If you’re the kind of person who is absolutely afraid to spend much time with your family — or the family of your significant other — we have some good news. You can sneak out and watch these movies while still feeling like you’re in the spirit of the start of the season. The holidays are going to get a lot worse before they get better, so start ’em off by watching these, then puking up all that stuffing that you, well, stuffed down your throat. Don’t say we never tried to help.
1. Blood Freak: A Vietnam vet gets addicted to smoking weed and starts working on a turkey farm, where he soon grows a turkey head and begins killing people. Or does he? And why does the director keep showing up to comment on the film?
2. Poultrygeist: Night Of The Chicken Dead: You know what would make my Thanksgiving complete? If I got to kick Lloyd Kaufman right in the cranberries. This is another Troma jokey affair, so if you like those, you know what to expect.
3. ThanksKilling: Any movie that starts off with a demonic turkey killing a topless pilgrim is pretty much only going to go downhill from there. Yes — an evil, filthy-mouthed turkey out for revenge. But wait — it gets better. Or worse.
4. ThanksKilling 3: Yep. The turkey from the first movie comes back and the studio cancels the sequel, sending him into a fit of gobbler bouncing rage. There are also only two humans and all puppets in this one.
5. Blood Rage: Terry is the kind of kid that gets so upset that his mom is banging her boyfriend at the drive-in that he kills a bunch of people with an axe and sets his twin brother Todd up to take the fall. Also: Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman star Louise Lasser plays their mom.
6. Kristy: This movie is why you go home over Thanksgiving break. If you don’t, an army of Satanic killers will ritually murder you. As if finals weren’t hard enough…
7. Home Sweet Home: This is the only female-directed Thanksgiving horror movie that I could come up with. It’s also the only one that stars Jake Steinfeld. Yep — Body by Jake — is the slasher.
8. Boogeyman: Yes, someone remade Ulli Lommel’s 1980 Halloween ripoff, The Boogeyman. And they also set it on Thanksgiving. I wonder if they used all leftovers like Lommel did in his footage recycling sequels?
9. Intensity: Based on the Dean Koontz novel, this TV movie finds a disturbed young woman avoiding a friend’s feast to rescue a child from the serial killing John C. McGinley. Seems like a plan, I’ve been through some awkward meals myself.
10. Prisoners: While not technically a horror movie, just see how long it takes to upset your entire family when you start watching this movie about a child abduction that occurs while the parents are preparing the big meal. It’s also more frightening than every other film on this list.
Honorable mention goes to…
Thanksgiving: This is kind of a cheat, but during Grindhouse, one of the fake trailers is for this Eli Roth film, which he keeps hinting will become a full movie. If you love slashers, this one is going to reward you with non-stop bursts of arterial spray. Perfect for the kids!
Blood Harvest: If you watch one slasher that has someone coming home from college for the holiday, the savings and loan crisis and Tiny Tim in it, well, this is the only one that was ever filmed.
Do you have a favorite turkey-related horror film? Guess what — other than North by Northwest, Don’t Say a Word and Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County, I can’t think of any. Maybe you know one though! PS: Movies like Dutch, The Big Chill and Hannah and Her Sisters — while personally frightening to me — don’t count.