The project started as a fake trailer for Grindhouse.
Eli Roth is handing off the final two weeks of reshoots on Borderland to make his Thanksgiving trailer into an actual movie. Back in the day, a grindhouse was “a theater playing back-to-back films exploiting sex, violence, and other extreme subject matter.” Grindhouse was a double feature throwback to such cinema, made up of Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. The news comes courtesy of Deadline.
“Shooting the trailer was so much fun, because every shot is a money shot. Every shot is decapitation or nudity. It’s so ridiculous, it’s absurd. It’s just so wrong and sick that it’s right.”
Between Planet Terror and Death Proof there was a series of fake ‘coming attraction’ trailers to complete the feel of going to a grindhouse. Several different directors contributed to the trailers. Roth’s contribution was Thanksgiving, a holiday-themed slasher movie in the vein of Halloween and Black Christmas. Michael Biehn, one of the stars of Planet Terror, also appeared during the Thanksgiving trailer. Roth told Rolling Stone:
“My friend Jeff, who plays the killer pilgrim — we grew up in Massachusetts, we were huge slasher movie fans and every November we were waiting for the Thanksgiving slasher movie. We had the whole movie worked out: A kid who’s in love with a turkey and then his father killed it and then he killed his family and went away to a mental institution and came back and took revenge on the town. I called Jeff and said, ‘Dude, guess what, we don’t have to make the movie, we can just shoot the best parts.'”
Other Information About Thanksgiving And Grindhouse
According to the Los Angeles Times, the trailer nearly got Grindhouse an NC-17 rating. Some of the gruesome imagery seen in the trailer includes three different decapitations, one of which occurs when the victim is getting fellatio. A cheerleader taking a knife to the crotch while on the trampoline. And a human body cooked and stuffed as if it were a turkey.
“Instead of seeing it spread out in a feature, watching it all jammed together nonstop makes it more shocking. But we had a great discussion with the ratings board. They got it. Once they saw it with all the bad splices and the distress and scratches they were fine with it.”
Two of the Grindhouse trailers, Rodriguez’s Machete and Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun, have already been made into feature-length films. If you’ve seen both, you’ll know that the two have deviations. Most of them are minor, but a major one is the hobo with a shotgun changed actors. It seems likely that Thanksgiving will have such changes as well.
Two remaining Grindhouse trailers haven’t become feature-length. Werewolf Women of the SS by Rob Zombie, which featured Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu, and Don’t by Edgar Wright. Unfortunately, for those who would have been interested made into full-length, neither Zombie nor Wright has given any indication of that happening.