Jewish World Review Nov. 24, 2004 / 11 Kislev, 5765
For the holiday: Films that are real turkeys
It occurred to me recently that there isn't much to choose from in the way of Thanksgiving movies. ("A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" is one thing, "Dutch" is another thing entirely.)
Since Thanksgiving involves bringing large numbers of people together who don't necessarily like each other to eat vast quantities of starchy foods and swill alcoholic beverages, it seems to me that Thanksgiving movies should mainly be confined to the horror genre.
Keeping in mind that some of the plot nuances remain to be ironed out, here are some summaries of possible Thanksgiving movies:
Poultry-geist A tiny exorcist with a grating voice visits a suburban home to rid it of paranormal turkeys. After a brief inspection, the exorcist declares, "This house is clear." Suddenly, a 20-pound frozen Butterball shoots out of the television set and knocks the exorcist senseless.
"They're hee-e-ere!" Carol Anne intones while slyly licking giblet gravy off her fingers.
To Kill a Walking Bird Thanksgiving in a small, bigoted Southern town is threatened when it is discovered that the turkeys being sold at the local Piggly Wiggly contain nothing but dark meat. The day is saved when an angry mob breaks into the home of the mysterious, wraith-like Boo Radley and confiscates his meat thermometer.
Thighs Wide Shut A doctor is taken aback when he learns that his wife has been fantasizing about having sex with a Cornish hen. To gain revenge, he begins flirting with a capon of indeterminate breeding, only to find that her leftovers make for a bitter snack.
Silence of the Yams A young, na´ve FBI agent tries to get information about a serial killer by gaining the confidence of a brilliant but seriously deranged sweet potato. Clarice incorrectly senses a breakthrough when the incarcerated tuber invites her into his cell for fava beans and Chianti.
All the President's Menu Two dogged newspaper reporters break the stories that bring down a president with the help of a mysterious, off-the-record source, Deep Giblet. The movie's most poignant moment comes when President Nixon goes on TV and declares to the nation, "I am not a crook. Now, would somebody please pass me the (expletive deleted) green bean casserole?"
White Meat Can't Jump Two hot-shot inner-city turkeys hustle money playing basketball. Gangsters threaten to break Billy's drumsticks if he does not repay his debts.
The Sixth Helping A child psychologist tries to help a troubled boy who repeatedly dreams of multiple servings. When asked to describe the dreams, the boy trembles and replies, "I see dead turkeys." All the talk about food eventually makes the boy and the psychologist hungry, so they order some take-out from Boston Market.
Three Menus and Some Gravy Three bachelors living in Manhattan take in a honey-glazed ham that has been left outside their door. Hilarity ensues when the men, who have been drinking heavily, mistake the ham for a baby. This movie abounds with unforgettable dialogue:
Michael: "Do you smell something?"
Peter (sniffing the air): "It's either dinner time or that kid needs changing!"
Jack: "Anybody for more beer?"
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JWR contributor David Grimes is a columnist for The Sarasota Herald Tribune. Comment by clicking here.
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