Thursday, November 28, 2019

ThanksKilling 3 (2013)

ThanksKilling 3 is the sequel to ThanksKilling (2008) and the ill-fated ThanksKilling 2. T3 is about one man’s quest to build the year-round seasonal theme park Thanksgivingland, in spite of the inter-dimensional monsters and Muppet-like characters that try to stop him. Like Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), the film pays tongue-in-cheek homage to its roots while consistently delivering scares, laughs, tears, and family-unfriendly fun.


The above is actually an emotional scene.

ThanksKilling 3 stars an ensemble cast of humans, turkeys, and space Muppets. The hero is a hopeless romantic who wants to start a theme park called Thanksgivingland. The big bad is an undead killer turkey that delivers lethal pecks and an iconic holiday one-liner: “Nice tits, bitch!”

I discuss the sequel in isolation because, as is often the case with horror movies, the previous installment does not weigh heavily on the viewing experience of its successor. The original ThanksKilling is an unremarkable horror-comedy in the spirit of Cabin Fever (2002). T3 takes itself less seriously with a bit larger budget. A running joke is that there was never a ThanksKilling 2. (Or was there? No, there really wasn’t.)

ThanksKilling 3 is an unconventional collision of ideas. It’s a movie about a movie, it’s psychological sci-fi, it’s horror, it’s everything. One minute you’re watching a filmmaker lament his failures, the next there’s a giant turkey pecking somebody to death.

Even next to spontaneous space vortices, the filmmaker character is the least realistic part of the film. Nobody makes an unsuccessful Thanksgiving-themed horror movie. If the smash-hit ThanksKilling franchise is any indication, Thanksgiving horror is a sure thing. This movie could finance a dozen Thanksgiving theme parks.

There are other films that mix Thanksgiving with horror, but until I watch them I will assume that they do not feature killer turkeys. They definitely don’t show killer turkeys on their posters. At least ThanksKilling 3 is upfront about the goods it delivers. It’s about a killer turkey, and much, much more.

Muppet farewell scenes excluded, no single component of the work is on its own particularly outstanding, but as a whole the film delivers. Most of my reviews are neutral; I am not demanding that you watch ThanksKilling 3. I am merely stating that the film is a masterpiece and that the killer turkey concept and others culminate in an interesting ride, at least more interesting than the rides at Thanksgivingland.