Friday, November 23, 2018

Phil's Favorite Thanksgiving-Themed Horror Films - November 22, 2018

Hello everybody and Happy Thanksgiving! While all of you out there are visiting with families and friends, having turkey and wine, spending quality time with loved ones, what better way to celebrate the day than to watch some really awesome Thanksgiving themed horror movies! So I thought it would be not only fun but informative to share with you some of my favorite Thanksgiving themed horror films. This is something that I've been wanting to doing for a couple of years now, but never had the time to do until now. Some of these are classic horror staples, while some are newer releases that truly deserve your time and attention.

This list contains MY favorite movies that I have enjoyed and only titles that I have seen! So that is why you won't see other worthy titles. However, they are on my to-watch list so maybe they'll appear on next year's compilation. So my faithful readers, here is my Favorite Thanksgiving-Themed Horror Films of All Time!

5) THANKSKILLING 3 (2012):  The fowl-mouthed villain Turkie is back and hacking his way to find the last copy of "ThanksKilling 2" which has landed in the hands of a group of disturbingly crude puppets. The death toll rises as Turkie carves through the likes of Flowis the rapping grandma, Rhonda the bisexual space worm, Yomi the puppet in search of her mind, and their equally ridiculous friends who all travel through fantastical settings such as the FeatherWorld and Turkey Hell. With the guidance of Uncle Donny (Dan Usaj), the wig-wearing inventor of the PluckMaster 3000, Jefferson (Joe Hartzler), Head of Security at ThanksgivingLand, and a WiseTurkey, the gatekeeper to the FeatherWorld, our collection of raunchy characters hope to fend off the murderous rampage of Turkie, all while trying to help Yomi find her mind. If you're looking for a weird, batshit crazy Thanksgiving film to watch, this one is for you! Click here to view the film's theatrical trailer.

4) BLOOD FREAK (1972):  Just back from Vietnam, Herschell (Steve Hawkes) is at loose ends until one day he stops to help beautiful Bible-quoting Angel (Heather Hughes) fix her car. She takes him home, where her scapegrace sister, Ann (Dana Cullivan), immediately plies him with drugs in order to seduce him. Instantly addicted, he needs money for his habit and takes a job at a turkey farm, where he's instructed to eat some experimental lab-grown turkeys. He does, and undergoes a hideous transformation. Man, you gotta love the 1970's! In what other decade can you see something like this! This was such a fun-filled, cheesy low-budget gem of a flick that it makes PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE look like THE WIZARD OF OZ. Fun Fact: The turkey-monster head that co-writer/co-director Steve Hawkes wears was made of papier-mache. Yup, they don't make movies like this anymore! Click here to view the film's theatrical trailer.

3) THANKSKILLING (2009): While on their way home for Thanksgiving break, five college kids run "afowl" of a homicidal turkey that wants them dead. As the cursed bird hunts them down one by one, the survivors scramble to find a way to defeat the possessed creature. Will the bloodthirsty turkey make this their last Thanksgiving feast ever? When I first saw this movie, I couldn't believe what I was watching. I think I was asking myself, "What the actual fuck am I watching? It's like a Troma movie but without any of the social commentary!" Filmed in 11 days during the summer break between filmmakers Kevin Stewart and Jordan Downey's junior and senior year of college on a budget of only $3,500, the movie was only to be a standalone. However, they decided to make sequel, and decided to skip making a part 2 and went ahead and make THANKSKILLING 3 in 2012. Click here to view the film's theatrical trailer.

2) POULTRYGEIST: NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD (2006): When a fast food chicken restaurant is built on the site of an ancient Native American burial ground, the displaced spirits unite with the ghosts of exterminated chickens and transform into Indian chicken zombies seeking revenge! Now, it’s up to a dim-witted counter boy, his lesbian ex-girlfriend, and a burqa-wearing fry cook to put an end to the foul-feathered menace once and for all. If you're looking for the ultimate Troma movie, then look no further! Director Lloyd Kaufman's masterpiece has it all: social commentary on the fast food industry, addressing Native American issues, lesbianism, the idea of selling out to a major corporation, all the while singing and dancing its way into your heart! Click here to view the film's theatrical trailer.

1) BLOOD RAGE (1987): IT’S NOT CRANBERRY SAUCE! What do you get if you combine Thanksgiving, American TV star Louise Lasser (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman), killer ’80s synths and some truly gruesome special effects courtesy of Ed French (Terminator 2: Judgement Day)? Why, it’s Blood Rage of course! Twins Todd and Terry seem like sweet boys – that is, until one of them takes an axe to the face of a fellow patron at the local drive-in. Todd is blamed for the bloody crime and institutionalized, whilst twin brother Terry goes free. Ten years later and, as the family gathers around the table for a Thanksgiving meal, the news comes in that Todd has escaped. But has the real killer in fact been in their midst all along? Shot in 1983 but not released until 1987, BLOOD RAGE is a gloriously gruesome slice of ’80s slasher heaven. Click here to view the film's theatrical trailer.

