Shao Kahn’s a massive man with a massive appetite. He’s ready for his Thanksgiving feast, which is likely what you would call everything on your dinner table. He’ll find plenty to eat, but he won’t find more than a handful of Thanksgiving-based horror flicks. And I’m talking normal sized hands, not his tremendous mitts.
Last December, I wrote a series of Christmas-based horror films. Though it seems odd to me, plenty of filmmakers enjoy combining the birth of Christ with Satan, Martians and all sorts of cutlery. Which worked out to my benefit, as it left me ample material for review. Now flash back a month earlier. Thanksgiving Day was coming, and I wanted to review a Thanksgiving Day horror flick. I searched high and low, scoured my trove of movies and Netflix Instant. And wow, was I in for a shock. I found a sum total of two flicks that would qualify, and THE HORROR SHOW, which I chose to review, really only has one Thanksgiving “lunch” scene. The other was THANKSKILLING, which to this day I have too much dignity to review.
So what gives? There are plenty of American holidays, most of which have been honored (or slandered) by horror flicks. Even if you look beyond Halloween, the mother of all horror holidays, there’s plenty of homage. Leprauchans troll around for St. Patrick’s Day. Slashers send hearts in boxes on Valentine’s Day. July 4th has had its fair share of slashers and zombies. New Years Eve has a guy killing a victim per time zone. There’s even a killer Easter Bunny movie out there.
But Thanksgiving? Two flicks. That barely outdoes the number of horror flicks set on Canadian Flag Day or Arbor Day. Think about that.
This is a sin, as there are plenty of good reasons to make Thanksgiving-based horror. Allow me to elaborate.
Families come together in one location, which makes a high body count convenient. It also means a one-setting film, which brings down production costs for filmmakers. There are all sorts of big knives and forks on the table, which can be used in defense or on the attack. Unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving isn’t a religious holiday, so all Americans celebrate it. Therefore all Americans can relate to horror flicks set on the day. Want to go Romero and add social commentary? There’s plenty that can be said against eating meat, and the perils of genetic enhancement of poultry. Want to go monster? Monster turkeys would fit the bill (and not the jive turkey from THANKSKILLING, thank you).
Want your turkey possessed by a guy who got a hard-on on the electric chair? Okay, probably not. Besides, that’s already been done.
The dearth of Thanksgiving-based horror flicks leaves Shao Kahn hungry for more. When filmmakers heed the call, all will be well on Turkey Thursday. Until then… IT’S OFFICIAL! YOU SUCK!