Movie Review: ‘Thankskilling’

 

by Stacey Longo

thankskilling

Thankskilling (2009) is a delightful testament to everything that can go right in a cheap B-horror film. The plot: a legendary bloodthirsty turkey murders college kids, one by one, over Thanksgiving break. Sounds marvelous, right? It is!

Ali, Kristen, Johnny, Billy, and Darren (or, in genre terms, the slut, the good girl, the jock, the fat funny kid, and the geek) are on their way home for the holiday break when their car overheats. They decide to pitch tents for the night and Darren tells a scary campfire story about a homicidal turkey. He thinks he’s making it up, but it turns out this legend is true: Turkie soon appears on the scene, leaving a gory trail of dog innards and turkey turds in his wake.

It turns out that Turkie returns every two-hundred-and-something years to exact vengeance on the town that slaughtered his brethren for that first Thanksgiving meal. The teenagers involved might be related to some of the pilgrims—or not; it was a plot point that disappeared as quickly as it popped up. Regardless, Turkie is on the prowl, and nobody’s safe.

Turkie’s one-liners and laughable disguises as he hunts down the group of friends will make you laugh so hard, gravy will shoot out your nose. There’s one scene in which Turkie, dressed as a human (wearing a ridiculous pair of sunglasses complete with plastic mustache that will make you giggle just looking at it) has coffee with Kristen’s father (dressed as a turkey) that is just as awkward and bizarre as you’d expect from a movie about a killer turkey. After Ali meets an untimely end, the gang heads to Kristen’s house because, as she says, “My dad has a huge collection of books. I’m sure he has something on killer turkeys.” (As would any decent private library, of course. Don’t we all have books on fowl lore and legend on our shelves?) Her father greets her at the door, but wait—is it really her father, or a turkey wearing her father’s face as a mask?

“You look different,” Kristen tells her father, squinting suspiciously at him.

“Err . . . I got a haircut,” Turkie says, and the group buys this excuse without thinking twice. Fabulous.

The kids start going through all of the books in the hope that they can find out how to defeat the killer bird. There’s a delightful scene in which the brainy kid teaches the porky kid how to read, and the looks on their faces as they overact this sequence is worth every moment of your life that you’ve wasted watching this movie. The book-cramming pays off, of course, when they find an ancient ritual that seems to be the answer to all of their problems.

To fight the evil curse of Turkie, the gang must chant specific words and perform convoluted rituals, which they predictably get wrong. You won’t be upset, though—Turkie, despite being the antagonist in this film, is undeniably the most likeable character, and you’ll be rooting for him and hoping for a sequel. Your hopes will be fulfilled, but that’s a review for another day.

Full of juvenile humor, occasional frontal nudity, and cringe-worthy puns, Thankskilling is a must-watch film for any B-horror fan.

Movie Review: ‘FDR: American Badass (2012)’

 

by Stacey Longo

FDR-american-badass1

Raunchy, politically incorrect, and hilariously ridiculous, FDR: American Badass (2012) is my favorite B-movie find this year. Barry Bostwick is indignantly absurd as the title character, who, in this historical version, contracts polio after being bitten by a werewolf.  He goes on to win the presidential election, and finds he faces a much bigger threat: Naziwerewolves. FDR approaches this new problem with the same aplomb that he showed by getting the country out of the Depression: by ending Prohibition (to gain popularity and support) and going to war.

The jokes come every other line, and are offensive and disgusting. Never have I laughed so hard at a sight gag involving a vase and a bowel movement. Nobody is safe: polio victims, women, Southerners, lesbians, African-Americans . . . every race, creed, and nationality are skewered in this movie.  While sharing a joint in the oval office, FDR and Abraham Lincoln (played by Kevin Sorbo, far off the path from his Hercules days) make jokes about people in wheelchairs, plays that end badly for presidents, and interracial sex. Have you ever wanted to hear Eleanor Roosevelt drop the f-bomb? Then this is exactly the movie for you.

FDR himself personally flies a fighter plane into war to kill Mussolini and Hitler. Winston Churchill mans the radio tower, telling FDR “If I wasn’t drunk and blind, I’d be up there with you right now.” It’s an explosive finish, and the president’s fate is uncertain, causing Eleanor to drop an s-bomb and even a g-d-bomb as she waits for word of her husband. I won’t spoil the end for you, but suffice to say, FDR lives up to the title’s moniker.

If you offend easily, don’t like jokes about people’s private parts, feces, racism, sexism, every other possible kind of -ism, and overall don’t find juvenile humor funny, then you may want to skip this one. But if the line “Hoover was all right. I’m sure they’ll name a dam or a vacuum cleaner after him someday” strikes you as uproarious, FDR: American Badass is right up your alley.

Pictures from Queen City Kamikaze 2014

by Jason Harris

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The Books and Boos banner at Queen City Kamikaze.

