GOING COLD TURKEY

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 in All Reviews, Horror for the Holidays, Indie Horror, Thanksgiving | 1 comment

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Horror loves holidays.

Once Halloween became an overnight success, scary movies began to shamelessly pounce on every notable calendar event possible. The library of holiday-themed horror films now includes so many titles that you could easily have a fright flick to view on every single holiday that rolls around:

New Year’s Evil, My Bloody Valentine, Leprechaun, April Fool’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation Day, Uncle Sam, and five Silent Night, Deadly Night moviesplus a brand new pseudo-remake. This is only a fraction of the holiday horror movies out there too. Every holiday has been given the horror genre taint, many of them multiple times…

All except for one….

That is, until Thankskilling came along.

For whatever reason Thanksgiving is the holiday that horror movies somehow forgot during the 80’s when the holiday horror shit ran rampant. This was even joked upon by director Eli Roth who gave us a faux-trailer for a slasher film called Thanksgiving in his segment for Grindhouse.

I mean really, even Final Exam gave a movie to exam day, so why was Thanksgiving over-looked for so long? We may never know or really care.

Well, whether we care or not, a dollar store production about a killer turkey running around was released in 2009 and thanks to a long stint on Netflix streaming, this low-rent black comedy Thankskilling has generated a lot of fans from the phantom realm of bad movie fanatics.

Now, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign’s funding, an all new adventure starring the hack n’ slash bird has just landed with a thud. Behold, Thankskilling 3, a puppet-infested whirlwind of weird is now available on Amazon and iTunes, and the gluttonous holiday now has a shitty movie series all of its own.

THANKSKILLING 3 (2012)

For this second installment (Thankskilling 2 does not actually exist), young director Jordan Downey takes the terrorizing turkey idea to baffling new levels of absurdity. Filled with characters ranging from live action actors, to puppets, to 8-bit video games, this movie is a bit of a mess, but a fun mess.

It starts off by showing us the movie-within-the-movie “Thankskilling 2,” and the plot is revealed — “Thankskilling 2” was the worst movie of all time and is therefore being destroyed, much to the killer turkey’s chagrin.  It’s a good thing too, because the killer turkey cursed the film and anyone who watches it will die, kind of like anyone who sat through the remake of The Wicker Man.

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Our reluctant heroes are not a generic group of college kids as they were in the first film. Instead, we have an adorable Muppet named Yomi, who has literally lost her mind and is searching for it. We also have an infomercial salesman named Uncle Donny who wants to build a Thanksgiving theme park of all things. They team up with a bisexual earthworm from outer-space and his android lover to stop the turkey from regaining the last DVD of “Thanksgiving 2,” which the turkey wants to unleash upon the world with nefarious intentions. Also featured is a foul-mouthed rapping Granny who couldn’t be more unpleasant, or less funny, to watch.

Anyway, the turkey is not alone in his diabolical pursuit as he recruits his reincarnated son to posses the DVD. He also creates an army of skeleton turkeys who await our protagonists in a surreal Turkey Hell where they must venture to recover Yomi’s lost mind as it floats around aimlessly.

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Sound pretty wild? Well it is and it isn’t. With some blood splattered here and some predictable sex humor thrown over there, this silly script is just plump enough to bake into a 99 minute shitshow.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thankskilling 3 tramples upon fragile ground because it is a bad movie that is self-aware. This often detracts from the yuks, and there are many embarrassing moments where it tries and fails to bring South Park style humor into its limp shenanigans. It also taunts itself as being a raunchy puppet film but it comes nowhere near the debauchery and violence of Meet the Feebles, which predates it by 23 years.

There are some worthwhile moments here though, including some trippy scenes accompanied by a surprising excellent electro-score (featuring Amid Vocirus and Zain Effendi) as well as a wonderful homage to Evil Dead II that will give all horror fanboys a boner. Also, the footage from “Thankskilling 2” in the beginning is downright hilarious, as is the concept of a sequel being all about eliminating its faux predecessor.

So, you know, it’s hard not to appreciate that such a batshit movie got made in the first fuckin’ place. However, Thankskilling 3 really doesn’t offer us much we haven’t seen before. I mean, really, a rappin’ Granny? That was funny the first time I saw that… decades ago. This underground romp doesn’t offer up nearly as much gore and insanity as you’d expect from it either, and while it presents itself as a Troma-style shit-fest, there’s a surprisingly small amount of actual carnage and filth. The anus jokes are there, but they’re not out of control or followed by endless vomit and guts. Its’ not Terror Firma if that’s what you were hoping for, you sick bastard.

The puppetry is leaps and bounds beyond the first film, and the cinematography has dynamite moments, but despite all of the random elements they’ve tossed into the ole’ B-movie blender, Thankskilling 3 hasn’t really improved upon the original in many other ways. It tries to be zany, but everything it does has been done better before by others.

It is good for a few chuckles, and you’ll marvel that it even exists, but it’s not a movie I could see many people revisiting – not even hardcore B-movie fans like you’d find at the Tavern of Terror. It doesn’t have new cult classic written on it anywhere.  It’s not Brain Damage. It’s not Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. Shit, it’s not even Troll 2.

At base, it’s just another turkey.

  • RATING: 2 out of 5. I commend the renegade filmmaking and the refusal to fold to convention, but I must boo the weak attempts at comedy and the utter lack of carnage.
  • CHICK OF THE LITTER: There is a pair of tits in the opening, but there are no female characters in this that aren’t puppets… and we’re not going down that road.

BARTENDER’S NOTES

Come on. You know I can’t resist this recommendation.

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Get yourself some Wild Turkey to wash down this B-movie that is actually a homage to previous B-movies. This classic Kentucky bourbon is fierce and goes well with any light beer backer. Its straight-from-the-barrel flavor is an acquired taste for sure, but this is an American hooch classic for a reason, folks. And like our feature, it’s pretty cheap and will get you laughing in spite of yourself.

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One Comment

  1. Holy shit, there are 3 of these things?

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