As profane catchphrases go, it’s up there with the similar “Yippe-ki-yay” and “My name is Pitt and your ass ain’t talking its way out of this sh*t.” But since it’s uttered by a foul-mouthed, 513-year-old homicidal turkey, it’s in its own league altogether.
When a film’s first shot is a gigantic pair of mammaries filling the screen, we know we’re not in Truffaut territory. Make no wishbones about it (ha!), ThansKilling is a “fowl” film, (fine, we’ll stop now!) but it’s the sort of zero-budget, over-the-top ridiculousness we like here at Really Awful Movies.
The opener establishes the tone of the film quite handily. Starting in 1621, moments after the very-first Thanksgiving feast, the camera pulls back to reveal the owner of the aforementioned bazoinkas: a female pilgrim fleeing in abject terror. Her pursuer: a crazed turkey brandishing an axe. And here we thought it was the turkey that gets carved up (OK, this time we really mean it!).
Fast forward to the present and we’re introduced to the fab five, excited for a Thanksgiving break road trip. There’s the redneck fat guy, the party girl with loose morals, the dim jock, the socially-maladjusted nerd and the pretty brain whose father happens to be the town sheriff. There’s also this Ted Nugentesque survivalist who lives in a dilapidated shack in the woods and seems to pop up anytime and anywhere the story demands it.
The bird is stalking the gang because of some malarkey about an ancient Indian curse placed upon the white man after the first Thanksgiving. And wouldn’t you know it, the jock is a distant descendant of the man who initially earned the Indian’s ire. Hence, we have cinema’s first slasher poultry, Turkie. Turkie won’t rest until he’s dispatched the entire group, and woe to any that gets in his way!
At this point one has to assess whether to accept the idea of a profane, lunatic turkey harboring a centuries-old vendetta. Actually, the scene where Turkie grabs a rifle and jacks a car to continue his pursuit serves as good a jumping off point as any. But really, those who watch a movie called “ThanksKilling” should know what they’re getting into. Best to accept the lunacy and enjoy the ride
Turkie certainly knows how to spin a phrase that catches. “I’m gonna drink your blood like cranberry sauce!” is one choice line as is his retort after he — how shall we put this delicately — has his way with the party girl: “You just got stuffed!”
ThanksKilling was made for a paltry $3,500, yet the gore effects are inventive and plentiful (including a hilarious homage to Alien). The movie doesn’t take itself seriously for a second and the laughs come fast and furious. Plus, it’s only 70 minutes long so it’s like a Ramones song: If you don’t like it, don’t worry. It’ll be over soon. Great film to watch with a group while digesting the pumpkin pie and waiting for the effects of the tryptophan to wear off.
**** (out of five)