Sunday, November 27, 2011


Label: MVD Entertainment
Region Code: 0 NTSC
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 66 mins
Audio: English Dolby Digital Stereo
Video: 16:9 Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Jordan Downey
Cast: Lance Predmore, Lindsey Anderson, Aaron Carlson, Ryan Francis, Natasha Cordova, Chuck "Dead Body Guy" Lamb, General Bastard, Wanda Lust
Tagline: Gobble Gobble Motherfucker!

Of all the really lame holiday themed slasher films it's Thanksgiving day that's been given short shrift thru the ages; all the other festivities seem to be covered, including Mother's Day. Other than Eli Roth's THANKSGIVING I can't think of a single turkey day themed horror film though I'm sure there's one or two of 'em out there, there must be. Director Jordan Downey's THANKSKILLING is a gloriously low-budget possessed turkey slasher wherein a maniacal fowl named "Turkie" is resurrected when a dog commiserates upon it's grave which is marked by a mini totem pole. The fowl-mouthed bird runs amok and lays into five college kids who happen upon it's stalking grounds.

These kids are your average stereotypical college bunch; there's joe sport (Johnny), the hillbilly neanderthal (Billy), the dimwitted slut (Ally), the seething nerd (Darren) and the good girl (Kristen) all of whom head out on the road to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family, but the demon-possessed Turkie has other things in mind for the group when their Jeep breaks down enroute to their destination. Making the most of a bad situation the teens party it up 'round a campfire where Darren tells the tale of "one of the most notorious moments in pilgrim history" where a disgruntled native American Shaman cast a curse upon the Pilgrims of the first Thanksgiving dinner, he necromanced a turkey who return is said to return every 505 years and kills the first white people he encounters, and wouldn't you just know it it, tonight it's been 505 years exactly.

Going in you need to know that this is super low-budget film, not even rising to the ranks of a well made indie flick. This is a pure 80's era Troma-esque no-budget warts and production. A well-made, really bad movie is something to cherish and this film delivers at every turn, it is indeed extremely terrible but also terribly awesome just the same. That said, while being low-budget the composition is not completely terrible, this is a very watchable film. You know going in that producer Kevin Stewart and director Jordan Downey knew what they were creating, it's a very tongue-in-cheek send-up of slasher cliches set to the backdrop of Thanksgiving, if the killer were not a fowl-mouthed turkey you'd be hard-pressed to tell it were a Thanksgiving themed film honestly. 

The humor is campy, childish and sometimes vile - just the way I like it. For example, the film's goofy sheriff is sitting at the breakfast nook and after a sip of his coffee does a spit-take and exclaims to his soon to be estranged wife "that coffee tastes like shit! What'd you do take a dump in it?". The answer of course is yes as she swirls the pot of coffee revealing a turd inside, that's the level of humor you're in store for here folks, so brace yourselves. Our fiendish turkey is chock full of eye-rolling one-liners like a feathered Freddy Kreuger, seriously punny stuff like "I'm gonna drink your blood like cranberry sauce", "you've been stuffed"and "gobble gobble motherfucker".

The acting is uniformly terrible throughout, these are obviously friends and/or family of the director. The special effects are pretty shitty too and like I said the puns are truly awful but the film is actually one heck of a fun watch, sure the killer turkey is a novel idea but it's pretty awesome. What's not to love about a film that begins with a flashback to the first Thanksgiving with a topless Pilgrim-ette being chased through the forest by a killer turkey, add to that deliciously bad one-linersmand Turkie peeling off some one's face Hannibal Lecter styler and wearing it - that's just awesome. Definitely destined to be a cult film favorite for lovers of bad cinema.

DVD: THANKSKILLING gets a 16:9 enhanced 1.85:1 presentation from MVD Entertainment Group and definitely looks like a film shot for $3,500 - it's pretty poor looking but it's shittiness is complimentary to it's cheesiness. Muted color, poor black levels, flat image - like I said, not great. The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is not anything to crow about either but is serviceable; dialogue, score and effects sound pretty good. Special Features include a fun audio commentary with producer Kevin Stewart and director Jordan Downey, a blooper Reel (5:38), photo gallery (1:07) and a fan-made song about the film.  

Verdict: Just so we're on the same page this review is not late it's actually really early, okay? THANKSKILLING is a bad film, there's no way around it, but it rises above it's shit-poor production values with camp, crude-humor and schlocky bad movie might, this is cinema fromage of the highest order. Next Thanksgiving after you've stuffed yourself with turkey, yams and pumpkin pie I say toss down a few brews with THANKSKILLING on the tube and enjoy it before you slip into that tryptophan coma, it's definitely gonna be a perennial Turkey Day favorite alongside TRAINS, PLANES AND AUTOMOBILES at my house from here on in. 3 outta 5

I would also recommend you check out the film's website at - it's very interactive site and offers up a lot of fun for those who enjoy the film including videos, contest, message boards and posters.