And there you have it folks! My Favorite Thanksgiving-Themed Horror Films of All Time! I hope that this list inspires you to watch some of these films, or if you're a die hard horror fanatic, it will make you want to revisit these festive cinematic gems! Since many of these movies are available to watch on Blu-Ray, DVD, VOD or on streaming services like Netflex, Hulu and Shudder, there is a plethroa of ways for you to watch them. So start carving the turkey, get those mashed potatoes and rolls buttered up good, and set back and watch these films with your family today!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Phil attends the MST3K Live! 30th Anniversary Tour Featuring Deathstalker II at the City National Civic - November 7, 2018

Hello to all of you in cyberspace! So for those who may not know this, but one of my favorite television shows from the 90's was Mystery Science Theater 3000. Created by comedian Joel Hodgson, the show takes place in the not-too-distant future where Joel Robinson (Hodgson) is held captive by Dr. Forrester (Trace Beaulieu) and TV's Frank (Frank Conniff), and forced to watch B-Grade movies on the Satellite of Love with the help of his robot friends: Cambot, Gypsy (Jim Mallon), Tom Servo (Kevin Murphy) and Crow T. Robot (Beaulieu). During the duration of the show's existence, the cast went through a series of hosts (Michael J. Nelson replaced Hodgson in the middle of season 5 and Bill Corbett replaced Beaulieu as the voice of Crow from season 8) and villains (Corbett, Murphy, and Mary Jo Pehl took over when Beaulieu and Conniff left), even moving to different channels (the show was originally on Comedy Central, then moved to the Sci-Fi Channel). After ten seasons, the show was cancelled, and the lights on the Satellite of Love went dark. Then in 2016 Joel resurrected the show, thanks in large part to a very highly successful Kickstarter campaign, and the show was made and picked up by Netflix. Now 30 years later, right before the launch of Season 12, Joel, the bots, and new host Jonah Ray went on tour to bring the magic of MST3K to the masses, and my girlfriend Stephanie and I got to attend the show here in Downtown San Jose!

The event was held at the historic City National Civic, which was built in 1934 and has held numerous concerts and musicals since. The show was sold out and the excitement level was at an all-time high. MST3K fans came from all around the Bay Area, some in costumes and some brought some awesome looking homemade puppets of Tom Servo. I had miss the tour here back in 2016, but I knew there was no way I'd miss them this time around. Having been a fan for decades, this was a dream come true. And when the lights finally dimmed at 7:30pm, the fun was about to begin!

Beginning with the show's theme song, Jonah Ray, Crow and Tom Servo came out to great the San Jose crowd, with Joel Hodgson joining them on-stage shortly after them. The gang was back together again, and for tonight's film, they chose to riff the 1987 Roger Corman produced cult classic DEATHSTALKER II!

Original Theatrical Poster (1987)
The film's official synopsis: Deathstalker (John Terlesky) has a mission: to save the kingdom from the wicked grip of the immoral wizard Jerak and his queen Sultana. Together they have ruled the land by creating a controllable evil twin of the lovely Princess Evie (Monique Gabrielle). Capturing the real Princess Evie, Deathstalker must now return her to her rightful place of power — but the swordsman’s battle has just begun.

As stated previously, the film was produced by B-movie legend Roger Corman for his company Concorde/New Horizons. The film's star John Terlesky has appeared in numerous other projects like CHOPPING MALL, VALET GIRLS and THE ALLNIGHTER as well as TV series like Guns of Paradise, The Last Frontier and TV movies Battling for Baby, Bad Girls, and Voice from the Grave. He's gone to have a second career as a director, directing several TV episodes of The Blacklist,
Castle, Criminal Minds, Revenge, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Actress Monique Gabrielle was one of the most beautiful and popular Scream Queens from this era. Her resume includes several cult classics like AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON, EMMANUELLE 5, NOT OF THIS EARTH, THE RETURN OF SWAMP THING, HARD TO DIE and EVIL TOONS to name a few. Another B-movie actress appearing in the movie was the great Toni Naples as the female antagonist Sultana. Naples acted in other noteworthy cult films like CHOPPING MALL, TRANSYLVANIA TWIST, SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE II, HARD TO DIE, DINOSAUR ISLAND and SORCERESS.

The movie was directed by Jim Wynorski, who's made a name for himself as one of the kings of the low-budget, B-movie scene. He's directed over 110 films alone, and include some of my all-time favorites like CHOPPING MALL, BIG BAD MAMA II, NOT OF THIS EARTH, SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE II, HARD TO DIE, DINOSAUR ISLAND, MUNCHIE, and VAMPIRELLA, which were all produced by Roger Corman. In fact, many of his films were with Corman, who helped launch his filmmaking career. He also made a series of erotica thrillers that are still popular to this day. These titles include POINT OF SEDUCTION: BODY CHEMISTRY III, SINS OF DESIRE, VICTIM OF DESIRE, and BODY CHEMISTRY 4: FULL EXPOSURE.

Also known as DEATHSTALKER II: DUEL OF THE TITANS, the movie was released on home video on November 11, 1987 by New Horizons Home Video. This wasn't to be the last of the series, as Corman produced to more sequels, but they didn't have the magic, lunacy, and charm as the second installment.

This was such a fun date night for my girlfriend and I! And it's something I can finally check off my bucket list! To see a live MST3K show was a dream come true and you can all bet that I'll see it again if they go back on tour! As I am writing this, the new season has just dropped on Netflix. So if you are not familiar with the show, do yourself a favor and watch it now and prepare to have your funny bone tickled immensely!

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return is currently available to watch now on Netflix. To start your subscription, visit They also have a selection of episodes from past seasons as well. Select episodes are also available on DVD and boxsets from Shout! Factory. To purchase copies for yourself, visit their website at And make sure you also the official Mystery Science Theater 3000 website at

Thanks for reading, and keep circulating the URL!