Directed by cult horror director Eli Roth, Thanksgiving promises to be good fun for those who love schlocky slashers. For its early premiere on Tuesday, Roth discussed everything that came into developing the film, from its start as a parody trailer to its premiere in Quentin Tarantino’s Vista Theater.
The film was originally a parody trailer that was a part of the double feature Grindhouse, directed by Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. When talking about it in an interview with the Rolling Stones, Roth reminisced about how he and his friend Jeff Rendell would eagerly wait for a Thanksgiving slasher movie, so much so that they ended up coming up with an idea for the film. Later, Roth “called Jeff and said, ‘Dude, guess what, we don’t have to make the movie, we can just shoot the best parts.'” When asked about this shooting experience, he called it the most fun he had with filmmaking. “All I want to shoot now are fake trailers because there’s no rules,” he said. “The best part about trailers is it’s all money shots.”
Eventually, the two decided to flesh out this parody into a full-length feature film. When discussing its themes, Roth focused on what he perceived as the overcommercialization of the holidays. They were inspired by Black Friday videos where people trample and fight each other over new deals. “It’s about the commercialization of Christmas that has bled over and taken over this holiday,” Roth explained. To him, it was jarring to watch people talk about how grateful they are for their health and loved ones and follow it up with “trampling someone to death for a waffle iron.”
Not only did Roth make this film a reality, but he also managed to premiere it at his friend Tarantino’s Vista Theatre. In 2021, Tarantino purchased the movie house and opened it this weekend, allowing it to house Thanksgiving as its first premiere. Roth described how much this moment meant to him as a filmmaker and Taranitino’s friend. Since the premiere date for Thanksgiving was close to the Vista’s opening date, Tarantino agreed to screen it as its first film. “This is so beautiful. Only Quentin could do this; he’s more than a friend; he’s a brother, and I love him to death,” Roth gushed.
Thanksgiving is slated for a wider release release on November 17th.