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Film / Thursday

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Thursday is a 1998 Black Comedy movie written and directed by Skip Woods. The film stars Thomas Jane as Casey Wells, a former Los Angeles drug dealer who decides to turn a new leaf, and start a new life for himself. So saying, Casey eventually relocates to the suburbs, with his new wife Christine (Paula Marshall), and makes a living for himself as an architect. Things seem to be going well for Casey, as he and Christine are in the process of adopting a child, however, Casey's Dark and Troubled Past comes back to haunt him, when his former partner-in-crime Nick (Aaron Eckhart) ends up dragging him in the middle of a deal that has gone bad, which includes the stunningly beautiful but completely perverted Dallas (Paulina Porizkova).

The movie marked the debut of writer/director Skip Woods, whose style of excessively violent and gory black comedy has often been compared to that of Quentin Tarantino... so much so, in fact, that many conspiracy theorists have offered the possibility that Skip Woods is actually a psuedonym for Tarantino (it also doesn't help that, at least at the time, no known photos of Woods had ever been released publically).


This film provides examples of:

  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Played with. The conversation of Dr.Jarvis and Dallas revolves around the freudism.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Ice, the jamaican hitman who comes to Casey's house, and who is fine with sitting down to smoke some pot and chat with Casey before offing him.
    • Nick. He is a crime lord and doesn’t mind killing people. He is also very friendly towards Casey and genuinely likes him.
  • Asshole Victim: Almost everybody. The cashier, the Jamaican, Dallas, Billy, Kasarov in the present, Ballpeen in the past. The patrolmen at the start may be an exception, but police is portrayed quite unsympathetically.
  • Ax-Crazy: Especially Dallas and Billy Hill.
  • Be a Whore to Get Your Man: Averted with Nick's "Girl Friday" Dallas, she pretty much just likes being the closest thing to a whore there is; she explains the time she was cast in a porno movie to Dr. Jarvis (in explicit details), but she also later rapes Casey.
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  • Bait-and-Switch: By the end of the movie, after Casey finishes the talk with the Jamaican Man's bosses over the phone we see him pulling back the slide of his pistol, which leads us to believe he's going to channel some of his gunfighting skills from his past as he's planning to face his remaining opponents in a climatic showdown. He's actually using this gun as a decoy for the cops that come after him later, to make it look like he's still at home and hold them at his house until the jamaicans arrive.
  • Batman Gambit: Casey pulls one of these when he calls the Jamaican gangsters to come to his house at 7PM, the exact same time as Kasarov promised he would arrive. This causes the two gangs to collide, starting a shootout presumably killing Kasarov.
  • Berserk Button: Ballpeen's is any mentions of the story how he lost function in his member, or allusions to it, or any implications of it, no matter how distant, veiled or unintentional they are. Casey presses it extra hard after he puts two and two together and taunts him that his manhood must have been nothing to brag about in the first place if one woman managed to completely bite it off in one go.
  • Black Comedy: A lot.
  • Birds of a Feather: Defied. Learning about Casey, Dallas was hoping she'd finally meet someone like her, but finds him disappointing now that he's reformed.
  • Bound and Gagged: Dallas duct tapes Casey to a kitchen chair, and when Billy drops by later, he tapes his mouth shut.
  • Brainy Brunette: Christine, who seemingly managed to go from a waitress in a diner to a banking top manager in 3 years.
  • Brick Joke: First Nick throws a beer stopper in a sink in the Casey's kitchen to a certain discontent of the latter who is the formal one during their conversation while Nick tries to liven up the situation. Later when Casey himself treats Dr. Jarvis to a beer suddenly throws the beer stopper in the same sink to the slight amazement of the latter. Now Casey is the one eager to liven up things acting informally with the stiff visitor.
  • Call-Back: "I really must have some bad karma" Casey harkens to the line Jimmy'd said to him just before his last job.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Literal example in the Jamaican Man's gun, that is seen throughout the whole film and plays a part in the film's climax (but never gets to actually shoot). Even better example is the phone, that, again belong to the Jamaican Man - a minor thing that ultimately provides Casey a way to pit his enemies against each other.
  • Child by Rape: Dallas taunts Casey that she's going to have a child from raping him. Thankfully, one gunshot to the head prevented this.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Billy. Not only does he plan on removing Casey's feet with a buzzsaw and "cauterize" him with an acetylene torch, but he also brags about his escapades, including going into detail about how he once spent sixteen hours cutting up a girl he picked up from a bar, adding it was his personal best.
  • Cool Car: Dallas steals a Lamborghini Diablo from Nick, which Casey then "borrows" when he flees town.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Basically the whole setup for this movie.
  • Dark Is Evil: Kasarov, who wears all black and who is probably the most evil person that visits Casey on that day. Definitely, the most dangerous.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Casey casually "thanks" Nick for his visit over a phone call, bringing up how he'd have missed out on being tortured, raped and abused if he hadn't reentered his life.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Subtle variation - when Kasarov comes to Casey's house he tells Casey to look into the bag he brought with him. Inside, Casey finds Nick's severed head. That's how it is established that Kasarov is the cruelest in the lot.
  • Destroy the Evidence: Subverted. When Casey discovers heroin in Nick's briefcase he flushes the stuff down his kitchen sink - not to destroy the evidence, but mostly just in spite towards Nick.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Kasarov played by Mickey Rourke enters the stage pretty late. He is presented to be the most evil of all characters.
  • Dirty Cops: They are one of the important factions of the story, even if most of their actions and influence happen off-screen - until Kasarov shows up.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Ballpeen breaks Jimmy's hand for making a friendly dick joke to him (see Berserk Button).
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: This movie provides one of the more infamous aversions in cinema history, not being portrayed as okay. Dallas has Casey duct taped to a chair, while grilling him about the hot money Nick hid with him, that he knows nothing about; Dallas decides she needs to pass the time before Nick finally shows his face, and decides to rape Casey. She forces him to an erection, and even as she positions herself, she taunts him with talks of him betraying his wife, killing him once he's cummed, and even telling him that he will impregnate her. Dallas achieves multiple orgasms, while Casey tries desperately not to achieve one himself - this continues until Billy shoots Dallas dead. The whole experience is portrayed as emotionally traumatic to Casey, and he even describes it as rape later in the movie.
  • Dreadlock Rasta: Ice, complete with the accent, fondness of raggae and smoking pot.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: In a platonic way. The last thing Nick tells Casey in his dying phone call before hanging up is that he loves him.
  • Evil Is Petty: Dallas. She goes into Casey’s house without his invitation. Then, after she ties him up and has decided to rape him, she spits out her gum on the floor and breaks a photo of Casey and his wife.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The whole movie takes place over the duration of just one day, starting from 4am in the morning and ending in 7pm.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Billy, who discusses drinks with Casey and keeps his cheery and upbeat attitude at all times, even as he's about to start cutting Casey into pieces. Also Kasarov, the most friendly and non-confrontational guest that Casey had after Nick, who even helps Casey tie up loose ands and appears to offer him a clean way out of the whole situation - but he's obviously lying.
  • Family Versus Career: Christine is shown to be a successfull career woman, and her relationship with Casey while not exactly breaking down is shown to be strained in the present. Subverted that rather than the relationship struggling because of her career, it is hinted that she becomes focused on the career because the relationship becomes dissatisfying. They are also going through the process of adopting a child.
  • Flashback: Casey's flashbacks to his drug dealing days with Nick are peppered throughout the story, each one leading up to what finally drove him to changing his ways.
  • For the Evulz: Billy. He admits that he's going to torture and kill Casey just because he has nothing better to do.
  • Forbidden Fruit: Nick's locked briefcase. Casey eyes it intently for a while, but then gives in and pries it open.
  • Foreshadowing: Subverted as it's during the flashback scenes. After gunning down Ballpeen's gang, Nick says it's not like Casey to forget his gun suppressors. This was likely a hint that Casey had been thinking about quitting his drug dealing life for some time.
  • Groin Attack: Happened to Ballpeen in his backstory, when a woman bit off his member during a Date Rape went wrong. Apparently they later found and reattached it, but the function of it was still lost.
  • Gorn: In spades.
    • A cashier in a convenient store takes too long filling Nick's coffee order, and is shot to death, with her guts splattering all over the window behind her.
    • In a flashback, Casey and Nick attack and kill a man who tried to cheat them, and also end up killing his pregnant girlfriend by shooting her in the stomach, killing the fetus.
    • Dallas, one of Nick's accomplices, is shot while she rapes Casey, causing blood and brain matter to splatter all over Casey's face.
    • Towards the end of the movie, a rogue cop Kasarov shows up at Casey's house, and shows him Nick's decapitated head.
    • Later still, Kasarov successfully kills Nick's accomplice Billy, who shot Dallas in the head when she was raping Casey, as well as a Jamaican whom Nick cheated. To dispose of the three bodies, Casey takes a chainsaw, cuts all of them up into pieces, stuffs the remains into garbage bags, and by Kasarov's advice leaves them at the curb since the following morning is garbage day.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The moment Dallas gets a bullet to the head the camera angle abruptly changes so that she is out of the frame, and at all times when we see her dead body afterwards her head is always obscured. Also, when Kasarov executes Billy and the Jamaican man their bodies are hanging just outside of view.
  • Guns Akimbo: Casey during shootout at Ballpeen's.
  • Guile Hero: Casey. In the past he displays no less wits than he does capacity for violence, and in the present, when he no longer relies on violence, he uses wits to keep himself alive multiple times throughout the film and to eventually come out on top.
  • Happily Married: As Casey is being raped by Dallas, all he can think about is a memory of when he and Christine moved into their new home and how he's being forced to betray the woman he loves. In fact, before he was told he had no choice when Dallas decided she wanted to have sex, he declined because he was married.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Casey abruptly decides to cut away from the life of crime after he and Nick kill a heavily pregnant woman in their last job. There are some subtle hints that he was dissatisfied with his way of life before that moment so it doesn't exactly come out of nowhere, but it was this particular event that triggered his decision.
  • Hidden Depths: You wouldn't believe that from just looking at her, but Dallas apparently majored in political science and philosophy in the Vassar college.
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: In one of Casey's flashbacks his partner Nick repeatedly shoots an eight-month pregnant woman in the stomach, killing both the woman and the fetus.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: In the beginning of the movie when Dallas shoots the cashier woman, Nick can be briefly seen with a face that can only be described as "excited" or even "aroused".
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Billy jokes that he hopes things weren't too romantic between Casey and Dallas (the rape victim and the rapist in action) when he shot her.
  • It's a Long Story: As Casey and Christine drive off into the night, for a plane for France.
    Casey: Honey? There's a lot of things you don't know about me...
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Kasarov gives Casey till 7pm to find where Nick hid the money, and leave town, while at the same time, has Casey arrange a showdown between the police and the Jamaican gang by saying the drugs will be auctioned off at 7pm at his house. Sure enough, Kasarov arrives at Casey's abandoned house at seven, and shortly thereafter, the Jamaicans arrive in a Hummer, armed with machine guns, and storm the house.
  • MacGuffin: Most of the visitors that Casey recieve on that day come after some of Nick's stuff, which Casey assumes to be heroin. Later it turns out it's actually 2 million dollars in cash.
  • Mortal Wound Reveal: For Nick during his last call to Casey. In the beginning he is shown only in close-up and his face looks quite regular. Later his facial expression changes and reveals that he is in pain. Then the camera in the last cut to Nick shows him from distance and one can see that he is shot.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Dallas played by Paulina Porizkova.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Averted. Out of the two of them, Christine has more successfull career than Casey (he's an architect, she's a bank manager big enough to fly private jets for meetings across the country and have dinners with CEOs), and there's no indication that she owes any of that to him.
  • Obviously Evil: Kasarov. Despite his casual demenour and apparent willingness to let Casey off the hook and even help him patch up his life, it's immediately clear that he is evil even compared to the rest of the characters. That'sestablished when he shows Casey the head of Nick.
  • Out with a Bang: Dallas. Both figuratively and literally.
  • Police Are Useless: The police are tipped off about Nick leaving the drugs and hot money at Casey's house, however, not only do they show up at the wrong house, they barge in and kill the family living inside, then just leave.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: When the policeman in the beginning of the film asks Nick if he likes Picard or Kirk better, there're just enough subtle cues in the way Nick responds to make it clear for us that he has no idea who these people are.
  • Public Secret Message: "One day when you're sitting on a beach sipping a cold one, spare tire around your waist, think about me, bro."
