Reel Quick: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving


An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving (2008)


Starring: Jacqueline Bisset, Helene Joy, Tatiana Maslany

Directed by: Graeme Campbell (The National Tree; Christmas at Cartwright’s; Love You Like Christmas)

Synopsis: A series of macabre slayings carried out by a turkey cult to appease an ancient turkey god occur on Thanksgiving Day.

What works: 

  • Some really good performances. Tatiana Maslany shines in an early role as the youngest daughter of the turkey god Gobblerus. Jacqueline Bisset has still got it, and remains easy on the eyes at 64! Before she’s stabbed in the face with a pitchfork by the deputy in order to stop her from burning his sister alive.
  • The cinematography is pretty gorgeous, and captures the feel of a cold Thanksgiving morn in New York very well, especially when there’s steam rising from the human entrails that are laying on the frost-covered cobblestone streets when Gobblerus is on its bloodlust rampage.
  • The period sets and costumes look very authentic, even when they’re sliced to shreds by the scythes of the possessed children.


What doesn’t work: 

  • The Gobblerus creature design left something to be desired. They wisely took the Jaws approach for many of the scenes, but there are a few instances where they show the gaping maw of Gobblerus straight-on and it looks pretty ridiculous. 
  • [SPOILER] I honestly don’t understand what the turkey cult is hoping to gain out of all this. It’s pretty clear that Gobblerus doesn’t share power, so when they brutally murder the innocent so they can turn their brains into cranberry sauce, what did they think they would achieve after Gobblerus was set loose? They made a point to note that Gobblerus’s only desire was to destroy all that grew, so even if they did survive, did they think they were going to sell cranberry brain sauce to no one amid a bunch of ruined buildings? cranberry-brains

Overall: There’s some good acting and a good chilling feeling to this film, but it never really quite clicks enough to make it a must-see Thanksgiving classic. But I suppose there are worse ways to spend time with your family that day. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 

Score: 5 pitchforks to the face (out of 10)

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