Jordan Downey, Kevin Stewart, Grant Yaffee, Anthony Wilson
Lance Predmore as Johnny (The Jock)
Ryan E. Francis as Darren (The Nerd)
Lindsey Anderson as Kristen (The Good Girl)
Aaron Ringhiser-Carlson as Billy (The Hick)
Wanda Lust as Naked Pilgrim
Natasha Cordova as Ali
Whenever a group of college kids head out on a road trip of any kind, there are several things that horror freaks know are going to happen:
- One of the girls will be a total slut.
- Another girl will be a bit on the nerdy side, and generally virginal.
- One of the dudes will be the “Alpha”, ideally on the football team.
- Another dude will be the comedic foil, not particularly attractive but obnoxious enough to at least keep the interest of the girls.
- There will be a fifth wheel who is socially inept, maybe painfully so.
These stereotypes are pretty common, and have been reinforced in one film or another since the first Friday the 13th (who can forget Ned running around in his underwear wearing an Indian headdress?). Sometimes, for the sake of making a point of following the stereotypes a movie likeThankskilling will present these characters in all their stereotypical glory, but often this attempt comes off as weak and forced. Then again, other times it doesn’t.
The kids in Thankskilling encounter car trouble enroute to their primary destination (shocker) and decide to camp where they land. While drinking around the campfire the nerdiest of the bunch tells the tale of a killer turkey that arose just after the first-ever Thanksgiving with an attitude toward white people. Okay, the turkey part is new, but the campfire story is another “shocker”. Very quickly the story becomes reality as a rubber turkey with a moveable mouth begins stalking the heroes and picking them off one by one.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that this movie is completely ridiculous. The filmmakers make an issue of pointing out in the publicity that there are “tits in the first minute”, and indeed there are. The flashback to the massacre that followed the first Thanksgiving curiously features a pilgrim with the entire front of her dress missing, running through the woods. I guess there’s more than one way to skin a cat. The entire film pretty much goes downhill from there with a rubber turkey who does everything from proclaim “gobble gobble motherfu*ker” to hitchhiking into town and presenting his hind side to the driver when he says “gas, grass or ass”. He also steps in and finishes the job that the murdered loverboy started when the requisite “kill during a sex scene” transpires. Pretty silly.
But… as completely wrong as this one could have gone, some genuinely funny lines and relatively likeable characters really save the day. This is a pretty funny movie, and in spite of the fact that it mocks the staples of a good slasher movie there is also a certain respect for the subgenre that helps the experience along.
Then there’s the whole “Thanksgiving horror thing”… we don’t have many choices here when it comes to this particular holiday. Christmas is very well covered, as is of course Halloween. We also have Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day… and the third Final Destination (among others) took care of the Fourth of July… but Thanksgiving? Not a lot of choices. In the grand scheme of campy horror with a holiday theme, frankly you could do worse than this one. Could do better for sure, especially for other holidays, but Thankskilling is a lot of fun anyway. Maybe it will become the Troll II of our time of giving thanks. That one sucks too.