You’ve gotta hand it to Granville, Ohio-based director Jordan Downey and his writing partner, Kevin Stewart. When their 2009 holiday-horror spoof ThanksKilling defied the odds by both managing to get notices and actually make a few bucks, they didn’t let their modest taste of genre “success” go to their heads and consequently expand their horizons further than they were capable of reaching. Instead, they started up a campaign on Kickstarter to hustle up the funding necessary to deliver their audience an even bigger helping of exactly what we want.
The results — three years and an impressive $100,000 later — is ThanksKilling 3, another shot-on-HD effort (available via Amazon streaming for the bargain price of $3.99, with a DVD release forthcoming, I would assume, at some point) that stays true to its absurd premise while considerably upping the ante both in terms of gore and general out-and-out OTT idiocy. Sure, the production values are a bit higher, but the “Hey, we made this fucking this ourselves!” ethos is still at the beating heart of the proceedings here.
First off, just to set the record straight — there is no ThanksKilling 2. At least not in the real world. Such a flick does, however, exist on paper — the paper the script for this one was written on. Yup, our plot here centers around the efforts of everyone’s favorite homicidal gobbler, Turkie, to kill his way through anyone and everyone who may have seen, or had a hand in, the production of the fictitious second film in the ThanksKilling (non-) trilogy, a movie which was apparently so bad that anyone who’s laid eyes on it needs to die before they can spread the word that it even exists. Presently, the only copy left is existence is in the clutches of a group of raunchy puppets.
Now, here comes the part where you need to reassure yourself that yes, you really did read this right (as if you didn’t just do that) — Turkie’s kill list includes a rapping grandma, a(nother) puppet in search of her lost brain, and a bisexual space worm. Out to stop him are the wig-bedecked inventor of something called the PluckMaster 3000, the head of security at a place called ThanksgivingLand, and a WiseTurkey. To say you really have to see it to believe it is an understatement of the highest order.
And while the budget here may be (considerably) higher than the first time around, fear not! Everything looks as cheap as ever — maybe even cheaper, if such a thing is humanly possible. And we even get glimpses of places called FeatherWorld and Turkey Hell. Honestly, what’s not to love?
I admit, some of the charm (if that’s the word we’re looking for) of the first film is lost here in the more ambitious (again, if that’s the word we’re looking for) sequel, but all in all things are still pretty much exactly what you think they’re going to be here, with the stupid cranked all the way up into overdrive. And hey — in the end, no matter how crazed it is, it still makes a hell of a lot more sense than people trampling over each other for Black Friday “door-buster” specials.