by Zack Ruskin
Perhaps it’s because I hate myself, but more likely it’s because I love movies. Even bad movies. Especially bad movies, come to think of it. Call it noble, call it stupid, but I have decided to brave the worst celluloid has to offer: the ten worst movies of all time.
Granted, everyone has their own take on what movies deserve to be crowned as the most terrible. Still, the Internet Movie Database is widely regarded as an accurate barometer of people’s tastes, so that is the bellwether I will use in determining my viewing pleasure.
Before I subject myself to those ten movies, I’d like to dedicate my first column to an honorable mention: Thankskilling.
Drink of choice: Simpler Times beer and cheap whiskey
Companions: My girlfriend and a few close friends
IMDB Bottom 100 Ranking: n/a
The challenge with Thankskilling is determining whether or not the filmmakers thought they were making a quality film. Often times this determines just where on the scale a movie’s “badness” is ranked. For example, a movie like From Justin to Kelly was made with the intentions of being taken as a serious film. On the other hand, a movie like The Tony Blair Witch Project clearly has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek.
Thankskilling begins with a turkey killing a bare-chested pilgrim woman. Could be a sadly misguided attempt at a low-budget horror movie, or a big joke. Then the turkey says, “Nice tits, bitch.” Yes, the turkey can talk, and he has a mouth on him.
What follows is 60+ minutes of amazing. The turkey performs fellatio, gets caught in some nasty radioactive slime and continues to utter a series of classic one-liners. The plot, if you will, revolves around a posse of college stereotypes carpooling home for the Thanksgiving break. Why a nerd, hick, party girl, jock and good girl would all know each other and choose to drive home is the exact kind of question you won’t have time to ponder.
Instead, you’ll be too busy watching a scene where the turkey wears the severed face of one of the kid’s fathers and interacts with her. She has no problem believing the father-faced turkey is her dad. Perhaps you’ll be more enthralled with a running joke (delivered at least three times by three different characters) about how a given person’s legs are harder to shut than the Jon Benet Ramsey case.
Thankskilling is a masterpiece of awful. The actors are terrible, the script, if it ever existed, is atrocious and the turkey puppet is equal parts hokey and absurd. The “is the killer actually dead” moment that is essential to all horror movies lasts a solid ten minutes. You could not possibly have more fun watching a bad movie.
I choose to write about Thankskilling to illustrate the point that bad movies can often be better than poorly made good movies. I’d rather watch Thankskilling than Abduction (Taylor Lautner’s latest regurgitation) any day. It is important to respect that not all movies need a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes to be worthy of watching. Thankskilling is very, very worthy of watching, and even rewatching. If you think I stand alone on this point, look no further than the filmmaker’s Kickstarter page, where they raised over $112,000 for a sequel – sorry, beaquel.
You can watch the film for free, and I will return with my thoughts on #10 on IMDB’s list, 1964’s The Starfighters.
Watch it via Amazon Prime (you’ll need to do the one-month free trial). It’s also on Netflix instant watch and DVD if you prefer.