for their nebulous contribution of “additional dialogue”

Origin: USA

Sequel: ThanksKilling 3

Review_____

“Come on! I mean, it’s totally impossible for a turkey to kill a human, right?”

Welcome to TheTombOfAnubis.com: the fly in your yams, the rock hard “tooth chipper” breadcrumb in your stuffing, the pubic hair in your grandma’s pumpkin pie. Putting the “turd” in your turducken since 1999… or 2013 if this version of the site is the only one you’re familiar with. I’m sorry I couldn’t pull off Turkey Day Month this year because I fell behind on a LOT of shit, and pushing it back to next February just didn’t seem right. Instead, I hope you’ll enjoy this holiday themed sampling of cinematic cranberry sauce. And if you don’t? I don’t care. I’m probably stuffing my jaws with actual cranberry sauce while you’re staring at this bullshit review! But, if you don’t wanna read this, just go to YouTube and watch riff master Joel Hodgeson do his own Turkey Day marathon of classic “MST3K” eps. It’s probably a hundred times funnier than whatever nonsense I’m gonna spew here for the next dozen or so paragraphs anyway. Or do both. Don’t care. The only thing I give less than thanks today are fucks. My “Give-a-Fucks” tank is on ‘E’. Speaking of ‘E’…

Remember Blood Freak? If you don’t, you should feel survivor guilt levels of shame, because those of us who do remember Blood Freak will never be allowed to forget it. For 37 years (hey, a dick for each one!), BF was the preeminent (and solitary) killer fowl feature for bad movie masochists like yours truly to properly celebrate the holiday commemorating the genocide of almost an entire race of people! And no, I’m not talking about the Holocaust. But the day someone finally produces my World War II script about a ragtag crew of Jewish and Native American freedom fighters battling to save the world from Hitler’s legion of zombie turkey men led by the mutant clone of George Custer (and powered by engines of black magic infused alien technology), will be the day when we can truly end prejudice and accomplish world peace among all mankind. Make it happen, Hollywood. My phone is waiting for your ring-a-ding-ding. Oh wait, I dropped my phone in the toilet last night. Wait a week while I see if that trick with the bag of rice works and see if I can get the smell out.

Speaking of Hebrew Hitler hunters, since Eli “Bear Jew” Roth never gave us a full lengther based on his Grindhouse faux trailer Thanksgiving, director/writer-to-be Jordan Downey stepped in to fill the cheesy Tom Turkey terror gap with gallons of his own off-brand Velveeta. Made in more time than it took Yahweh to create existence, but less time than it takes your true love to give you 12 drummers drumming (or 12 ramblers rambling if you’re doing the 12 Days of Robert Rodriguez), in 2009 Downey spent 11 days figuratively gluing macaroni and glitter to construction paper to FINALLY gift us trash cinema fetishists with something else to kill the time between the Feast of Gluttonsaurus and the sacred Next Day ReAnimation of the Leftovers. Like Atum jacking off into the primeval mound to create Shu and Tefnut (look it up), Downey used his self-love and spawned unto us ThanksKilling: a creation myth we should all stand behind…far behind…well defended by lead shielding if it’s available. Don’t want your genitalia to melt off/out like Tarantino’s in Planet Terror.

Can we not have one Thanksgiving without someone’s reproductive organs ending up as molten slop all over the centerpiece?!

Our story begins back in “the olden days”, circa 1621. Mere moments following the first Thanksgiving feast, we watch as a gifted (in the be-titted sense) lady pilgrim is stalked topless through the flora by Mother Nature’s most perfect killing machine: a tough talking turkey wielding a hatchet! Or, as Seneca Gallagher would call it, a Scalp-O-Matic. The fowl fatale catches up to the buxom blond, and murderizes her right into our opening credits. From here we’re DeLoreaned into the present. We meet jock alpha douche Johnny (Lance Predmore); obese redneck party guy Billy (Aaron Ringhiser-Carlson); socially awkward geekazoid Darren (Ryan Francis); “Girls Gone Wild” leftover Ali (Natasha Cordova); and her good girl/sheriff’s daughter/foil/friend Kristen (Lindsey Anderson). This “only in the movies” quintet are just thrilled to the gills (sorry, I apparently just became a 70 year-old lady) for their Thanksgiving break, and plan to spend the long weekend away from the prison system of academia partying together. Darren even declares that he’s going to have sex with a member of the group…not exactly naming names, so I wouldn’t rule out him blowing a load of cock snot between Billy’s sweaty side meat at some point, given the movie’s Troma-tic vibe.

