A horror Thanksgiving main course, a side of Christmas, and a dash of gay

Amazon Prime comes through just in time to carve the turkey with some new Thanksgiving horror, and throws in a Christmas short as an added bonus. So I take a look at Buzzard Hollow Beef and A Christmas to Dismember, two more to add to the holiday horror page and die, gay guy , die! the page.


buzzard hollow beef cover

Taking on the often-overlooked Thanksgiving, first time director Joshua Johnson breaks with the tradition of holiday horror. Rather than the usual holiday slasher, Buzzard Hollow Beef is trippy backwoo—…canniba—…home inva—psychological thri—… Seriously, this one defies labels as it totally sucks you into its mind fuck scenario. You end up feeling as delusional as the characters in the movie, and you never really know exactly what the hell is happening, or what is real or not.

buzzard hollow beef arrival

For a family gathering at their parents’ house in the snowy mountains, a beefy brother brings his…um…”buddy”, and a pregnant and single sister brings her BFF. The dynamics are immediately weird. The brother’s buddy seems to have a past with the sister…but also seems to be with the brother now!

buzzard hollow beef hug

At first I thought they were serious, then I thought they were joking around, but then there’s a scene involving the brother alone in the bedroom with his buddy that brought me back to them being serious again.

buzz hollow beef bedroom

Their sexuality is quite fluid. Just one of many compelling mysteries in this bizarre film.

buzzard hollow beef pumpkin

After a day of mass shooting vegans…I mean, target practice with pumpkins out in a field, the family hits up a diner and a big argument ensues about consuming meat, with the creepy hillbilly owners of the restaurant even getting involved.

buzz hollow beef diner

Another snag is hit when the buddy reveals he’s allergic to turkey, so they have to come up with an alternate plan for Thanksgiving dinner, which leads to a strange visit to the butcher.

All the while, the dad is defending the local weirdoes…

Back home, everyone begins to have reeeeaaaalllllly fucked up hallucinations.

buzz hollow beef faceoff

Gross. Sexual.

buzzard hollow beef family dinner

And when it comes time for the actual Thanksgiving dinner, let’s just say if you decide to watch this one on Thanksgiving day, well…do not watch it before…um…or after dinner. I highly suggest you save this one for Black Friday.

buzzard hollow beef beef

Sure, the film may derive its name from the meat theme, but I want to believe it’s inspired by the brother.

buzz hollow beef shower

I’d like to be stuffed by his beef on Thanksgiving.

buzzard hollow beef lick

Shit turns backwoods/cannibal/home invasion crazy…or does it? Buzzard Hollow Beef might not be about jump scares, it may not be the definitive Thanksgiving horror you need to watch annually, but it sure as hell is an atmospheric, fascinating contribution to the slim pickings.


christmas to dismember cover

There are so many horror lovers out there aspiring to make films just like the slashers they grew up on. It’s astounding how many of them, having absorbed so many films, still think it’s as simple as having a storyline, then filming people getting hacked up on screen by a guy in a mask. Rather than the obvious basics, it’s the many complex details that make particular slashers effective that should be what young filmmakers are studying and emulating, but that’s not often the case.

christmas to dismember santa

Hence we have A Christmas to Dismember. While there are some technical aspects here that are reminiscent of classic slashers (like practical kill effects of basic 80s low budget slasher quality), a sort of ode to The Breakfast Club, and some humor that gets a bit lost in the flat delivery, this is essentially 40 minutes of a gay guy and his fag hags sitting around and talking…and occasionally getting killed.

christmas to dismember classroom

christmas to dismember hall peek

Even the “storyline” becomes hard to follow because it’s virtually told entirely through dialogue. Two friends sit in the woods talking. The kids sit in an empty classroom and talk. They sit in a house exchanging presents and talking.

christmas to dismember girls

christmas to dismember tree

They play with a Ouija board and talk to their dead friend. They mention names of people we never actually see.

christmas to dismember ouija

Then there’s a disjointed hallucinatory dream segment that makes the film more confusing (there’s even a different killer costume) before we’re back in the house for the final twist—a twist that’s essentially given away in the first scene.

christmas to dismember dark axe

christmas to dismember other mask

It kind of feels like a school film project, so I wouldn’t discourage those involved from keeping at it and fine-tuning every aspect of the horror craft.

christmas to dismember santa stab

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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