Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

“Thankskilling 3” Will Stuff Your Turkey.

Ryan Yau
Illustration by Ryan Yau.

There is a heart-shaped niche in my chest that gets stuffed when I rewatch the Thankskilling franchise. I am in love with each installment of the two-part saga: “Thankskilling” and “Thankskilling 3”—along with other B-movie masterpieces like “Fist of Jesus,” “Birdemic,” and “Rubber,” all of which I cannot recommend highly enough. It’s not embarrassing. 

“Thankskilling 3” is the best goddamn Thanksgiving movie you’ve never seen. It’s a self-aware slasher sitcom with 32-bit fight scenes a la ‘90s Pokemon games, claymation sequences, and satirical puppetry that defies traditional holiday movie norms—with the light exception of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” and arguably Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Thanksgiving has never had a movie to call its own—this is that movie.

The thing that sets these B-movies apart from other horror-comedies like “Sharks of the Corn” or “Shark Exorcist” is they’re self-aware about how bad they are—in a campy refreshing way. Not to say “Thankskilling 3” is a bad movie, it’s just not what I was expecting. 

Thanksgiving never felt like it was for me—the break is nice and I like going home, but the holiday spirit has not once compelled me to stuff a turkey. I’m not a Grinch, I feel like a tourist. I know it’s a public holiday, and just because I hate turkey flavored shit, I don’t have a perfect family, and I don’t watch football doesn’t mean I can’t participate. Still, I feel like I’m doing something wrong. How could I relate to this country? My mom and I tried for one year, but it just felt embarrassing to cook food we normally would’ve never eaten and buy decorations we’d never use again just to feel American enough for one weekend a year—now we make dumplings and eat hot pot. 

The most we have in common is appetite. 

I feel like I’m failing at Thanksgiving if I don’t have a happy-go-lucky family reunion—but it’s something I’ve never had: That perfect American family. 

For the kids who wished Thanksgiving was anything else, here is a movie for us.

Unlike its predecessor, “Thankskilling,” which stretched the shoe string on a budget of $3,500, “Thankskilling 3” amassed $112,248 via Kickstarter alone—that’s how bad people wanted this. 

“Thankskilling 3” is about the production and subsequent destruction of “Thankskilling 2”—starring Turkie, a blood-thirsty turkey spirit-turned movie star who comes to life every 500 years to kill as many white people as possible for pilgrim retribution—it’s the only film to be completely shot in space. TL;DR, the movie was so bad that two truck drivers hauled ass to the Mexican desert with literally every copy of “Thankskilling 2” and set them all on fire with flamethrowers—I’m only assuming it was in Mexico because of the sepia filter. One DVD survived. 

Turkie sits on a couch watching TV with his son, Niblah. The most relevant infomercial has to do with the Pluckmaster 3000, a one-size-fits-all solution for turning fully-feathered live turkeys into golden brown, moist, plucked, ready-to-eat birds in just 30 seconds—it’s inventor, Uncle Donny, is dressed like George Washington, powdered wig and all. This part is straight out of an interdimensional cable episode of Rick and Morty. 

Turkie doesn’t know about the hate, at least not until a breaking news segment interrupts his programming and bursts his bubble. His wife reveals she knew all along and in response, Turkie cuts her in half before setting off to find the last copy of “Thankskilling 2.”

Niblah calls a Big Seagull Taxi, which is like Uber for flightless birds, and they embark. Almost immediately, Turkie pushes Niblah off the Big Seagull Taxi, where he fucking dies—Turkie appropriates the disembodied spirit of Niblah to find the DVD and posses it, which happens to be in Uncle Donny’s living room where his grandmother, Flowis, a wheelchair puppet, is bumping track three off her latest mix, “SPRINKLE OR WRINKLE,” featuring my favorite verse—“I got Glaucoma / I got a glock / and you in a coma / can’t see shit.” She calls it a “diaper filler” because “it’s so good it’ll make you shit.”

Seconds after, bisexual worm Rhonda bursts through Uncle Donny’s front door riding the shoulder of their armor-clad spouse from space, MUFF, whom they met on the set of “Girthworm 6” just after Rhonda’s affair with Turkie; who was fucking Rhonda on the set of Thankskilling 2. Rhonda reveals that during their relationship, Turkie imbued the movie disc with a special curse, which made anyone who watched the final cut die a slow painful death—this is why Rhonda and MUFF have been traveling the galaxy and destroying all copies of the movie, and eventually Turkie himself, who, at this point, has just entered Uncle Donny’s living room.

Donny flips a switch and the Pluckmaster prototype whirs to life, sucking Turkie into its main compartment, where he just barely survives getting plucked, stuffed, and roasted. 

INSIDE PLUCKMASTER’S STOMACH—Turkie, mangled but still moving, calls on the other partially digested turkey corpses and strips them for spare parts. They come to him with their heads bowed because he is the avenger they’ve been waiting for. After generations of losing to Thanksgiving, he will be able to save them. They live on inside him, blanketed in pieces of their flesh and feathers—Turkie looks down and realizes his dick is missing. He scoffs and straps on an active chainsaw that he uses to cut the Pluckmaster open and immediately kill Flowis by hip thrusting a little too hard. 

This is one scene. 

Turkie is vengeance. Despite his lack of moral code, Turkie is proud of his Thanksgiving, and he isn’t going to let some critic tell him his space-movie sucks or let Uncle Donny commodify it with his AI-powered smart-oven. But that doesn’t mean he needs to kill them over it. God-forbid Thanksgiving became a class warfare between white America and everyone else, because that’s what it feels like to me. 

Niblah was born in sin under Turkie. But as the child of Thanksgiving, he can dream of a future where Thanksgiving is more than a movie. This holiday is not condemned to a single story, and neither are we. 

I don’t think Thanksgiving is about giving thanks—that’s just what they told us in history class; it’s really about forgiveness. Food can cross oceans, and for one night, it’ll be the only thing we have in common. Nothing makes a room feel emptier than wanting something in it—but I can’t miss what I don’t have. Here is the space filled with people I call family. It was never embarrassing being this vulnerable with people, it was only unbearable doing it alone. 

Celebrate however the fuck you want to.

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About the Contributor
Bryan Liu
Bryan Liu, Living Arts Co-Editor
Bryan Liu (they/them) is a sophomore journalist from Jersey who micro-doses on pop culture one social commentary at a time. With a background in living arts, Bryan's feature writing also explores the greater Boston area and Emersonian culture. Outside of the Beacon, they climb big rocks and can play every musical instrument.

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