There are not many Thanksgiving horror movies. It’s like the forgotten holiday of spooky splatter films.
We sent the SML Haunted Mansion and Blog Laboratory minions to find a Thanksgiving themed horror movie all the monsters could enjoy. We expected them to bring back “Home Sweet Home” or “Thankskilling.” But we forgot how unreliable minions can be.
Instead, our underlings brought us 1972’s “Blood Freak” – a grindhouse film about a half-man-half-turkey who goes on a pot-fueled rampage against drug dealers, thirsting for their chemical-addled blood.
Dear minions, we couldn’t be more proud.
The movie features a Vietnam vet who returns home to get involved with a group of junkies and drug dealers. One of the girls gets him a job with her mad scientist father, who turns him into a turkey-man, and horrific hilarity ensues.
The director must have been in love with the lead actor because the opening credits feature actor Steve Hawkes’ name three times. The director is easy to spot because he makes frequent cameos throughout the film. He appears in an unbuttoned silk shirt with flower print and chain smoking while giving Public Service Announcements about the dangers of drugs. You don’t see this technique used very often.
We assumed the cheap Vincent Price mustache the director wore was an homage to the classic horror films of the past generation. And his heavy-handed Twilight Zone-like introduction must have been his attempt to tap into that classic television format.
However, the director’s attempt to use a classic horror/sci-fi format ended there. The dialogue was riddled with groovy early 1970s slang – “right on,” “gone,” and “putting me on.”
This film was not afraid to break all the taboos, like scenes where actors eat roast turkey in front of live turkeys. And real scenes of fowl slaughter. Now that’s just sad. We aren’t vegetarians, but show some class. If PETA had been around in the early 70s, we are sure they would have been calling Mister Faux-Vincent-Price director night and day.
Also, a groovy chick makes love with the turkey man in the bedroom of a flophouse. Talk about being “Far Out.” Oh, and don’t worry about the man who gets his leg cut off with the power saw. He was already an amputee in real life.
This movie made us realize how thankful we should be this holiday season. We are thankful that we were not born turkeys, that there is no crazed turkey man going after our chemically-enhanced blood, and that our mad scientist father works with bears instead.
View “Blood Freak” with your loved ones this Thanksgiving, and next year you’ll have the holiday all to yourself. Enjoy.
~Film Review by Jim and Sarah of StuffMonstersLike.com
Getting into the zombie mode? We are too.
The best zombie flicks have a little bit of laughter, a lot-a-bit of gore, and maybe even a tad of social commentary. Here are some movie suggestions to watch this October before you become the living dead on October 22 at the Asheville Zombie Walk.
10) Dead Snow – Yes. This movie is Norwegian. That means there are subtitles. And yes. It is a movie about teens becoming trapped in a ski lodge and fighting off the living dead.
But did we mention the zombies from “Dead Snow” are leftover Nazis? If you thought regular zombies were mean, try watching the living dead who have sworn an allegiance to the Fuhrer.
9) Fido – This movie was a total financial flop. And it’s Canadian. But it gives a fresh take on the old zombie tale by providing some “biting” social commentary via a 1950’s-esque landscape. There was a zombie apocalypse and the humans won. But in this alternative universe, sometimes the zombies are more humane than the humans.
8.) Re-Animator - A classic low-budget horror movie about a scientist who possesses the secret of life and death. If you cannot imagine a B-Movie actor more schmaltzy and over-the-top than Bruce Campbell, then this movie is for you. But be warned, this gory film is definitely not for the squeamish.
7) Return of the Living Dead – This 1985 movie is full of 1980’s hair and fashion. For some, that’s a great thing. For others, we feel it’s best forgotten. This flick features a lot of bad and unknown actors fighting against re-animated corpses. But this means they act poorly and are very good at looking confused. That’s very fitting. If anything, this movie’s claim to fame is that it started the whole trend of zombies who moan for “BRAINS.”
6) Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town – Okay. We admit it. We have never seen this movie before. But with a title like that, it has to be “awfully” good.
5) Shaun of the Dead – Usually, zombie movies and romantic comedies don’t go hand-in-hand. But this one pulls off the awkward amalgamation just fine. A bumbling store clerk loses his girlfriend and gets caught up in the zombie onslaught of his city. With help from his clueless roommate and pretentious friends, he attempts to save his loved ones from impending doom. If you haven’t seen this movie, get thee to the DVD rental store now. Your life is incomplete.
4) 28 Days Later – Some argue if this is really a zombie movie because the dead are not rising from the grave. There is an infection turning living people into zombies. Again, this movie demonstrates that sometimes, humans can be more vicious and malignant than the living dead. In America, it’s easy to kill zombies. Just grab the nearest shotgun. But this movie takes place in England where guns are banned. Uh oh. That’s a problem. Your best defense against zombies in Great Britain is running shoes. Because in 28 Days Later, the zombies can run very, very fast.
3) Zombieland – Got a craving for Twinkies? We do, and if you watch this movie, you will too. A rag-tag group bands together to battle the zombie forces destroying the Earth. The movie ends with a zombie swarm quickly taking over an abandoned amusement park. And who could forget the cameo from a Saturday Night Live Alumnus that is truly hilarious and tragic?
2) Night of the Living Dead (Original) - This 1968 movie by Director George Romero is the original, the best, the quintessential, the ultimate, the classic by which all other zombie movies are judged. It started the craze of flesh eating zombies from beyond the grave, taking movies about the living dead to new levels of terror. So, why is it number two on this list. . . ?
1) . . . Because we are having Ashtoberfest and the zombie walk at a mall, that’s why. And that brings us to our number one zombie movie:
Dawn of the Dead (original). A great Romero zombie flick from 1978. Zombies take over a mall in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. There are biker battles and blood and plenty of biting. It was our inspiration for this year’s zombie swarm in Asheville. If you haven’t seen this movie, you’re missing out. The rest of us will be enjoying the awesome homage to this film on October 22 at the Biltmore Square “Maul.”
~Written by Jim and Sarah, creators of StuffMonstersLike.com