On the way to their destination, John’s jeep engine overheats in the middle of the night, so the party posse is forced to pitch their tents nearby and empty their alcohol reserves before the beers get warm. It just doesn’t taste right without that big stupid blue mountain on the side of the can! While they seek a campsite, the nerd trips over an old wooden sign (that looks like some inbred kids made it in summer camp arts & crafts) that says “Crawberg”. Once they’ve settled in, gathered ’round the fire and emptied some brewskies into their brains, Dorkus holds a little history lesson on Crawberg, and what turkeyologists the world over refer to as “Thankskilling”.

Almost 400 years ago, one of Billy’s pilgrim ancestors besmirched a Native American medicine man in some fashion. Old Man Wampum Stomp ‘Em used the necromancy powers of his people (bet you didn’t know Indians could do that, didja?) to give rise to a feathered, gobbling, hatchet-bearing, revenge engine (revengine?) that would not only slaughter the buckle hatted denizens of the first feast, but would return from its murder hiatus every 505 years to do it all again! So…in 2126 then? Oh. Okay. I assumed it would be resurrecting sooner, like RIGHT NOW, but I guess we’ve got no movie now? Fuck. Well, good night everybody! Drive safe and don’t let your coffin be sealed with Tryptophan nails.

Wait, nevermind. According to Darren, it IS 505 years later, thanks to the magic of *wink*wink* style movie bullshit. Probably the result of the writers either mocking bad movie tropes, or just straight up confounding people with basic math skills (or just proving their own lack thereof). Whatever the truth (it’s out “there”), the Gobbler of Gore is reanimated Elm Street 4 style, when a dog with a doom bringer bladder pisses its bestial sacrilege sauce onto the turkey’s tiny totemic tombstone. Flashy (the dog) is axed for his part in marking our monster’s like he was territory. This doesn’t sit well with Flash’s (ahhhhhhhh! Savior of the universe!) owner, Oscar (a guy credited solely as “General Bastard”), a crusty old reject from a Lynard Skynard concert who takes it upon himself to avenge his now-departed doggy/wife.

Though the egregious game cock stalks the group, he’s not the most efficient of avian assassins, as everybody in the group makes it through the night with little more than the most minimal of run-ins. Kristen’s the only one to actually have a face-to-face with Turkie (as he’s credited on the box cover) before she runs off to tell the others, while Billy just gets shit on in his sleep. That’s what happens when you’re the first to fall asleep at the slumber party! We can chalk up Turk’s failure to being off his game due to Oscar’s interference, but the truth is more that this gives the bloodthirsty bird an excuse to pursue them further into the movie’s running time and up his bodycount with a few more throw away bit players.

The kids reclaim their no longer overheated transport and continue on to their destination. Turkie gives chase, and his first human victim in half a Willennium (go ahead, get jiggy wit it) is a guy looking to get his dick wet in the feathered hitchhiker’s giblet gravy…he tries to fuck Turk is what I’m getting at. This nameless zoophile ends up as a shotgun smear on his car’s interior, and the succulently breasted bandit carjacks his way to continue his pursuit of his real prey. Though how Turkie manages to operate the gas pedals (let alone the shotgun) we’ll never know. Chalk it up to that wacky Indian necromancy, I guess!

