But in a way, that’s probably for the best, because I think I know why there haven’t been too many Thanksgiving movies – it’s just depressing to watch a family bite it. At least when it’s a bunch of jackass kids on a camping trip or whatever, you can take comfort knowing that the survivors will go home to their families and they will help them cope (if you put that much thought into it, that is). But what about the survivor(s) of this movie? They’re screwed! Their parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents… all dead. It’s a good thing Jake is so entertaining, otherwise this would be one of the most inadvertently dark and depressing slasher movies ever.
Scratch that, it’s definitely DARK. Whether the director went to the Peter Hyams School of Cinematography or the DVD is just a shitty transfer, I don’t know, but I DO know that it’s hard to tell what’s happening at times due to the near total lack of lights. Not too much of a problem during the daytime scenes (of which there are many), but when night falls it becomes a bit of a guessing game who or what we are looking at during some of the climactic chase/kill scenes. And looking at director Nettie Peña’s other films won’t help - her (yes, this mean-spirited slasher movie is one of those rare female-helmed efforts) sole other directorial credit is They’re Not Green, which is an anti-wind power documentary that came out last year. Maybe she relied on wind power for her lights and 28 years later decided to strike back?
Sadly, the film seems to be out of print right now. It was available thru Netflix (that’s how I saw it, last year), but now you can just save it to your queue in case it becomes available again. Amazon has a few used copies, and I’m sure Ebay can turn something up, though chances of getting it before Thursday are slim. But with Eli seemingly more interested in producing these days, I’m guessing we won’t be seeing his opus next year either – so you have time to secure yourself a copy in time for Turkey Day 2011.
But there’s still hope for this year – Netflix is offering something called ThanksKilling
via its streaming service, and that is about, yes, a killer turkey (and, natch, concerns a group of teens) and bears the tagline: “Gobble gobble, motherfucker!” So in other words, you should already be watching it. And, burying the lede here, but the Alamo is showing Bob Balaban’s hilarious Parents
tonight (November 23rd), which isn’t about Thanksgiving if memory serves, but does share the themes of families eating “stuff” (hint: Soylent Green), and stars known hotel bill enthusiast Randy Quaid, who appears in one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time
(as well as one of the worst
), which means, starting Friday, he’ll be on your TV almost non-stop. Best to start building up your Quaid tolerance.
In other words, let Eli keep putting it off – we got a full plate of options already.
Happy tryptophan day, everyone!