The saying goes that there is a fine line between genius and insanity, which must be what the makers of the Thankskilling movies set out to prove. On the surface (and a few layers deeper,) these movies are terrible, offensive, poorly acted, and what Amazon can only describe as “raunchy.” While they look completely awful and probably play out that way to most casual viewers, I argue that there is a certain Andy Kaufmann level genius to these two movies which should always be played back to back.
Make no mistake, Thanskilling one and three are two entirely different movies. The first movie was a strange mixture of horror and comedy done in a way that was self-aware of how awfully stupid the movie is. The second, however, is a drug-fueled satirical nightmare that is strangely engrossing. Though Thankskilling 3 is no Avatar, it is clear that the production budget for this film was much higher. Before we break down the accidental masterpiece that is Thankskilling 3, we should first talk about the movie that made it possible.
The fact that the first Thankskilling was ever made boggles my mind. Someone pitched an idea about a killer talking Turkey puppet, and an entire cast and crew decided that it was a good idea. The film is an over-the-top shlock fest full of boobs, blood, and language that would make the cast of Goodfellas blush. The only thing worse than the acting in this film would have to be the writing; the world is lucky that the run-time is only a little over an hour. This movie is much like The Room or Goblins 2, the kind of movie that you have to watch once to see just how bad it is, but without it, we wouldn’t have the sequel.
If you have never heard of this franchise, which wouldn’t be surprising, then you don’t know that there is no second movie. Well, technically the third movie is the second movie, but there is a second movie in the universe where the movie takes place. Does your head hurt yet? Let me explain. Thankskilling 3 is all about how Turkie (the evil turkey from the first movie) made a second Thankskilling movie that was so bad that the only copy to survive being burned was shot into space. Now Turkie is on a mission to recover the movie so he can force the world to watch it. This is probably the least weird part of this movie.
Those charged with preventing Turkie from his goal are a Sesame Street-like puppet from another dimension, two human brothers planning a Thanksgiving theme park, and their creepy, foul-mouthed, rapping, puppet grandmother. The group runs into a giant robot and his bi-sexual worm pal and team up to keep the last DVD out of the hands of the evil Turkie. Most of the ensuing movie is low-brow fart jokes and inappropriate sexual humor, but intertwined are a few smarter jokes that people may miss if they aren’t paying attention. Through the levels of absurdity, you will start hating yourself for enjoying a disgusting and unintelligible movie like this. Thankskilling 3 is like Wondershowzen and Tim and Eric had a baby and created this bastard child of absurd puppetry and crude jokes that somehow still make you laugh.
While these movies are far from classics, I think that everyone should see them at least once. For a holiday that is lacking in thematic movies, it is easy for the horror fan to make a tradition of watching these movies every year as I do. Just be forewarned that these movies pair better with a few glasses of wine than they do with a Thanksgiving meal.