Thankskilling (2009)

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A group of five perpetually brain-dead college students find themselves the target of a 500 year-old, foul-mouthed, wise-cracking, necromanced, murderous turkey while on Thanksgiving break. Now it’s a race against time to not only save themselves, but to also figure out some way to stop the feathered fiend before he turns his evil eye on anyone else.

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Why do I do this to myself?

Yes, I found and watched a movie about a psychotic, killer turkey. Yes, the movie is just as bad and hokey as that poster and description make it out to be. And yes, despite all its flaws, it still manages to be entertaining. 

Don’t get me wrong. The film is utter garbage. But on the bright side, the film is also self-aware enough that it knows it’s utter garbage. Believe it or not, knowing that does increase the enjoyment factor a little.

thankskilling_3This is the face of a man who knows he’s a douchebag and is eternally proud of it.

It should come as no surprise that with a tagline like “Gobble Gobble, Motherf*&Ker” that the dialogue in this film is atrocious. You can tell they were trying to be clever with all the little jokes and Thanksgiving puns, but just about all of it feels incredibly forced. Not even the Turkey, who’s sole job seems to be murder and witisisims, could barely elicit more than a chuckle. I don’t know about you, but for me there’s nothing worse than sitting down to watch a horror-comedy and realizing that there is neither horror or decent comedy in it. But, then again, the film seems to realize how corny it is, so perhaps part of it is intentional.

Either way, the only laughs you’ll likely be getting out of it will be due to how hokey it sounds.

thankskilling_4Shut up you damn hand puppet. You ain’t Chucky and you’re not funny.

Things like horrible dialogue can sometimes be overlooked if the acting is good enough to soften the blow, but alas, this is not the case here. While I wouldn’t necessarily call any of the acting in the film particularly bad, it’s not really above high-school drama club levels either. Considering each of the characters are highly exaggerated horror movie tropes, the actors actually did a pretty decent job. But for the movie to not be as cringy it required Emmy-level performances, and that just ain’t here.

thankskilling_5With a film like this, you should be grateful it made it past middle-school drama club levels.

As for the story itself… Well, it’s a plot about a murderous turkey (named Turkey) who goes on a killing spree after being awakened from his 500-year long slumber because a dog peed on the mini-totem pole that had sealed him away. Deep the film ain’t. The plot is nothing more than a loosely tied together excuse to have the turkey hand-puppet do and say the most ridiculous things imaginable while he stalks and kills a bunch of kids. The film does go to the trouble of trying to explain its bizarre premise via an animated flashback sequence, but I guarantee most people will have forgotten about it by the time the movie is over. But that’s likely intentional. The filmmakers don’t want you to focus on the backstory, they want you to focus on the death scenes, like the one where the turkey is eaten whole and then blasts his way out of a dude’s stomach with a rifle. 

How did a dude manage to swallow a turkey and a rifle whole without blinking an eye? Don’t worry about it. That’s just another thing the filmmakers don’t want you thinking too hard about.

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thankskilling_8Though I will give the film props for making the crazy hick not a MURDEROUS crazy hick. It’s the one instance where the film showed restraint.

The biggest draw to Thankskilling is undoubtedly the turkey, because, let’s face it, when you sit down to watch a movie about a killer turkey you want to see how it’s handled. And honestly it is handled surprisingly well considering how corny the whole thing is. I mean, this is a movie where the evil, talking turkey hand puppet can inexplicably drive a car, fire a rifle and can somehow manipulate his wings to snap a person’s neck. Where he learned to do half of that, or how he seems to know modern pop culture references despite being in the ground for 500+ years, is never explained. 

But then again, none of what goes on in this movie is meant to be taken seriously. So it’s really just best to sit back and shake your head at it’s feathery antics and wonder how not one, but several human beings on earth could be stupid enough to be fooled by disquises like these.

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He looks like a deranged Muppet. I wonder if that was intentional.

So is Thankskilling any good? Only in a ‘so bad it’s good’ sense. When it comes to the horror and comedy, there’s little to none of either. The plot is nonsensical, the victims are dull and idiotic, and I’m pretty sure the ‘sets’ were just various rooms in the actors homes. The draw of the film, the turkey, seems like he’s trying to channel other, better known wise-cracking killers, but the writing isn’t clever enough to pull it off. The whole film is silly and ridiculous, and really, that’s the point. They weren’t trying to make something serious. They wanted to make something stupid and fun. And if that was their intention, then I think they succeeded, because I can think of very few horror films that were as intentionally as dumb as this one. If you enjoy horrible horror movies that were trying to be horrible, than this is the film for you. And if it turns out it’s not your jam, take heart. With an run time of just a little over an hour, your suffering will be brief.

Thankskilling is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. 

It’s also available on DVD.

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Michi

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