ThanksKilling Review

ThanksKilling (2009)
Chuck Lamb, Lance Predmore, Lindsey Anderson, Wanda Lust
Dir: Jordan Downey

So, I was thinking since I didn't do a Halloween themed review, I may as well pick up the slack with a Thanksgiving theme. And for bonus points, this time we're taking it in a completely opposite direction from Wake the Witch.

ThanksKilling is an hour long holiday themed horror-comedy with a pretty straight forward story. 5 college student stereotypes (a jock, a smelly slacker, a slutty airhead, a nerd and a straight arrow) decide to camp out when their truck breaks down on the way home for Thanksgiving break. Unfortunately, not far away, an ancient, demonic turkey (voiced by Jordan Downey) is released from its resting place when the dog of some crazy hermit decides to relieve himself on the totem pole marking its grave.

Okay, here we have a B-movie that not only advertises "low-budget", but delivers with style and aplomb. The opening scene is set just after the first Thanksgiving (1621) where a busty, topless pilgrim (Wanda Lust) is fleeing from the sounds of screaming and mayhem. This flight plan is short-lived as she trips over a rock and is done in by the feathered fury after the most epic line ever in a movie is dropped: "Nice tits, bitch!" After that, this movie was automatically rocketed into "So bad, it's good!" territory as this is only the beginning for what could quite possibly be the most ridiculous bird in movie history.

Anyway, following this meretricious opening, we're introduced to the main characters. And yeah, when I said they were stereotypes before, I mean they deliver in spades (it's even in the IMDb credits)

Billy (the hick) and Johnny (the jock)

Ali (I guess "slut" isn't applicable for IMDb listings) and Kristen (the good girl)

Darren (the nerd)

The Totem (...I felt it deserved mentioning >_>)

Okay, so beyond the hilariously one-dimensional main characters, the story itself is nonsensical, but strangely intriguing. After the first Thanksgiving, where he was conjured by a powerful priest as revenge for a pilgrim who had disrespected him, the demonic tom was to lie dormant, returning every 505 years to exact more revenge upon the contemptuous white man.


"Nice tits, bitch!"

What I liked best about this film was the situational humor. The awkwardly exaggerated scenarios like the scene involving the turkey trying to hitchhike or the turkey hanging out with Kristen's dad made ThanksKilling stand out as a movie with a well-equipped sense of humor. The fact is the majority of the laughs your going to get from this movie are going to come from the turkey; the rest of the cast was easily out-shined by a puppet. I didn't have much to dislike as what I normally would have disliked about the movie, I found to be fitting for what was being delivered. The characters were so ridiculously overdrawn, while at the same time, they fit well for the feel of the movie.

In the end, if you're a fan of the big birds or if you just want a cheap laugh that doesn't stretch on forever, I'd say this is a movie worth checking out.

Wake the Witch Review

 Wake the Witch (2010)
Stephanie Tapio, Rachel Lien, Karis Yanike
Dir: Dorothy Booraem

So this latest movie was suggested to me by a friend, mainly on the merit of how bad it is. At first I thought it was an exaggeration, but lo and we go.

"Yeah, this story totally picks up after we play with this chain a little..."
Wake the Witch is a horror drama about 3 friends (Deb, Trixie and Karen) that bring about the wrath of a dead witch when they stumble upon her death site. The evil spreads, taking with it Deb's friends and family as she tries to figure out a way to the curse and save the ones she loves.

First off, this two hour titan starts with Deb and her friends as they happen to stumble upon a random chain while in the woods (it's actually a park, but woods kinda feels more appropriate for some reason) doing a pretentious, artsy photo shoot for Deb's portfolio. Normally, this isn't a big deal, but this just so happens to be the chain that supposedly leads to the tree where an infamous witch was hanged (don't feel too sorry for her, she killed kids, apparently). Because it's the cool thing to do, they follow the chain because as the story goes, the witch tells you your future if you walk around the tree and kiss your left hand...that or she kills you. Think of it as a backwoods Bloody Mary. Unfortunately, the chain leads to nothing, or more accurately it kinda just ends in the dirt. Figuring it's just a superstition, Trixie decides to walk around the spot where the chain ends and kiss her hand. Game On.

Bored or boring?
Okay, so that's just the first 10 minutes. Fair enough. The story presses on for another 20 or so minutes before the gang makes a return trip to the woods where they had previously tried to --wait for it-- Wake the Witch (yeah, I went there) and Trixie has a seizure or something. This is about where I had to make a conscientious decision to be optimistic that something interesting was going to happen...I was wrong.

Up to this point, the witch's curse is pretty much best summed up as a stomach flu that progresses to odd character behavior (read: makes you act creepy and stare at people). It gets even better when Deb's friend manages to obtain some documents about the park that could prove the whole superstition as just that. Curse or viral outbreak? Only way to find out is to watch the movie...but in my opinion, it's best just to not worry about it. This is one of those movies that starts off, stays and ends slow. Another way to put it is the story is pretty straight forward in the most possible boring sense. There's little to no action, the characters have no depth, the plot twists are a joke, the music is about as engaging as a Nora Jones cd on repeat and let's just say about the ending, I've been let down less by M. Night Shyamalan.

How I felt after watching this: screwed.

To be fair, there are actually a few scenes that give this movie a darkish feel, but they were either so few and far between (especially for a two hour movie) that it just didn't really help or they were overdone (see: final scene). In the end, it just feels like whoever gave this movie the green light to distribute was really just giving anyone that decided to watch it the finger.

Yeah, kinda like that...