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Sunday, April 14, 2024

The greatest in movies vaguely related to Thanksgiving

See below for a list of weird movies that, at the very least, touch on the holiday


By JACOB ANDERSON — arts@theaggie.org


Thanksgiving is the fourth Baldwin brother of the holiday season: forgotten, squashed between the superior forces of Halloween and Christmas and known mostly for spawning tremendous family fights. Consequently, just as Mariah Carey signals the masses to forgo the holiday, film producers have wholly decided that we do not deserve movies about this turkey-centric day, and what precious few titles exist are either strange or barely qualify as Thanksgiving movies.

Here are some:


“Blood Rage” dir. by John Grissmer (1987):

With the genre of trashy slashers teeming already, it appears that the only remaining movie by the late ‘80s was to set these films on the one holiday remaining (Christmas, too, in addition to Halloween, having been rung out already): Thanksgiving. The film is about two identical twins, Todd and Terry, one of whom is framed by the other for murder, only to escape and be framed once more on Thanksgiving Day. It’s short and silly, and unfortunately the fact that it’s set on the holiday barely comes into play. One sort of has to wish one of these movies would include a poisoned turkey breast or something, but apparently such a thing is too much to ask.


“Jack and Jill” dir. by Dennis Dugan (2011):

This film is a nightmare, and it also happens to be set on Thanksgiving. While films “so bad they’re funny” get brought up enough, little is said about their malformed cousins, the films “so bad they stack overflow and are not even a little bit funny.” Adam Sandler gets a bad rap for suchlike films, to the point that some have speculated that their productions are scams designed to fund essentially free vacations for the cast. While such conspiracies may sound silly before you traverse the awful experience watching one, the actual content of “Jack and Jill” and its ilk may lead even the most skeptic of viewers to reconsider.


“Rocky” dir. by John Avildsen (1976):

“Rocky,” as one of the all-time greats, needs no real introduction. One of the greatest sports films of the last century, it also happens to have a famous scene in which a roasted turkey is thrown out of a window. The connection may be loose, but it is there. Direct all criticism to arts@theaggie.org.


“ThanksKilling” dir. by Jordan Downey (2008):

One of a few late ‘00s comedy-horror flicks styled after the best of hokey slashers from decades past. While the humor itself misses often, the film as a whole has a certain charm to it. This also happens to be the only film on this list that is indisputably Thanksgiving-themed, which probably says something negative about the breadth of the genre: especially once it’s taken into consideration that this film is a joke. Nevertheless, it’s not a totally regrettable watch if you feel so inclined and didn’t get your horror fixings around Halloween already. This thing also has a killer poster — I’d buy it if it were available anywhere.


“Brokeback Mountain” dir. by Ang Lee (2005):

This is yet another famous drama with a Thanksgiving scene, this one featuring Jake Gyllenhaal at an actual Thanksgiving dinner, not just one that happens to contain a turkey. This is an excellent film by any metric, so if you find yourself in pressing need of a film that can be convincingly be labelled a Thanksgiving film, you may be well-equipped to bring up this one. What that situation might be, I really can’t imagine. Dinner canceled on account of a mountain lion outside the patio door? Family held hostage at the whims of an eccentric Thanksgiving-obsessed psycho?


In any case, I hope you’re now equipped with the means to be the delight of any Thanksgiving and cinema-centric conversation, perhaps over your own Thanksgiving dinner.


Written by: Jacob Anderson — arts@theaggie.org


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