The scene opens in the 1600’s. A topless pilgrim girl (Wanda Lust) is running away and screaming from an unseen assailant. We see the POV shot from the killer … we see the topless girl running away … killer … naked chick … killer … naked chick, until the inevitable happens and the chick falls to the ground (screaming, of course). We see an axe being lifted and suddenly thrust into the screaming, naked chick over and over again. Blood sprays, the girl screams, and in the aftermath we see the killer’s face. No it’s not some jilted Pilgrim; no, it’s not some psycho masked killer; no, it’s not some deformed creature. When the camera pans over to the assailant its … a turkey. Wait, what? That’s right people … the killer is a turkey and he (it is indeed a male turkey) can use weapons and can even talk. In fact, right before killing the topless Pilgrim the turkey looks at her and says, “Nice tits bitch” and then drives the axe home. Welcome to the world of THANKSKILLING!!
Fast forward to the present day. We see a group of friends getting ready to go on Thanksgiving break from college. There’s Johnny ‘The Jock’ (Lance Predmore); Billy ‘The Hick’ (Aaron Ringhiser-Carlson); Darren ‘The Nerd’ (Ryan Francis); Ali (Natasha Cordova), the slutty girl; and Kristen ‘The Good Girl’ (Lindsey Anderson), whose dad is a sheriff. Writer-director Jordan Downey (along with four other writers) cover every slasher film archetype as they set out to make a completely ridiculous, over-the-top, and gory homage to the slasher film. And ya know what? It kinda works!! Sure the budget is tiny (estimated at a meager $3,500), but Downey doesn’t let it show when it comes to the special f/x. Everything is played for laughs here and the blending of the gore and humor works for me. I mean come on; if you’re gonna make a slasher-gore flick about Thanksgiving, ya gotta have a killer turkey … ya just gotta!!
The back story is as silly as any: A Pilgrim related to Billy (‘The Hick’) pissed off an Indian Shaman around Thanksgiving time back in the day. For his revenge, the Shaman curses a turkey to come back every 505 years and kill the white man. That’s right; we have a killer, immortal, cursed turkey who holds one helluva grudge!! But what sets the homicidal foul off is when a dog pisses on the turkey’s grave. Now the grotesque gobbler is on the loose and looking to get back at the white man. Enter our college kids on their way home for the holiday. All the typical trappings are here: The car breaks down, they camp in the woods, they party and drink beer, and Ali is looking to hook up with Johnny. We even get a little inner-friend tension because Billy is looking to score with the easy Ali who’s “legs are harder to close that the JonBenét Ramsey case”!! Oh yes; we’re deep into exploitation territory here people!!
This is of course an extremely silly, slapstick-ish horror-comedy blend that isn’t meant to be taken serious … not for a second. As soon as you hear the killer turkey’s voice you’re gonna laugh out loud. The voice is like a combination of a radio D.J. and a drunken frat boy. It’s really hilarious. And with the fowl-mouthed turkey (ah-hem) spouting off such lines like, “Gobble gobble motherfucker” and “Shut up; I do the talking faggot,” well you know this is going for the low-brow laughs.
Once the twenty-somethings get to their homes (they all conveniently live in the same town), that’s when the real drumstick destruction begins. We get such classic (and classy) scenes like the turkey killing Kristen’s dad and wearing his face as a mask (and no one seems to notice) and the killer corn-eater bursting through the chest of another character. But the best kill is when Ali is getting banged from behind and the turkey kills her lover and then starts doing her himself. Then after the clucker climaxes, he yells at Ali, “You just got stuffed!!” I’m sorry, but this shit is funny!! But what makes it really work is the actors involved. They all do a really nice job in their roles and they all have a firm grasp on who and what their characters are. They know they’re in a silly, juvenile-humored slasher flick and they all play their characters perfectly.
Darren ‘The Nerd’ of course finds an obscure book with a really complicated formula that can get rid of the turkey once and for all. The problem is they’re gonna need a mind like Stephen Hawking to break the formula. But along the way we get plenty of gory moments and really, really, REALLY silly humor. This is the kind of film where my wife looks at me, as I’m laughing hysterically, and does a quick re-evaluation of our marriage!!
Some of you will appreciate the sheer zaniness and over-the-top gore and humor. Some of you will hate THANKSKILLING for it’s ridiculous storyline, childish humor, and overall silliness. All I can say is, “It’s Thanksgiving … gobble gobble motherfucker”!! So overeat this Thanksgiving and instead of turning on the same boring football games treat yourself to an exploitive, Troma-esque slasher-gore flick!! Oh by the way, as the film ends, we get the following scrawled across the screen:
“ To be continued … IN SPACE”
Bring it on!!
Director: Jordan Downey (& the main writer)
Plot: 3 out of 5 stars
Gore: 6.5 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer