In a strange sort of hybrid of America’s Funniest Home Videos and one of the those “Mermaids” or “Megalodon” programs, Destination America’s timely and amusing Thanksgiving special When Turkeys Attack presents a tongue-in-cheek look at ostensibly real people (although at this point it’s hard to trust the full veracity of a Discovery Communications network documentary) who have been attacked by turkeys, and have the footage to prove it.
An ominous narrator introduces the clips with warnings about turkey attacks being on the rise across the country, and an interview with a turkey breeder named “Weasel” (who looks exactly like you would imagine) finds the man explaining how turkeys are “viciously smart.” We are treated to video clips of turkeys rushing and knocking over children; leaping up to kick the chests of tall men; and one gobbler even rushing down a hill at a good 20 mph in pursuit of a cyclist. Having been chased and pecked by a rooster myself when I was 5, I can easily believe that birds like this can pose an unsuspecting threat to the unaware, especially with their talons. (If they make a When Turkeys Attack 2, I’ll have to try to get footage of the wild turkey who hangs outside our office building sometimes, giving folks the stinkeye as they leave.)
A couple of wildlife experts and biologists (again, I assume they’re real, and no, I don’t mean Weasel the turkey breeder) are on hand to dish out some turkey facts and even demonstrate some very realistic turkey calls. Ultimately, When Turkeys Attack is entertaining viewing; as AFHV has shown, it’s always funny to see slapstick things happen to people. And it’s especially ironic and humorous to see those things dished out to people in the form of a turkey — the birds get some modest form of revenge just before millions of their kin are devoured at dinners around the country. Of course, some of the most potentially deadly incidents are brought on by humans themselves, as we see in the ending of the special, which is a compilation of accidental turkey fryer fires — the birds seeming to get their vengeance even from beyond the grave.
When Turkeys Attack airs Nov. 26 at 10pm ET/PT on Destination America.