Festively Themed Celluloid – T-Day
Cult stumbles over spilled stuffing mix, an open oven door and a flightless bird on a rampage fueled by rampant one-liners and an erection. Wait what-!
No seriously, it’s a thing. Read on…
Thankskilling USA (2009)
Director – Jordan Downey
Runtime – 66 minutes
Broad Daylight Pictures
Based on ancient Crawberg legend (dating back to before the first Thanksgiving celebrations) Cheif Feathercloud necromanced a turkey, of all things, to wreck vengeance on the white man for all the wrongs he has perpetrated against the native people of the Americas. This brings us to present day where an intrepid canine has chosen the site of an ancient artifact to relieve itself. And hey presto! Thanks to the gods of low budget cinema and creative inventiveness that makes little to no sense (as if a talking bird famous for its giggly neck flesh with the capacity to formulate snappy one liners and don dime store disguises is any more easily mentally digestible) we catch a second glimpse and interaction with the films antagonist. Our first comes in the opening scene whereupon he (fingers crossed the turkey identifies as a ‘he’ lest I get a visit from the pissed off, potty mouthed, “gobbling” fella myself) chases a busty pilgrim through a wooded enviroment brandishing an ax. Do turkeys have hands and/or opposable thumbs, no need to ponder on this vexing quandary as the movie obviously demands you toss any sense of common sense and reason out of the window in order to fully enjoy all it has to offer. If this is too challenging a quest you should probably stop reading now, seriously.
Centered around the Thanksgiving break antics of a small collective of subtly different and highly amusing, each in their own way, teens the movie moves at a rollicking pace. As it plows blindly towards its climax it barrells over even the merest indication of emotion or considerate apathy for another character’s plight. This isn’t after all a drama, thank the Dark Lord as I’m forced to sit through more than my fair share on account of the season, the fact that the Hallmark channel is on my subscription list and my saintly patience/tolerance for my wifes odd viewing habits. Although Thankskilling does take time out to embellish several of the character’s backstorys it nudges at more serious celluloid affairs as it does so with a stick wrapped in barbed wire, studded through with rusted nails and dipped in fecal matter. Montages befitting an 80’s celluloid affair are plentiful and humorous. Given the blindingly obvious nature of the movie they fit right in, the phrase politician (with a playground phallus surname) frollicking at a teen night disco comes to mind for some reason.
Not to spoil anyone’s enjoyment I must mention that the acting is at times horrendous, however I’m sure this is intentional and part of the features charm, cleverly perpetrated for the genre and the viewers enjoyment.
The movies main character goes by the name of Turkie, and doesn’t take kindly to being referred to as either a ‘midget’ or a duck. You can ask the Sherriff…well, you could have at one juncture in the film.
Our feathered friend’s fowl mouth (that’s a pun folks!) runneth over and his beyind boisterous antics follow suit leading to a number of scenes that are especially hard to forget. ‘Gravy flavored condom’, a chest bursting Alien homage scene and the movie Face Off for some reason come to mind.
But what makes this a film I will want to make time for I hear a potential audience member ask. Well, my inquizative lil friend, Thankskilling has a great many number of things going for it.
It’s utilization of a meager budget is outstanding, it doesn’t waste scenes but rather gets straight to the point, to the meat of the meal if you will. The film even goes so far as to incorporate an animated scene of sorts to keep the viewer enlightened and entertained. The writing and dialogue naturally are traditional for the genre, highly improbable though altogether enjoyable for fans that demand silliness and more than enough curdled dairy product to satisfy all the remaining members of the Monty Python trope (that’s a deep reference for all those scratching their heads in puzzlement).
The film boasts a character assortment sporting a range of personalities, and flaws depending upon your opinion, that are larger than life. ‘Deep’ is obviously not the order of the day here, honestly if you arrived with any inkling that this movie has Oscar aspirations you’re tragically delusional. Of the teens in the films collective the geek character is one of the most memerable players for me, for no particular reason I might add (raising an eyebrow*). He strives to fit into the group and is the butt of many a joke but continues to have unquestionable loyalty and no qualms in giving his aid to them in their unfathomably odd predicament.
Naturally there’s a hermit in the woods, who’s a tad Ted Nugent in appearance but also startlingly authentic. He has a dog named (wait for it) Flashy for a companion who is dangerously curious. As the movie progresses he finds himself on a quest to avenge the senseless slaying of said companion. Did I mention that my reviews are usually devoid of spoilers? My mentioning a few won’t ruin the viewing experience here, trust me.
Another star of the show is the films antagonist, Turkie. Of course there’s a certain amount of irony to be found here as “he’s” also traditionally slated to be the main attraction/centerpiece of the days eating festivities. Other than being more than a mite rubbery (gotta love those cheesy practical effects!) and Freddy Krueger in appearance he somehow maintains a stellar screen presence even though his ‘money shot’ one-liners are predictable especially given the season. In this films instance however, it’s not what he says but how he delivers the dialogue. In true Troma fashion the acting throughout, not only from our pissed off, inventive, attitude touting lil friend, is gloriously over-the-top and applaudable in its outrageousness and that’s what gives the film it’s appeal. It’s silly, it’s unbelievable but it’s fun. And that’s where I believe it’s main draw comes in. Escapism in its truest form executed with its darting lil tongue firmly in its cheek.
Break out those leftovers and baste your senses in a B movie that is guaranteed to clear the In-laws from your overcrowded residence but only if you control the remote.
I’ve taken my time to get around to viewing this but now that I have I can honestly say it has earned my stamp of approval.
Your slave to cinema obscure, indecent, odd and sometimes seasonally themed.