I’ve always said that nudity and comic violence are two ingredients that help a slasher movie succeed. Thankskilling has both, before the opening credits. The film opens in 1621, with a topless pilgrim falling victim to a zombie turkey. Yes, a zombie turkey.
Shift to the present, where the writers introduce the class of stereotypes; the jock, the redneck, the nerd, the slut and the innocent girl. Naturally, this cast of characters heads into the woods on a trip, including a roadside breakdown of the students’ Jeep. The evil turkey is awakened by a wandering dog stopping to pee on its grave.
The dialogue is more humor than substance, and the Thankskilling crew knows it. This is a clear case of aim low and hit the mark. The film uses tried-and-true techniques like the point-of-view bad guys and over-the-top acting, and roles filled in a thousand slasher flicks before.
The turkey itself is an R-rated, obnoxious muppet with the mouth (or beak, that is) of a sailor and the killer instincts of a rabid dog. Once the turkey whacks jock boy’s parents, the second-string quarterback vows vengeance, and that’s before he bangs the slutty chick. (The turkey, not the QB.)
Soon, the turkey chases the kids in a cat-and-mouse game where the killer stays a step ahead of the victims at all times (a slight reversal for a slasher flick). Its goal, like all good slashers, is to separate his victims and wipe them out one by one. This turkey doesn’t need much help, as the victims…err, students…find excuses to head out on their own and get wiped out. In the end, it takes the help of a crazed old hermit and a demon ritual to rid the world of the undead turkey…or so they think.
Sure, there are plenty of horror flicks about Halloween and Christmas, but a traditional undead turkey that comes back to exact the revenge of an Indian’s curse. That’s a twist that hasn’t been overdone.
Thankskilling works under the premise that most idiots can’t tell a turkey from a human, that turkeys can fire guns, swing axes, and open condom wrappers, all without opposable thumbs. DVD’s like this are the reason for nights of booze and horror flicks. Thankskilling is bloody, it’s stupid, and it knows it. The film’s self-awareness gives it a second tier of inside jokes that genre fans will enjoy. The soundtrack echoes the film’s direction, providing a satire of itself.