When it comes to Thanksgiving horror films, if the Thankskilling movies aren’t your cup of trash (I blog about them here), the 1981 slasher Home Sweet Home probably isn’t either. But you really don’t have much choice when it comes to holiday horror for this particular time of year. Any I’ve come across are listed on my holiday horror page.
Being that Home Sweet Home was made in 1981, naturally, a psycho escapes from a mental institution. This time, it’s fricking Body by Jake! WTF? If you don’t know Body by Jake, he was basically the Lou Ferrigno of the 80s. If you don’t know Lou Ferrigno, take a course in Gen X 101.
So Body by Jake looks just like Body by Jake. No mask. No special costume. Just layers of muscle in tight jeans and a T-shirt. Oh—and a “home sweet home” tattoo on the back of his hand. He shoots himself up under the tongue, steals a station wagon, then runs over an old lady. His big shtick is cackling absurdly with a big grin on his face. And he’s taken his job as a trainer too far with his most extreme plan ever to prevent you from overeating this holiday season. It’s called Bloody by Jake!
After the opening credits role, Body by Jake heads to a Thanksgiving gathering that’s pretty much more dysfunctional than any other Thanksgiving gathering ever. There’s a totally obnoxious talking mime with a guitar who annoys the fuck out of everyone and is chased around the house regularly.
There’s a Latin Flamenco kind of chick with a guitar. There’s a little girl. There are a number of couples that try to have sex every chance they get.
And then, slowly but surely, as guests start griping about being hungry, missing particular ingredients for the big Turkey dinner, and not being able to watch the football game because the power has gone out (uh-oh), they each start to leave the house for various reasons. And they walk (or rather their cars break down) right into the strong arms of Body by Jake. There are plenty of chase scenes in the woods, but good luck trying to see any of them because this is classic 1981 grainy, way-too-dark garbage.
I can feel your wishbone…..
But what you can’t see doesn’t really matter, because what you can see is comedy brilliance. See, Body by Jake’s way of startling and terrifying his victims is to simply leap on them from off screen with a war cry. Like seriously. It looks like he’s leaping down on them from the top of a small shed or something. You will laugh every time—particularly when he crash-lands on top of a car hood under which a man is checking the engine. It may be Thanksgiving, but this ain’t no game of Angry Birds. It’s Angry Body by Jake. Available now in your favorite app store.
When we’re finally down to only a few people, they do the smartest thing ever—they decide to sit in one room by the fire in the locked house to stay safe. Brilliant idea, but of course the little brat has to ruin it by needing to pee.
Adding to the total failure of this slasher (although, it’s one hell of a Thanksgiving comedy), there’s no clear sense of who the final girl is going to be until she is the final girl. And she is bad ass! She beats the fuck out of Body by Jake, first with a fireplace poker and then with a machete. Which stays lodged in his back. Which he leaves there all night until the next morning when he continues his assault on the final girl, who took her all-night slasher break in what looks like Harry Potter’s bedroom under the stairs.
What machete in my back? I don’t feel a thing.
So what’s going to be your main course for Thanksgiving? A killer turkey or a killer Body by Jake?