A fodder family of slasher-film numbskulls tries to have a pleasant early ‘80s Thanksgiving at an isolated ranch house in the Southern California mountains, but instead find themselves being rudely murdered at the hands of an escaped PCP-shooting mental patient/Semitic-looking body builder (Jake “Body by Jake” Steinfeld). Yes, it's the holiday season at The PCS, so get ready to stuff your face with (insert shadow production company name here)'s Home Sweet Home.
- Our first victim is a man sitting in his station wagon, drinking beer on the side of a downtown L.A. freeway. Is this a dangerous pastime? We should probably stop doing this ourselves. = -7pts
- Our killer sports a very well done tattoo of what it might look like if you rubber stamped “Home Sweet Home” onto your hand in Times New Roman font. = +7pts
- Yay, you can shoot PCP into your tongue! We were running out of injectable flesh on our genitals. = +12pts
- Do you want to feel ashamed for laughing at the sight of an old woman being mown down in a crosswalk by Jake Steinfeld? Watch this. = +17pts
- Director: “All right Jake, have you ever been around any people with mental problems? No? Ok, just laugh a lot. Roll your eyes. Laugh some more. Keep laughing. Trust me. And, action!” = -10pts
- Admit that, you too, instinctively want this non-mime, Kiss inspired clown to die. = +13pts:
- Fourteen minutes in and Jake Steinfeld is still laughing. = +7pts
- Scene with broken electric can opener reminds us of the stages we go through every time we find and use an electric can opener: 1.) Incredulity at the usefulness of an electric can opener. 2.) Attempt at use. 3.) Initial satisfaction/ bemusement with ease of use. 4.) Frustration when machine stops working halfway through opening. 5.) Growing frustration and attempts to bang on can opener to start it working again. 6.) Placement of electric can opener back in dark corner of cabinet from whence it was discovered. 7.) Search for manual can opener/old Swiss army knife we threw in a drawer somewhere, probably during our last attempt to use the electric can opener. = -4pts
- The power just cut out, but rather than checking the fuse box, let’s wander out to the back-up generator. You know, the generator that’s out in the woods where the homicidal maniac lurks? = -3pts
- How to siphon gas from someone else’s car: 1.) Find abandoned car in woods. 2.) Shout “Hello! Hello?” over and over again. 3.) Keep shouting as you siphon gas into your own can. 4.) Shout, “Goodbye!” = -2pts
- Jake smashes first family victim by jumping on the hood of the car while the victim is looking in the engine. Jake may be a homicidal maniac, but you have to admire the way he throws himself into his work. = +5pts
- Hey, why is this scene between the non-mime and the young daughter actually endearing? Get your sincerity the hell out of our irony fest! = -7pts
- Non-mime gets best line: “Hey everybody! Now that the redneck is gone and the other two assholes haven’t returned, we can have a party!” = +12pts
- For having a scene in which cops pull over a couple of young women, and even though it doesn’t involve any horrible abuses of power, somehow manages to creep us out just as much as that scene with Harvey Keitel in The Bad Lieutenant. = -9pts
- For the first 50-minutes, everyone who stays in the house is trapped there with no plot. = -13pts
- Laughing in wonder at another person and saying, “She is so Latin, I don’t believe it!” = -17pts
- Don’t try to hide, non-mime guy! We foresaw your death in the trailer. = -7pts
- The worst part of watching a bad movie on YouTube is being able to see how many minutes you have left to watch. = -14pts
- 20-minutes of characters checking doors to see if they’re locked. = -12pts
- Let’s sit in front of the only light source in the house so the killer can find us easily. = -5pts
- In case you didn’t get that he’s CRAAAAAZY, Jake Steinfeld will scream for you every time he murders someone. = +7pts
- Always check to make sure that Jake Steinfeld is dead! = -5pts
- Yes, yes, we’re all very concerned for the safety of the last surviving skinny, blonde, white woman. = -3pts
- Cop #1’s inner dialogue: Yep, I’ve poked him in his face with my gun long enough. He’s dead. = +2pts
- Credits: “Film production in association with Movies Anonymous Partnership Limited.” A.K.A., the people who didn’t want you to know they bankrolled this film. = +2pts
- Credits also thank the LMU internship program. We all know the interns were the real victims here. = -17pts
Total Score: -51pts
Why are there so few Thanksgiving themed slasher films? What a question! Why would you even ask that? Is there something wrong with you? We’ll be keeping a wary eye on you from now on.
We can imagine two situations in which a film about slaughtering people might play well on Thanksgiving. In one, you’re too broke to travel, or maybe you don’t even have loved ones to visit. You take on the holiday shift at a convenience store because you don’t want to spend the day home alone. In the evening, you drive past the well-lit houses where you can see families hugging and laughing through the windows, back to your studio apartment, where you slump into a chair with a warm can of Schlitz and turn on Home Sweet Home. Yes, you think to yourself, it’s better that I’m not with a family today. Families gathered together are perfect targets for PCP shooting maniacs.
In the other scenario, you do go home to your family, but you all hate each other. After the arguments about politics and religion have been exhausted, after the last seething innuendo about past grievances and present affairs has been flung around the room, you all sit in stony silence in front of a Thanksgiving murder movie. As you watch people being butchered, one by one, the ice in your heart is gradually replaced by a warm resentment, and you smile to yourself and think, yes, those people dying on the screen could be my family members…
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Score Technician: Alex Pearlstein