Upon arriving at his hunting grounds, Turkie wastes no time in decapitating Johnny’s dad following a cornholey Varsity Blues bonding moment, sending the (backup) quarterback fleeing in terror. Next on the killing floor is Ali’s ersatz lover (since John Boy didn’t take her slut bait) as the lad is slain mid-coitus, leading into the darkest scene of these 67 minutes when…uhm…Turk does the bump & grind on Ali in that “surprise! You thought it was somebody else’s penis inside you, but it was me all along!” way that’s kind of a gray area on the scale of 1 to rape. Either way, it’s a really unsettling scene watching our two pump chump antagonist achieve clucking climax, then telling the girl that she just got “stuffed” before he breaks her neck. Speaking of, I can taste my Stove Top coming back up typing about it, so let’s move on before I decorate my keyboard in herbs and spices. I ain’t got time for a game of “Name The Chunks”.

With one of their number down, our remaining four head to Kristen’s dad’s place to pore over his vast volumes of forgotten lore in search of any useful knowledge they can use against their pluckable pursuer. This includes one of the movie’s most satisfying sequences, as a Groucho glasses wearing Turkie has a sociable conversation with Sheriff Roud (Chuck Lamb), who’s dressed like a turkey. It’s almost surreal, and ends with Turk wearing the old man’s face as the kids come knocking at the door. And of course no one realizes Kristen’s pa is a 2ft tall turkey wearing a cheaply constructed skin mask, chalking up the doppleganger’s odd appearance to the lawman having done “something different with his hair”. He’s no Uncle Frank (go watch Hellraiser). Shit, he’s less convincing than Leatherface wearing Jessica Biel’s boyfriend’s mug in the TCM remake! But, that’s the joke. Just let it go.

After an extended “researching random books bought at a local yard sale” montage in the Rouds’ garage, our heroes (is that what we’re calling them?) discover the first step to their self-preservation is making Turk vulnerable by removing the mystical talisman around the monster’s scrumptious neck meat. When tub o’ guts Billy catches the killer motherclucker disposing of the real sheriff, he gets the terrorizing tom in a headlock and gives the others a chance to grab Turk’s neck decoration (neckoration?), but the entree escapes amidst the mayhem. Now they need to hunt him down so they can recite a demonic verse backwards in unison and burn him at the stake to be good and rid of him for reals.

While separated from the rest, Billy is tricked into eating an illusionary turkey and gets Kaned (go watch Alien) as a result, with Turkie in the role of the baby Xeno. When the others find his big bloated inside out corpse, Darren breaks into another montage: this one of pleasant flashback scenes about the best friend times between he and his corpulent compadre. Awwww. When the time for reminiscing is finally over, the Triple Threat hunt Turkie to his roadside teepee (for my bunghole?) where they bind him and recite their backwards gibberish. They’re just about to set him ablaze and send him to poultry hell when Oscar appears from nowhere, shoots the fleeing fowl full of buckshot and sends his carcass flying into a nearby garbage bin packed with radioactive refuse. Convinced this is enough to end their holiday ordeal, Oscar says adios while Darren, Johnny, and Kristen decide to leave well enough alone and venture forth to watch Christmas specials! Oh how I hope they’re watching “Christmas Comes to Pac Land”…

As expected, Turk’s not even close to being worm food and instead makes his inevitable return, now powered by the miracle of atomic mutation and varnished with a fresh coat of glowing green Toxic Avenger spooge. Darren will never again get to ply the famed “dance grooves” for which he’s known (you’d hardly recognize him under all that movie makeup), ending up instead with his tongue torn out and a peck hole in his chest big enough to put a penis into. If fucking dead nerds’ chest cavities is what you’re into, anyway. Hey, I don’t judge. Johnny gets an electric carver in his gizzards, but Kristen proves herself the sole survivor as she sets the gobbler ablaze with the classic DIY WMD Deus ExMachina: the aerosol flamethrower. Turkie’s toast. Oscar shows up for one last random pop-in and the movie ends on an epilogue about a family getting attacked by their Thanksgiving dinner while the threat of “To be continued… IN SPACE!” emblazons the screen. Truly, a movie made for b-horror nerds by b-horror nerds.

