Thankskilling (2009)


“Now that’s what I call fowl play!”

The Scoop: 2009 NR, directed by Jordan Downey and starring Chuck “The Dead Guy” Lamb, Lindsey Anderson, Ryan E Francis, and Lance Predmore

Tagline: Gobble, Gobble, Motherf@#$er!

Summary Capsule: On Thanksgiving eve, a foul-mouthed, homicidal turkey seeks revenge on the white man for murdering Native Americans and disrespecting their land.  Yeah, you read that right.

Al’s rating: This.  This right here is the reason that Netflix invented a streaming service.

Al’s review: For a long time now, I’ve maintained that first-time directors should stop trying to make the next Clerks and start trying to make the next Halloween.  There’s an equal chance it will be unwatchable dreck, but, if you throw in some splatter, at least it might be enjoyable, unwatchable dreck. So whenever I see that a movie like Thankskilling has arrived, my heart does a little Mutant touchdown dance.

It was only a matter of time, really. There are plenty of Christmas horror movies out there and Halloween horror movies (naturally). Saint Patrick’s Day has its own franchise at this point. Easter has a couple of Homicidal Bunny movies.  Valentine’s Day has gotten its chance. So has April Fool’s Day, the 4th of July, and Arbor Day. And now, director Jordan Downey has given Thanksgiving its own vengeful mascot: the Evil Turkey Puppet.

In Thankskilling, the Evil Turkey Puppet has set his sights on a group of five terrible actors on their way home from college for Thanksgiving break: the Demure Survivor Girl, the Sort-of-Heroic Jock, the Total Slut Hobag, the Fat Loud Party Guy, and the Greasy Awkward Poindexter.  They spew atrociously bad dialogue and make jokes that are not only in terrible taste, but don’t even have the decency to be funny.  I have not met a cast of characters I wanted to see die this badly in years.

The movie looks like it was shot on home video and the Evil Turkey Puppet appears to be a craft they made in a high-school art class. Bizarre characters like a shotgun-toting hermit pop in and out of the story for absolutely no reason other than he’s played by the guy that did all the music.

So why am I still smiling?  Because, somehow, Thankskilling is awesome. Stupidly, gloriously awesome in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. For example, our story rather shamelessly opens with a close-up chest shot of a skanky-looking topless Pilgrim. It is a scene that serves literally no purpose. When she is chased and killed by the Evil Turkey Puppet, he spits out a one-liner that is neither funny nor clever. Taken by itself, this only serves to lower my opinion of the movie. The next time the Evil Turkey Puppet kills, however, he does it again.  And then he does it again. And again.  And again. Every single time somebody dies in this movie, the Evil Turkey Puppet has a crass, unfunny comment.  By the forty-five minute mark, it’s stopped being offensive and it’s stopped being ridiculous and, somehow, it has rounded the bend into the land of awesome.  I don’t pretend to understand it, but I can’t deny it, either.

So, you probably already know if Thankskilling is something you want to see. Honestly, you probably knew if this movie was for you as soon as you read the words “Evil Turkey Puppet.”  No, I can’t guarantee that Thankskilling is going to change your life or help you find religion, but, at a whopping 67 minutes long, I think it’s worth taking a risk on. And, seriously, how many other movies do you really have to watch once the tryptophan kicks in?


  • I’m all for breasts on film, but I think it’s time to retire those puppies, Pilgrim lady.
  • What is up with the slurping thing?
  • That little animated segment is actually pretty decent.
  • I like how the Evil Turkey Puppet has Predator-style “Turkey Vision” for no particular reason.
  • Things I Never Thought I’d See #61: A turkey puppet carjacking a passing motorist with a shotgun.
  • Things I Never Wanted To See #83: A turkey puppet finding a use for an extra-small gravy-flavored condom.
  • Y’know, for all the failings this movie has, I think that the Evil Turkey Puppet drinking coffee with Chuck Lamb in a full-body turkey costume is pretty damn funny.
  • Of course, the Evil Turkey Puppet wearing Chuck Lamb’s face as a mask is a little less funny, but is still weird enough to make me crack a smile.
  • The rest of the book is written in *code?* Really?
  • You confuse me, mid-movie music video.  You confuse me, but you make me laugh. I love you, mid-movie music video.
  • I know you’re working on a budget and everything, but that is one sorry-looking teepee, guys.
  • Movies just love their aerosol can flamethrowers, don’t they?
  • To Be Continued… IN SPACE!

Groovy Quotes:

Total Slut Hobag: Yeah! Thanksgiving break! Let’s get wasted!

Greasy Awkward Poindexter: I’m gonna go wild! I’m gonna go buck wild on this trip! I’m gonna go skinny dipping without any clothes on! I’m gonna ghostride the whip! I’m gonna have sex… with someone in this car!

Total Slut Hobag: Come on! It’s totally impossible for a turkey to kill a human!  Right?

Evil Turkey Puppet: You dog kind of had an accident.
Hermit: What kind of an accident?
Evil Turkey Puppet: Well, I took this axe here and I accidently cut him up. By accident.

Hermit: Why?  WHY?  First my wife, now you, Flashie!  Damn you, Turkey!  DAMN YOU!!!

Evil Turkey Puppet: I’m gonna drink your blood like cranberry sauce, meanie!

Evil Turkey Puppet: You just got stuffed!

Survivor Girl: Oh, dad. You and your rapidly fading memory…

Evil Turkey Puppet: Now that’s what I call fowl play!

Evil Turkey Puppet: A long time ago, one of your ancestors disrespected our people really, really badly. And so, as payback, I’m here to kill any white person who disrespects Indians or our land!
Sort-of-Heroic Jock: But we gave your people land and we let you have casinos! Doesn’t that make up for what our ancestors did?
Evil Turkey Puppet: Ha ha ha!  It almost did.  But it didn’t.  Prepare to be dead!

Now you’ve gone and left me
You were my–you were my friend
(my friend)
You got killed by a turkey
Who’s not–who’s not my friend
(not my friend)

Survivor Girl: Peck on someone your own size!

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  1. Awesome! I was trying to think of something outrageous to review for Thanksgiving, but where I failed you have succeeded brilliantly.

  2. This is what Troma has been doing for the past 30 years, really. I’m surprised you guys haven’t reviewed any of their films.

  3. “So whenever I see that a movie like Thankskilling has arrived, my heart does a little mutant touchdown dance.”
    Mine is doing that right now and I haven’t even seen it yet. I need this film. I need it like old people need stale hard candy.

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