Thursday, November 28, 2013


It's still a few hours till Thanksgiving dinner but I feel like I've already had my fill of turkey – or, should that be "Turkie"? – thanks to multiple viewings of the too long and too unfunny wannabe cult flick THANKSKILLING 3.

And if you're first thought upon reading that is "oh no, I missed THANKSKILLING 2 ... damn you Netflix!" don't worry. Other than as "kid-friendly" snippets shown in T3 the flick doesn't actually exist, yet it's the driving plot device of the third installment in the series. Which is really the second installment.


Unfortunately, that all makes about as much sense as the actual THANKSKILLING 3, which somehow turned the funny, fowl-mouthed slasher spoof vibe of the cheapie original into a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund a needless sequel with a $100,000+ budget. Never have I been so happy that I failed to fund something.

Despite a GHOSTBUSTERS 2-esque cover with the tagline "In Space No One Can Hear You Baste" THANKSKILLING 2 is an epic disaster, with truckloads of copies being delivered to a remote landfill where they can be destroyed in an impressively atmospheric sequence propelled by some infectious beats. Turkie - stuck in a sitcomesque home environment complete with an awful wife, an annoying kid named Nibla and a laugh track - gets wind of the affront and sets off on a quest to find the lone remaining copy so that he can use it to upload a curse via the world's streaming devices.

Had returning director/co-writer Jordan Downey and crew stuck to this premise maybe THANKSKILLING 3 would work better. Unfortunately, Turkie gets pushed to the background while we spend most of the excruciating 99 minute (?!) running time with: Uncle Donny, a Thanksgiving-obsessed entrepreneur who sports a George Washington-style powdered wig; Flowis, an over-sexed, rap-loving granny puppet; Yomi, a puppet on a quest to find her lost mind; and, Muff, a gigantic interstellar bounty hunter (?) who travels with Rhonda, a bisexual space worm.

The result is an almost impossible to follow riff on everything from space-based horror sequels and the EVIL DEAD 2 to early 90s video games, THE LORD OF THE RINGS flicks and informercials (the dead on PLUCKMASTER 3000 spot did elicit a chuckle), just to name a few. (I suppose the raunchy puppets are intended as some kind of homage to Peter Jackson's MEET THE FEEBLES, but I've never understood the appeal of that flick either so maybe I'm just the wrong audience.)

The original THANKSKILLING worked for me because it delivered what it promised: a foul-mouthed, homicidal turkey who slashed his way through the flick's easily-digestible 75 minute running time. THANKSKILLING 3, on the other hand, is like a holiday meal that goes on too long, filled with unsatisfying dish after unsatisfying dish. Only the dishes are lame jokes and anemic gags that grow tiresome in very short order.

THANKSKILLING 3 is available from Amazon.

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