The premise of ThanksKilling 3 is kind of clever: Turkie, the foul-mouthed, murderous turkey introduced in ThanksKilling is searching for the last copy of ThanksKilling 2, a movie so horrible that it was destroyed before release. That makes ThanksKilling 3 the first movie to skip its own sequel. The killer-turkey shtick was fleetingly funny on the first go-round, and the no-budget original had the decency to wrap up in under 70 minutes. This sequel, however, is interminable. Turkie is rarely on screen, and viewers are instead treated to a bizarre puppet show about an alien looking to find her true calling. Maybe this one went over my head (remember Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie?); some people will undoubtedly enjoy this after many, many beers and other controlled substances. A Kickstarter campaign got this film made, so there is definitely an audience. I couldn't wait for it to end.
The opening minutes of ThanksKilling 3 are promising. Well, they're as promising as you can expect from a sequel to ThanksKilling, which earned most of its laughs by having Turkie (voiced by Jordan Downey) spout off fowl puns. Turkie is in space, shooting ThanksKilling 2, and there's some kind of talking pumpkin pie satellite. Back on Earth, Turkie eagerly awaits the film's release, only to learn that the studio has shelved the film and ordered all copies destroyed. Turkie planned to destroy all of humanity with the film's Native American curse and vows to find the last remaining copy. A mindless puppet named Yomi (also voiced by Downey) has that video, and Turkie goes on a cross-country adventure to take it back.
The above synopsis sounds ridiculous and possibly funny, but things go downhill quickly. There's a queasily funny "Married with Children" spoof where Turkie berates and abuses his wife and young son, who ends up dying to impress his papa. The humor stops there, and the rest of the movie is a string of marginally related puppet mayhem. The atrocities include, but are not limited to, a rapping, sexually active grandma; a bisexual space worm; and some douche who wants to start a Renaissance fair amusement park. I won't claim to have paid rapt attention to ThanksKilling 3, as I had to pinch my arm several times to avoid nodding off out of boredom and confusion. I can say with some certainty, however, that this movie is BAD.
I wanted more killing, more Turkie, and more stupid college kids with hairspray blowtorches in ThanksKilling 3. Instead, I got a meta acid trip into puppet hell that is more "what the fuck" than "wasn't that funny." Turkie is probably in the movie for ten of the movie's nearly 100 minutes. One hour and forty minutes, folks. Sometimes a joke should be allowed to die. ThanksKilling is best watched as YouTube clips of the best kills and quotes. ThanksKilling 3 is best left unopened. It's too bad ThanksKilling 3 didn't skip its sequel and keep right on hopping over a cliff. That said, you may love it.
PICTURE AND SOUND:
The 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen image is reasonably impressive given the film's low budget. Detail and texture are adequate, colors are nicely saturated, and skin tones appear natural. There is some inherent softness and a bit of black crush but nothing particularly awful. The 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack is reasonably active. There are random scenes with dubstep music, which tax the subwoofer and surround speakers. Turkie zips through space and around the sound field, and dialogue, effects, and score are nicely balanced. There are English subtitles available.
I can't say the filmmakers didn't deliver here, as ThanksKilling 3 features a ton of bonus features: There are some Behind the Beak Featurettes (34:05 total), a Behind the Scenes Gallery (4:11) and an Official Stills Gallery (3:11). There's a ThanksKilling 3 Drinking Game that instructs viewers to take a shot whenever certain things happen on screen. There are two commentaries: "How Did We End Up Here?" Commentary with Creators Jordan Downey and Kevin Stewart and Technical Commentary with Creators Jordan Downey and Kevin Stewart. Finally, you get a Flowis Rap Music Video (1:10), the Pluckmaster 3000 Infomercial (1:37), both the Official Trailer (1:40) and "Brown Band" Trailer (2:24), and an Easter Egg.
Yeah, I didn't like this one. I did enjoy the first ThanksKilling, and Turkie's profane puns are always good for a laugh. The fans spoke and donated via Kickstarter to get ThanksKilling 3 made, and I suspect many of you who liked the first will enjoy this film. I just wish Turkie had been the star instead of some ridiculous puppets. This one is kind of unreviewable, honestly. I'll say Skip It. You may disagree.
William lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and looks forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.