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Jamaican Man. He would rather make music than kill people.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Averted with Dallas.
  • Properly Paranoid: Nick does not tell Casey any important details of what he's doing or where he hid the money, because "you never know who might be listening in". Judging from Kasarov's visit later, he was right to be cautious.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: When Dallas tells Dr. Jarvis about Casey's last job, Ballpeen's apartment appears luxurious and colorful, and after murdering Ballpeen and his gang, Nick calmly scolds Casey for not using suppressed handguns, and Casey asks him to stop saying his name out loud in a nonchalant tone, and then they are shot at by some woman. When Casey is tells this story to Dallas later, Ballpeen's place appears dirty and rundown, Nick is angry when he tells Casey off, Casey is freaking out when he shouts back at Nick, the woman is shown to be wearing much cheaper clothes and most importantly, after Nick guns her down we see that she was heavily pregnant. This is what caused Casey to give up his criminal life.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Casey gives one to Nick when he finally calls after all he ended up making Casey go through.
  • Reformed Criminal: Casey is the one. Trope is played Up to Eleven as he even became a vegetarian and does not eat milk and eggs either.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Casey manages to carry weapons into the meeting with Ballpeen by simply pushing away the doorman when he's about to check him. Jimmy's covering for him and Ballpeen beingn complacent and overconfident enough to wave him anyway does the rest.
  • Retired Badass: Casey.
  • Retirony: Inverted in that he was not a policeman, and in fact quite the opposite, but still - the jamaican man really was this close to getting out...
  • Shout-Out: A joking remark by Nick that Rod Serling is going to jump out of the fridge. He makes it after Casey tells him that he and his wife don't eat meat, dairy and even eggs (substituting for them by soy products). He implies that everything is eerily neat in this household like in an episode of the The Twilight Zone (1959).
  • The Shrink: Dr. Jarvis.
  • The Sociopath: Dallas is the most likely of Nick's old friends to qualify. She murders a cashier for annoying her. Later, she brings up aspects of Casey's former life, ruining his chances at adoption, just to hold him captive. She decides she wants to have sex while waiting for Nick to show up, making it clear to Casey she doesn't care that he's married and has no choice in the matter. She also brags about the possibility that he'll father her child after she makes him orgasm and kill him. This woman has no sense of morality and it should be fortunate she did not have a child.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the work of Tarantino. Many viewers and critics have assumed this was one of his works before realizing it's Skip Woods's.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Paulina Porizkova is 5 foot 10 inches. Her character, Dallas wears shoes that give her extra height. She's very attractive but extremely amoral since she shot a woman for annoying her and raped a married man to pass the time.
  • Still Got It: Averted with Casey. After three years of peaceful ordinary life he'd lost much of his violent edge and habits, and does not immediately return to them even when pushed. For example, when trying to arm himself he grabs a frying pan even though there's a completely functional pistol available to him, and later can't find it in himself to finish off another man even though said man was about to kill him in a very gruesome way just a moment ago.
  • Stupid Evil: Probably not a very good idea of Dallas to rape Casey when there is probably more people out to get him. It becomes her downfall too.
  • Technical Pacifist: Looks like Casey has trouble using guns after shooting a pregnant woman. Though he still can beat and tie up people who attacked him. Or cut to pieces bodies shot by someone else.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The cashier from the beginning of the movie. Telling three obviously shady people who visited your shop in the middle of the night that she's going to call the police on them because they "act strangely" (note: their strange behaviour includes that they did not have small money and that they wanted to buy a hot coffee) right to their faces is something that most reasonable adults would definitely not do.
  • Tragic Bromance: Even though Casey and Nick went their separate ways for three years, they still care for each other. Which is why Nick's death obviously hits Casey hard and he doesn't have it in himself to hate him, even if Nick ruined his ordinary life with his visit.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: A heavily downplayed example. Dallas was more interested in Casey in the hopes she'd found someone more like her, only to be disappointed that he's reformed. That said, she didn't mind sitting on his lap and come close to licking his face. Although she decides she wants to have sex with him (rape him), it's less to do with being interested in him romantically or sexually and more to do with killing time. Although she tells him she'll kill him once she's finished, she's clearly enjoying it and talks as though he's enjoying too.