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Written by Dr. Jose

Gobble, gobble, you jive-turkeys – it’s November! We may only be one week into the month, but Thanksgiving – that most fowl of holidays – is just around the corner, which means being extra gracious, charitable, and eating lots of foodstuff. If you’re a sick puppy like me, it’s as good a time as any to watch some real twisted junk – so plop down on the couch, unbuckle that belt, and draw the shades as I take you through my list of must-watch horror movies for Thanksgiving that the whole family is guaranteed to love.


Some dude who looks Conway Twitty eats a turkey that’s been laced with experimental drugs. He passes out, but awakes soon afterwards to find that his head has been replaced with that of a wattle-necked gobbler. And suddenly he’s inexplicably addicted to the blood of drug addicts? This movie redefines crazy. There are a bunch of religious overtones (including scenes interspersed throughout wherein the narrator seems to chastise the viewer), and none of it makes much sense – so it’s perfect for that senile, zealot grandma you see once a year.


Twin brothers: one is a homicidal maniac, the other is innocent but locked up after being wrongfully accused of the murders. The guiltless brother escapes on Thanksgiving a decade later, and the crazy brother starts killing people again to make sure the better half gets locked up once more. Your jealous brother – the one who feels like the lesser loved of the two of you – he’s gonna love this one.


This film is all about family – and resisting the urge to brutally murder them. If that doesn’t scream Thanksgiving, I don’t know what does. Add that to all the Native American imagery and the fact that Jack takes over the hotel beginning in November, and I’m beginning to think this movie is actually an allegory for the horrors of Thanksgiving dinner with the family. Eat that, conspiracy theorists! The Shining is perfect for that uncle who likes to spend more time in the den with a bottle of scotch than with his wife and kid.

SOCIETY (1989)

All your mom wants to be is a contributing member of the neighborhood and respected by the community. Go to a couple of dinners, be invited to some parties. Maybe do a little shunting with the melty family up the street. Is that so much to ask?


Body By Jake is a ‘roided up escaped mental patient who likes to inject PCP under his tongue – you know the type. There’s little plot to Home Sweet Home, our lead killer basically just wreaks havoc on Thanksgiving – in the process, mowing down an old lady with a car and killing a dude who looks like a second-hand member of the KISS Army. Not cool, Jake – not cool, at all. A perfect movie for your other uncle – the one who started going to the gym after his wife left him.


There’s little difference between the clan of strange cousins you know nothing about and only see once a year, and Isaac, Malachai, and the rest of those Pagan weirdos who worship He Who Walks Behind the Rows. A bunch of little Amish kids hanging out in a cornfield? This is about as Thanksgiving as it gets.


And last, but certainly not least – the ultimate family film – The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. No one appreciates family time around the dinner table for a nice hot meal more than the Sawyer clan. And if that hot meal just so happens to consist of the friends who stopped by to visit, well, so be it.

That’s all for now, but if you’re still hungry for more holiday gore after reading this list, why not make a plate of seconds and check out these other iHorror pieces on Thanksgiving horror!