Cleaning Out The DVR: Turkey Hollow (dir by Kirk Thatcher)


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Turkey Hollow was the final Lifetime film on my DVR.  I watched it when it originally premiered on November 21st and I was actually surprised to discover that I enjoyed it.  I’m not sure why it take me so long to get around to writing a review.  It probably had something to do with the holidays…

And speaking of holidays, Turkey Hollow is a Thanksgiving film!  There’s a surprising lack of Thanksgiving films.  There’s a countless number of horror-themed Halloween films and there are millions of Christmas movies but, with the exception of Turkey Hollow and that slasher film that Eli Roth said he might make some day, Thanksgiving has always been curiously underrepresented.  So, let’s start this review by thanking the makers of Turkey Hollow for paying some respect to Thanksgiving…

As for the film itself, it takes place in a town called Turkey Hollow.  The economy of Turkey Hollow is entirely built around raising turkeys to be killed for Thanksgiving.  The most powerful man in town is evil old Eldridge Sump (Linden Banks), who pumps his turkeys full of dangerous drugs and chemicals.

One of the few people willing to stand up to Eldridge is a hippie vegan named Cly (Mary Steenburgen).  As the film begins, Cly is being visited by brother (Joey Harrington) and his two children.  At first, Annie (Genevieve Buechner) and her younger brother, Tim (Graham Verchere) struggle to get used to life Aunt Cly’s house.  Not only does Cly not eat meat but she doesn’t have wi-fi either!  Seriously, it’s crazy…

Tim becomes fascinated by the legend of the Hoodoo, a creature that is said to live in the wilderness around Turkey Hollow.  One day, while at searching for it, he accidentally releases all of Eldridge’s turkeys.  Now, under the bizarre bylaws of Turkey Hollow, Clay will automatically lose her property unless she comes up with $10,000.

However, Tim and Annie have a plan!  They’re going to track down the Hoodoo, take a picture, and sell it to a tabloid.  However, while out searching, they don’t come across the Hoodoo.  Instead, they discover four other bizarre creatures.

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The monsters — which were created by the same people who created the Muppets — are obviously Turkey Hollow‘s main attraction.  They were also the main reason why I felt some trepidation about watching the film.  From the commercials, they looked like they might be a little bit too cutesy.  I was terrified that they would spend the entire movie breaking out into song.  But, when I watched the movie, the creatures actually turned out to be so ugly that they were adorable.  They were cute but they were never cutesy and I appreciated that.

Anyway, Turkey Hollow turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would.  It’s a film for kids but, at the same time, there’s a few jokes for the adults (mostly dealing with Cly’s use of marijuana) and, in the role of narrator, Ludacris is often quick to point out the film’s more … well, ludicrous moments.  At its best, his narration is reminiscent of Aubrey Plaza’s voice over as Grumpy Cat in Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.

We definitely need more Thanksgiving movies and Turkey Hollow is a good enough start.

Hallmark Review: Perfect Match (2015, dir. Ron Oliver)


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This Hallmark movies cuts any setup out of it and goes immediately to the couple meeting. The second shot in the movie is of our boy and girl reaching to press the same elevator button. Our boy is Adam (Paul Greene). Our girl is Jessica (Danica McKellar). You know, Winnie Cooper! Last time I saw Danica McKellar it was in an episode of that short lived Fred Savage sitcom Working. I probably could have entitled this Hallmark Horror Review because it’s horrifying that she has been reduced from doing something like The Wonder Years to this. It’s also horrifying that this movie was penned by Patricia Resnick who co-wrote 3 Women (1977), A Wedding (1978), and Quintet (1979) for Robert Altman and co-wrote the screenplay for Nine To 5 (1980). Then again, she also co-wrote the screenplay for Second Sight (1989).

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Our leads decide to take the stairs to the big event room. This is when we find out what they do and why they are going to clash. She’s a wedding planner. Now prepare yourself for this because what he does is so incredibly different. I mean I was just shocked! Ready? Here it comes. He’s an event planner. Yep, did my build up seem like a bunch of BS? Good, because that is what any and all of the conflict between the two characters in this movie is. This may be the lamest excuse for the boy and the girl to dislike each other I have seen in a Hallmark movie. They both want the same space for their own events. But it gets better when we find out the excuse for why they are going to have to spend time together.

After the two of them have a little argument about who gets the space for her wedding and his event, we meet Jessica’s kid (Graham Verchere). He’s a classic movie fan. He brought home a copy of Kansas City Confidential (1952). But the kid is watching it stretched to widescreen.

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Poor kid probably didn’t have a choice. That’s what happens when you buy knockoff OSHIB televisions. Anyways, this is one of those Hallmark movies where the kid is actually a kid. He’s not a cardboard cutout, nor just a plot device. In fact, he’s the most likable character in the whole movie.

Jessica now goes to meet a client. She basically tells the bride everything that sounds good to her, but it’s freaking him out. And I would to if I were him. I can handle a pink themed wedding, but a groom wearing a pink cummerbund and bow tie seems a bit ridiculous to me. But luckily he has a member of the family he wants to bring in to help plan the wedding. Guess who?

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He throws out some ideas that are so stupid I’m surprised the actor could keep a straight face. However, I am curious what his and hers dart boards look like. Jessica leaves, but after being called back by the groom’s mom, Adam and Jessica set out to plan the wedding together.

What follows are the two of them clashing less and less as they begin to like each other more while planning the young couple’s wedding. The only other thing to note is that on his birthday he throws a dart at a map of the world and then takes a trip there. She doesn’t have any adventure in her life because of her kid, but that kid makes it clear to her that she needs to have more in her life cause he’s doing just fine.

You know how the rest plays out. There are more sleepwalking formulaic Hallmark romances out there, but this one is so forced that it hurts. I really can’t recommend it.

A couple things to look for if you do.

It really seemed like they were in front of a green screen for this scene to me.

It really seemed like they were in front of a green screen for this scene to me.

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The license plate says it’s the “Coastal State”, which doesn’t exist.

We see him take the photograph in portrait.

We see him take the photograph in portrait.

But later in the movie the photograph is in landscape.

But later in the movie the photograph is in landscape.

The only other thing is a sound goof right near the beginning of the movie. When the groom’s mom calls Jessica to come back and help plan the wedding, Jessica answers the call on her cellphone. They accidentally start the mom’s audio before they cut back to her. So, for a few seconds, it sounds like the mom is on a PA system since it’s the sound recorded for when we are supposed to be in the same room with her.