Over the past 100 years, film has been our most wonderful view into new and fantastical worlds. Film can bring us to tears, start a rebellion, or give us a break from the mundane, daily ritual of eat, sleep, and work. Movies can also show the depths of human psyche and, dare I say, the soul. Infinite beautiful landscapes, or burning hellfire infernos, can both be displayed on the revered silver screen. However, one hundred years of the most heartwarming tales and terrifying suspense thrillers were all just preparing us for one film in particular – That Film Incredibili is “ThanksKilling”.
When I first saw this film, and I mean quite literally, when I first saw the cover, I was taken aback. The simple title – yet so truly complex the more one meditates on it – is not to be taken lightly. It evoked both a surreal spiral of wonderful home cooked meals, juxtaposed against a mélange of masked slashers, so deftly it filled my imagination to the brim.
I believe it was Swami Sivananda who said, “Meditation is painful in the beginning but it bestows immortal Bliss and supreme joy in the end.”
This is so true to the nature of this film. The meditation I experienced when I placed the coveted DVD in the player may have lasted several moments, or perhaps hours. While in contemplative states of understanding it is hard to keep track of time.
It was at this point when the mood was right to watch this opus. It was a dark, cold fall evening. The apartment was cozy and dimly lit. I was with my wife, a few select family members and friends, all proper film aficionados. The cold wind, blowing the last few leaves of fall, as winter’s grasp closed upon us, compelled me to open a bottle of Merlot before screening the work of mastermind director, Jordan Downey.
“ThanksKilling” opens with the back-story. Taking place in “The olden days, 1621” a disgraced and dishonored native American necromancer curses the foreign invaders by having a demonic presence attack on the eve of thanksgiving every five-hundred and five years. That demon is a reincarnated turkey named Turkie …
In a true Stanley Kubrick meets Troma escapade of filmmaking genius, five good friends are thrown into the oldest and most potent of story motifs – to seek revenge. This is also layered with the more modern, edgy motif of survival, as depicted in such movies as Blade Runner, Children of Men, and Lord of the Rings.
The characters and dialogue in this film are second to none. Drawing from the likes of Tarantino and Scorsese, every piece of script is a poem, flowing seamlessly, scene-to-scene, ever engaging, provoking thought, eloquently challenging the boundaries of man vs. beast.
The cinematography – Bellissimo!
Each shot a Matisse. It’s as if director Downey had channeled both the eye of Lynch and the mise en scene of Welles. The beautiful, Citizen Kanesque, chiaroscuro shading, married to the unsettling, depraved worldview of Eraserhead, whether on location, or man made set, are all exquisitely hand-crafted, with such photographic aplomb that Jean-Luc Godard would change his statement from cinema is, “truth twenty-four frames per second”, to the entire one hour and six minute running time of this film.
Pulled down an emotional waterfall of love, drama, sex, suspense, terror, and loss, all so very present;, so very real, never could I leave this film. Never did I wander (Except once to use the bathroom and once to make popcorn). The skillful storytelling and interweaving plot and plot devices, seamless, smooth, with Kafka-like twists, toying with subtle innocence, followed by the hint of dry, horrific despair of say, H.P. Lovecraft, made love to the genre known as the Midnight film.
But, one does not need to just believe me. “ThanksKilling” ranks as one of the top sellers on the Playstation Online store, besting the likes of Titanic, Jurassic Park, and all of the Marx Brothers films, combined.
As Groucho Marx once said, “Well, Art is Art, isn’t it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.”
Well, dear reader, what do you know?
“Thankskilling” peut être le meilleur film jamais dirigé, POUR c’est l’amour et la haine, jour et nuit tout emballé dans l’un.
R – Adult Themes,Violence, Language