All 10 Kills In Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving, Ranked By How Gruesome They Are


  • Lonnie gets his neck snapped 180 degrees while watching his girlfriend on a trampoline. It’s quick, but not pleasant.
  • Sheriff Eric Newlon is burned alive by an exploding parade balloon, but slasher fans know he may have survived.
  • Evan, a loudmouth jock, is bludgeoned to death on a livestream as his skull is smashed on the dinner table.

This article contains descriptions of graphic violence.

As with all the best slashers, Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving is full of gruesome, gory, and very creative kills at the hands of its sadistic antagonist – but some kills are gorier than others. In the spirit of festive slashers like Halloween, Black Christmas, and April Fool’s Day, Thanksgiving sets its blood-soaked killing spree around the titular holiday. Adapted from the fake trailer of the same name that Roth directed for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s double feature Grindhouse, Thanksgiving revolves around a masked killer called “John Carver,” who picks off the residents of a small Massachusetts town in the lead-up to Turkey Day.

From Cabin Fever to the Hostel series, Roth has always been an uncompromising horror filmmaker known for his disturbing visuals. Thanksgiving has only bolstered that reputation with a series of grisly murders involving such festive staples as parade balloons and corn-on-the-cob holders. Some of the kills in Thanksgiving are taken directly from Roth’s original Grindhouse trailer, while others were invented just for the feature-length adaptation. With one character getting stabbed through a trampoline and another getting disemboweled with a buzzsaw, Thanksgiving is filled to the brim with increasingly gory kill scenes – but which is the most gruesome of the bunch?

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10 Lonnie

Neck Snapped At 180 Degrees

Patrick Dempsey as John Carver holds an ax and plans his attacks in Thanksgiving

While Lonnie is watching his girlfriend Amy jumping on a trampoline, John Carver sneaks up behind him and snaps his neck a full 180 degrees. This kill brings to mind the iconic moment that Regan’s head spins around in The Exorcist. A snapped neck isn’t exactly a pleasant way to go, but it’s pretty quick and painless compared to some of the brutal, elongated murders in this movie.

9 Sheriff Eric Newlon

Burned Alive By An Exploding Parade Balloon

The shocking twist ending of Thanksgiving reveals that one of the least suspicious characters, Sheriff Eric Newlon, is actually the real John Carver. Newlon is burned alive by an exploding parade balloon. But since his remains were never found, he might not have actually died. The police deduce that he was incinerated in the explosion, but slasher fans know better than that. Like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees before him, it’s likely that Newlon survived the climax of the movie and will live to kill again in a sequel (or many sequels).

8 Evan

Bludgeoned To Death

Jessica Gabby Scuba and Yulia all stare in horror at a phone screen in Thanksgiving

The loudmouthed jock of the group, Evan, is bludgeoned to death on a livestream near the beginning of the excruciating dinner scene. This kill is relatively tame compared to the other kills in the movie, but even a somewhat tame death is hard to watch through Roth’s sadistic lens. Roth shows all the horrible details of Evan’s skull being smashed to pieces on the dinner table.

7 Amanda Collins

Scalped By A Shopping Cart

Gina Gershon and Patrick Dempsey in a superstore in Thanksgiving

In the opening Black Friday riot scene, Thanksgiving pulls a Scream and kills off one of the biggest stars in its cast. Gina Gershon’s character Amanda Collins – the wife of Mitch, the store manager – is killed in the ensuing chaos when the shoppers break into the store to get their hands on a free waffle iron. Amanda is trampled by the crowd, then her hair gets caught in the wheels of a shopping cart. When the shopping cart is moved, it rips off a chunk of her scalp. This death is so horrific that it becomes the villain’s motivation for revenge.

6 Amy

Stabbed Through A Trampoline

Amy on a trampoline in Thanksgiving

This kill is taken straight from the original Grindhouse trailer. Right after snapping her boyfriend Lonnie’s neck, John Carver turns his sights on Amy. While she’s bouncing on the trampoline, Carver slides his knife through the trampoline itself. Amy’s feet land on the knife, then she falls down back onto the knife, and so on and so forth. Every time she bounces on the trampoline, gravity brings her back down to the killer’s knife. This is one of the slowest and most painful deaths in the movie.

5 Lizzie

Bisected In A Dumpster

Lizzie, one of the first shoppers who broke into the RightMart superstore on Black Friday, is the first to face John Carver’s wrath. She loses part of her face when Carver slams it against the door of a freezer, but that’s not what kills her – what kills her is even more horrifying. As she tries to climb into a dumpster, Carver rams a car into the dumpster, which cuts her in half at the waist. With entrails spilling all over the place, this is easily one of Thanksgiving’s grossest death scenes (and, as the first murder, it sets the appropriate tone for the movie).

4 The Turkey Mascot

Decapitated During A Parade

A turkey mascot at a Thanksgiving parade in Thanksgiving

This blood-drenched kill was also taken from the original Grindhouse trailer. The cops attempt to draw Carver out into a crowded place by having Scuba and the Wrights take part in a Thanksgiving parade. But the plan doesn’t work, because Carver figures out what they’re doing (which turns out to be because he’s one of the cops himself). Carver creates a panic by decapitating the turkey mascot, which allows him to sneak in and kidnap his next victims. Decapitations always make for gruesome on-screen kills, and Roth’s camera relishes every second of it.

3 Kathleen

Cooked And Served Like A Turkey

When John Carver has abducted all his victims and tied them up at the dinner table, Jessica’s stepmother Kathleen is the unfortunate one chosen to be the dinner itself. She very almost escapes from Carver’s grasp, but he manages to recapture her at the front door. He drags her back into the house, throws her in the oven, and cooks her like a turkey. Being cooked, carved, and served is a slow, agonizing way to go. Fortunately, the movie doesn’t show the ordeal in full, and there’s a generous cut from the roasting to the serving.

2 Parade Float Driver

Impaled Through The Head With A Pole

A Thanksgiving parade in Thanksgiving

The turkey mascot’s decapitation is gruesome, but it’s not the most gruesome death at the Thanksgiving parade. During the ensuing panic, when one of the parade float drivers slams down on the brakes, a pole from the back of the float smashes through the window behind him and goes right through his head. This is easily one of the bloodiest scenes in the movie, and on top of the goriness of the scene, the whole thing happens in front of young, impressionable children sitting in the passenger seat.

1 Yulia

Disemboweled With A Buzzsaw

Scuba and Jessica covered in blood in Thanksgiving

When Scuba and Jessica get a call from Scuba’s girlfriend Yulia as she’s attacked by John Carver, they race to her house to save her, but they’re too late. Carver pushes Yulia onto a running buzzsaw before fleeing the scene. The buzzsaw rips open her torso and her intestines come spilling out. The spinning blade of the buzzsaw splatters blood all over the room (and Scuba and Jessica’s horrified faces as they watch, helplessly). There are a lot of gruesome deaths in Thanksgiving, but this is arguably the most gruesome of all.

#Kills #Eli #Roths #Thanksgiving #Ranked #Gruesome

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