Thursday (1998) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Thursday is yet another in the seemingly endless spate of Tarantino-inspired combinations of unrestricted bloody mayhem and wacky pop culture references that saturated the market in the five year period following Pulp Fiction's success.

Instead of McDonald's banter, we get 7-Eleven banter. In the opening set piece, three egregiously violent felons pull into a c-store late at night. The baddest of the baddies sees a sign that says "any size coffee 69 cents". He takes the Super Big Gulp Cup, fills it with coffee, and takes it to the counter. The clerk charges him $1.08, and he gets into a big argument with her because the sign says any size. Never mind that anybody with half a brain knows that any size doesn't mean that you can bring in an oil drum and fill it with coffee for 69 cents. Never mind that nobody would be stupid enough to pour steaming hot coffee into a paper-thin wax-coated uninsulated cup. He's rip-roaring mad. Then he wants his free Tasty Snack, which comes free with a large coffee. The clerk won't give him one because he doesn't technically have a large coffee, but a Super Big Gulp. So the baddies do what any of us would do. They pump her full of lead.

Actually, the scene was not filmed in a 7-Eleven and there were no copyrighted names in view, but it was filmed in a generic c-store next to a 7-Eleven, with the 7-Eleven sign visible in the parking lot, so it seemed to be taking place at that chain. I'm sure their management was thrilled.

Then a cop parks in the lot and starts in, so Mr Bad Guy puts on a smock and pretends to be the clerk, hiding the mangled body under the counter. The cop comments about the smell, and the baddie tells him that they must have a cooler out. Then the cop asks, "Kirk or Picard", so they can do some compulsory pop culture references. This works like the Olympic Skating events where you have to go through the compulsories before you can move into the freestyle stuff. The Tarantino compulsories are pop references. The freestyling comes in the creative violence.

There is plenty of that. Violence, that is. In the course of the movie, various people - almost all dark-skinned - are splattered across the landscape.

Across town we have a suburban couple. He's an architect, she's a corporate exec. They live in a perfect house in a perfect neighborhood in Houston. They have their cute little spats about who's neglecting whom for whose career, and whether to drink skim milk or soya milk. Wifey goes off to work.


Paulina Porizkova shows her breasts and buns in a violent sex/rape/murder scene.

How is this suburban tranquility connected to mass-murderin' scumbags? You see, the suburban husband, three and a half years ago, was a member of the evil convenience store gang. The leader of the evil gang shows up in the suburban household, pretending to have cleaned up just as much as the husband. He borrows the family station wagon to run some evil errands, but before he runs off, he leaves behind several million dollars in cash and several million dollars worth of drugs. The husband doesn't know about the cash, but finds the drugs, and flushes them, because he just isn't a drug kind of guy any more. He's an architect now. There is no explanation of how he went from being a mass-murderin' scumbag drug dealer to being a successful architect in three and a half years. I guess he took some extra credits each semester.

The rest of the movie consists of various evil characters, on both sides of the law, showing up at their suburban home, trying to get the drugs and/or the money. Somewhere in there, in a piece of inspired madness, a creepy little social worker shows up to evaluate the husband as a potential foster parent, and hears about his drug-dealing, mass-murderin' past from one of his creepy friends. We suspect that the little geek will probably write a negative report. Amazingly, the little fella does manage to get out of there alive, the only visitor to do so all day. This presumably happened because he was white.

At the end of the day, the husband has quite the dilemma - you see, his wife knows nothing of his mass-murderin' past. Imagine Ozzie Nelson explaining to Harriet why their house is strewn with corpses and drenched in human blood when she gets home from bridge with the gals.

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen letterboxed, 1.85

Oh, well, you have the idea. This is the first screenplay from Skip Woods, the guy whose second movie was Swordfish. It is brash, ultraviolent, and completely amoral. It treats the loss of human life casually, cavalierly, and with insensitive humor. It is perhaps unduly influenced by Tarantino and is dripping with references to QT's movies. One reviewer suggest it makes a great drinking game - take a shot every time you spot a Tarantino rip-off.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and a half stars. Apollo 78/100, 3/5. (Roger Ebert despised it in a film festival preview, but I couldn't find his review.)

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 6.7/10, Apollo voters 59/100
  • With their dollars: The film grossed $2000. Yup, that's right, two thousand dollars on two screens, then straight to vid where it has become a cult favorite.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C. Obviously there is no crossover to mainstream audiences from the male masturbatory fantasy genre. If your kind of movie is Titanic or Moulin Rouge, skip it. It's a splatter film with graphic sex, graphic violence, and black "humor". I have never been a big fan of the male masturbatory fantasy genre, but the guys who like this kind of movie seemed to feel this was a solid genre entry.

Return to the Movie House home page