ThanksKilling (2009)

Turkey engages in fowl play

This Thursday, our neighbours south of the border will be celebrating Thanksgiving. So I thought it would be appropriate to take a look this week at one of the most original movies I have seen in years – ThanksKilling, which sees a bloodthirsty, foul-mouthed turkey engaging in a wild killing spree.

The very first image that graces the screen in ThanksKilling is a pair of large, exposed breasts. As the camera zooms out, we see that said breasts belong to a pilgrim, who is running away from a turkey. She does not make it very far before the turkey brutally murders her. Why this pilgrim is seminude, and why she has run afoul of this turkey is never really explained, but I’m sure the novelization of the film goes into far greater detail. The role of “Naked Pilgrim” is played by adult film star Wanda Lust, who reportedly beat out Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman and Dame Judy Dench for the job.

From there we meet five college kids who are on their way home for Thanksgiving. We have the nerd, the slut, the good girl, the fat guy and the quarterback. Nearly every stereotype is covered. Each one of those walking, talking stereotypes soon find themselves targeted by the turkey.

There are some scenes in cinematic history that will forever be etched into the public’s memory. Rocky Balboa running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The suspenseful three-way duel in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The Statue of Liberty showing up on the beach in Planet of The Apes. But none of these scenes compare to the one I witnessed in ThanksKilling.

In the midst of stalking the college students, the turkey walks in on the slutty girl getting a little backdoor lovin’. So the turkey knocks off the young man, takes his place, and proceeds to fill her full of his own form of stuffing. We do learn later on that he was wearing a condom. Not just any condom, a gravy-flavoured one! I guarantee you that in this week’s issue of the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert did not write about safe sex between women and poultry.

Another incredible scene sees the turkey, wearing a fake nose and beard, posing as a college kid while talking to one his target’s father. The father, not the sharpest tool in the shed, assumes that the turkey is a “little person.” They proceed to have one of the most awkward conversations ever filmed.

The film also features some of the finest dialogue this reviewer’s ears have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Such as:

Nerd: “We can’t stop him – we’ve tried everything.”

Quarterback: “No, we haven’t tried anything.”

Nerd: “Oh yeah.”

It’s like someone dug up William Shakespeare, re-animated him, and coaxed him to write a script about a killer turkey.

Thanksgiving is obviously about giving thanks, so I’d like to thank the folks at Netflix for offering a free trial so that I could watch this unforgettable film. The film cost only $3,500 to make, less than the cost of a term’s worth of textbooks. It’s unfathomable that in this day and age of $200-million films that one could be made for so little, and still stacks up favourably. It really has me torn: do I spend $5,000 on a new roof, or should I try to produce a sequel?

Don’t settle for just any homicidal poultry film this season. Watch the one that gobble-gobbles up the competition. Unlike a turkey meal, Thankskilling won’t make you feel drowsy.


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