I feared I was about to step into a dog turd minefield when I opted to take on ThanksKilling. Too many indie (i.e. cheap) horror comedies try to emulate Troma with hyper over-the-top gross-out moments, shocker humor and flagrant dick & tit barrages without managing even a molecule of the more subtle jokes and gags that keep Troma features from being overpowered by the sum of their own parts. They also neglect to realize the importance of delivering such elements to make them funny rather than just garbage. Great example? Anybody can say “fuck” and it won’t mean shit. But when someone like George Carlin or Richard Pryor said “fuck”, it was funny. They knew how to deliver it. ThanksKilling understands that. Downey knew the limitations of what he had to work with and utilized it to make something palatable rather than putrid. For starters, it’s shot on video, but doesn’t try to reach beyond those restrictions. The gore’s actually NOT excessive. By limiting it to just a few scenes, what is there could get the proper attention needed to look as good as they could afford to make it. Keeping on effects, Turkie is a pretty solid puppet for a no budgeter! Certainly not Jim Hensonian by any stretch, but pretty slick for a flick that was likely shot on cameras borrowed from the AV department of a community college by a group of nobodies who probably failed out of the same acting class.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by ThanksKilling. Under the old laws, I’d give it a 3.5-out-of-5. But with the new ratings system I’m stuck on whole numbers, so I’m bumping it up to a 4. Definitely deserving of an annual Turkey Day double bill with Blood Freak. When watching, just be sure to apply the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” Principle to your viewing experience: if you’re wondering how that does this, and other science facts, repeat to yourself it’s just a movie and you should really just relax. More often than not, I’m the first to give the finger to such absurdity, but in a movie whose premise centers around a murderous, centuries old, trash-talking zombie turkey, save yourself the trouble and give in to the trusty old “popcorn movie” adage of shutting off your brain before you hit play.

Before I go, does anybody know where I can get extra small, gravy flavored condoms? I’m asking for a friend. No, really. Horus is hung like a hamster and this half-raven demigoddess He’s been seeing lately has this fucking weird gravy fetish. Nice girl though.

Moral of the Story: Want to divorce your spouse, but not sure of the best way to break the news? Shit in their morning coffee.

Screenshots_____

“… there was the first utterance of the ‘pull my finger’ joke.”


First released image of Chandler from the “Friends” prequel series “Peers“.


“How about you and I discuss my proposal to change the traditional Thanksgiving food? How do you feel about… ham? Lasagna? Big Macs?!”


Before he became famous, Larry the Cable Guy used to donate sperm 5 days a week. Say hello to every high school dropout below the Mason-Dixon Line for the next 10 years.


“Can you count my nipples for me? I lose track after 5.”


Coming to IMAX next summer, Ted Nugent: In Search of the Wango.


Wow. They’ve officially reached “bottom of the barrel” with the newest season of “Survivor“. At least it shouldn’t last more than a few episodes.


Following the loss of his other shed, The Artist Formerly Known as Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson chose to live the rest of his life in seclusion with his remaining shed.


“Hello, Mustache Club for Men? I received my Mustache of the Month for November, and nobody believes it’s real. I’d like to return it for a refund.”


The Three Stooges, as chosen by marketing demographics and test audiences today.


This is why you never hire a demonic turkey as your barber. Especially if he would’ve preferred to be a lumberjack instead. (Yep, that’s two Monty Python references today. You’re welcome.)


There are some who say the Boggy Creek creature is still out there, thumbing his way across the back roads of Americana, gathering material for his own version of the Great American Novel.


I haven’t seen this much fully-clothed intercourse since that Mormon porn video my friend made me watch. His hope of kickstarting the next great wave of viral reaction videos didn’t exactly live up to the legacy of “Two Girls One Cup”.


If you put psychedelic mushroom gravy in your mashed potatoes, then watched Eraserhead and My Dinner With Andre on two TVs set next to each other, eventually this is what you’ll see.


“But… I still don’t get it. Why would anyone wanna eat GREEN eggs?!”


“I’ve got the weirdest boner right now!”.


“Honestly Jim Bob, when you said you wanted to ‘cream in my mouth’, I thought you meant something much different. This is SO much nicer though!”


Another unfortunate victim of Russell Crowe’s latest trip to the AT&T Store to complain about his iPhone.


A promotional still from Jordan Downey’s new project for the Hallmark Channel, ThanksCuddling.

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Anubis will return next time in
“Un-Living Color”

Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

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