Dale T. Phillips, Stacey Longo, T.T. Zuma, and Mark Wholley behind the Books and Boos tables.

From left to right: Dale T. Phillips, Stacey Longo, T.T. Zuma, and Mark Wholley behind the Books and Boos tables.

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Auhtors

Authors Gordon Bean and Stacey Longo on the Horror in the Movies panel.

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Authors Dale T. Phillips, Stacey Longo, and Vlad Vaslyn on the Where Authors Get Their Ideas panel.

Authors Dale T. Phillips, Stacey Longo, and Vlad Vaslyn on the Where Authors Get Their Ideas panel.

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Authors Gordon Bean and Dale T. Phillips talk to a visitor of the Books and Boos table.

Authors Gordon Bean and Dale T. Phillips talking with a visitor to the Books and Boos table.

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Author Stacey Longo with the Joker.

Author Stacey Longo with the Joker.

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The Anthocon table at Queen City Kamikaze.

The Anthocon table at Queen City Kamikaze.

‘Willard’ Actor Coming to RAW

Actor Crispin Hellion Glover (Back to the Future) will be at Real Art Ways this Friday and Saturday.

Crispin GloverOn Friday at 7 p.m., he will be presenting a film, It is Fine! Everything is Fine, that he co-directed with David Brothers. He will also be performing a one-hour dramatic narration of eight different illustrated books. The images from these books will be projected behind Glover. There will also be a Q&A and booksigning.

On Saturday at 7 p.m., he will be presenting his directorial debut, What Is It? He will also perform another one-hour dramatic narration, but a different one then the one on Friday night. He will also do a Q&A and sign books.

Books will be available on-site for purchasing.

The event costs $18 for RAW members and $20 for everyone else.

For more information, click here.

Real Art Ways is located at 56 Arbor Street in Harford, Connecticut. The phone number is (860) 232 1006.

NEHW Panels at Queen City Kamikaze

The New England Horror Writers will be conducting two panels Horror in the Movies at 3:45 p.m. and Vampires in Literature and Film from Nosferatu to Edward Cullen at 4:30 p.m.

The Queen City Kamikaze convention happens in Manchester, New Hampshire at Manchester Memorial High School located at 1 Crusader Way. The convention runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The cost of admission is $10.

The NEHW will be at Queen City Kamikaze

The second Queen City Kamikaze convention happens in Manchester, New Hampshire next Saturday. It’s what everyone needs after winter storm Nemo this past weekend. Everyone should be dug out and will want to head over to Manchester Memorial High School, located at 1 Crusader Way. The convention runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The admission price is $10.

The NEHW will be participating in two panels: Horror in the Movies and Vampires in Literature and the Movies from Nosferatu to Edward Cullen. The panelists for Horror in the Movies will be Jason Harris (moderator), Stacey Longo, Rob Watts, and David Price. And the panelists for the other panel are Bracken MacLeod (moderator), Scott Goudsward, Errick A. Nunnally, and Bill Rockwell.

The NEHW will also have a number of tables where our members will be selling their novels, anthologies, children books, dvds, and other merchandise. Stop by to buy a book and get it signed or just stop by to talk.

Rob Smales and Tony Tremblay, two other NEHW members who are not on the panels, will be on hand at the tables as well.

Hordes of Humping Zombies in ‘Mourning Wood’

Hordes of Humping Zombies in ‘Mourning Wood’

by Stacey Longo

Mourning Wood

Mourning Wood (2010) is the story of four friends living in a town that becomes overrun by a new breed of zombies. It seems that Dr. Jacob Pendleton has gone missing while filming an infomercial for ShamPube, the very same product that has been tainted, producing hordes of horny, humping zombies (“humpers”). Pendleton has a shady past himself, having betrayed the team of Texas Jim Callahan and John Wood years ago, which resulted in John going missing and leaving Texas Jim – you guessed it – mourning Wood.

The film quickly reveals itself to be a hot mess of puns, adolescent jokes, and ridiculous plot twists. Not that this is a bad thing – from the newsman named Dennis Douche (pronounced Doo-shay, of course) to the amazing transformation of Rick to a super-zombie due to the high levels of THC in his system, this movie feels like four guys having fun and not taking themselves too seriously. From naming the hideous Sasquatch character “Fluffy” to the snippet in which we follow Dr. Pendelton in his search for the secret ingredient in Stiff Again, the mikakes sohard bush, this movie is full of gags aplenty. It’s neither high quality nor highbrow, but there are many, many scenes in which you’ll find yourself laughing out loud. And all cheap jokes and puns aside, the opening Claymation sequence is pretty fabulous.

If you are expecting Academy Award level acting and plotlines here, perhaps you shouldn’t have rented a movie titled Mourning Wood. But if the title of this fine film makes you suppress a snort of laughter, you won’t be disappointed.